Signs and symptoms[ edit ] Close up image of cradle cap Cradle cap is seborrheic dermatitis that affects infants. It presents on the scalp as greasy patches of scaling,  which appear thick, crusty, yellow, white or brown.
Hair loss can also occur. Cradle cap is an inflammatory condition. This may be due, in part, to the influence of biotin on fatty acid biosynthesis. Possibly it has to do with overactive sebaceous glands in the skin of newborn babies, due to the mother's hormones still in the baby's circulation. The glands release a greasy substance that makes old skin cells attach to the scalp instead of falling off as they dry. There may be a relationship with skin yeasts Pityrosporum ovale , newly renamed Malassezia furfur.
Severe cases of cradle cap, especially with cracked or bleeding skin, can provide a place for bacteria to grow. If the cradle cap is caused by a fungal infection which has worsened significantly over days or weeks to allow bacterial growth impetigo , most commonly , a combination treatment of antibiotics and antifungals may be necessary. Since it is difficult for a layperson to distinguish the difference between sebaceous gland cradle cap, fungal cradle cap, or either of these combined with a bacterial infection, medical advice should be sought if the condition appears to worsen.
Cradle cap is occasionally linked to immune disorders. If the baby is not thriving and has other problems e. Prognosis[ edit ] Assurances that this condition will clear as the baby matures are very common.
However, the condition occasionally persists into the toddler years, and less commonly into later childhood. It tends to recur in adolescence and persists into adulthood. In an Australian study, about 15 percent of previously diagnosed children still had eczema 10 years later.
This decreases the risk of SUDI Sudden unexplained death in infancy which used to be called cot death. Check for a snug fitting mattress which does not have any gaps between the vertical rails and the mattress.
Sometimes, cradle cap turns into atopic dermatitis. Rarely, it turns out to be misdiagnosed psoriasis. They may want to shampoo the baby's hair more frequently no more than once a day , and after shampooing gently brush the baby's scalp with a soft brush or a terrycloth towel. Oil remedies can be used by rubbing a small amount of pure, plant-derived oil coconut oil, pure olive oil, almond oil on the baby's scalp and leaving it on for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, gently comb out the flakes with a fine tooth comb or brush. Be sure to wash out all of the oil to avoid making the cradle cap worse. Doctors may recommend a treatment with a mild dandruff shampoo such as Selsun Blue even though the treatment may cause initial additional scalp irritation.
Scalp, behind ears, eyebrows[ edit ] If the cradle cap is not severe, it could simply be combed out gently after bathing. The softened scales can then be brushed away with a soft brush, comb or cloth, but if not done very gently, this could worsen the condition and bring about temporary hair loss. Applying petroleum jelly e. The softened scales either fall off during the night, or can be brushed off in the morning.
Some sources warn against frequent shampooing, others recommend it. Mild baby shampoo is often recommended, but the exact denotation of the label "mild" in this context is not quite clear.
Wool filled baby bedding is recommended for babies aged 12 months plus. But whether you choose to use a bassinette or place your baby in a cot from birth is really about personal choice.
Baby shampoos often contain detergent surfactants , perfumes, quaternium and other eczemagenic irritants. No studies have been performed on non-prescription shampoos.
Dandruff shampoos often contain sodium dodecyl sulfate , a noted skin irritant. There is no agreement on the dilution, which ranges from as high as a 1:
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