This is relatively common during the first months of life. It shows up as a brownish discoloration on the skin. Usually it first appears on the scalp. But it can spread to the margins, and even on the ears, sides of the face, and elsewhere.
What causes baby cradle cap and how to get rid of it
It is usually due to over-production of the sebaceous glands in the skin (and these are more prolific on the scalp). Too much skin oil is produced. This tends to bank up and forms scaly crusts which adhere to the skin.
The simple way to treat the crusts is to apply olive oil at night. Then gently remove them with a dry toweling washer in the morning, using warm water.
Alternatively, liquid paraffin can be applied. This soaks into the affected parts, and loosens up the sheets of adherent firm material.
The whole area can then be washed gently, and the scaly plaques removed gently. Often they tend to recur. But washing regularly and carefully will help to minimize this. Cleanliness at all times is necessary.
During the treatment it is best not to use brushes and combs and soap. Reserve these until the condition has disappeared. Sometimes the condition spreads to the body. Then, the application of creams which contain a small amount of tar can assist.
However, if there is any doubt, it is wise to take baby along to the doctor for a check up.
People also ask
1. What’s the best way to rid baby of cradle cap?
Wash baby’s head with soap and warm water each morning. Often applying liquid paraffin, then gently easing off the scabby material brings prompt relief. Repeat this whenever there is a buildup of sebaceous material.
2. My five-month-old son has a lump behind his ear. Our doctor said it was due to an infection from eczema around his ear. The eczema has now cleared but the lump is getting bigger.
He also has some skin disturbance around his head which has been diagnosed as cradle cap. It is a crusty condition and does not appear to worry him but could you please tell me how this should be treated?
It sounds as if your son has developed an enlarged lymph gland behind his ear due to secondary infection of the eczema or from secondary infection of the cradle cap on his scalp.
Even though the eczema has settled it may be some time before the gland will subside, particularly if the cradle cap has not yet been adequately treated. However, if the swelling is still enlarging, your doctor should take a further look at your son and examine him to see if there are any enlarged glands elsewhere.
Cradle cap is a common condition in infants. It usually begins before two months of age and the scalp is covered with hard, yellowish, crusted plaques. In some cases secondary infections with bacteria may occur.
Topical corticosteroid cream or ointments containing antibiotics and anti-fungal agents are effective. Excessive scaling and crusting on the scalp can be removed by shampooing and by the use of an ointment containing two percent sulfur in paraffin.