BABY GOT CAP!

EEWWW! What’s that crud all over your kid’s head??!!”

It’s Cradle Cap.

No, it’s not something you put on your baby when you put him to bed for his nap! Believe it or not, there are people out there who have never heard of Cradle Cap…usually people who have never had, or spent time around, babies.

“Cradle Cap”, or seborrheic dermatitis, is close kin to the dandruff which often affects older children and adults.Cradle Cap can also develop on older babies and toddlers. It presents as a patchy, sometimes yellowish crust that forms on newborns’ scalps. It can spread to the face, ears and neck if not treated.

Basically harmless, cradle cap can be a cause of discomfort to babies and an embarassment to parents who feel they are neglecting their babies’ health and hygiene.

Cradle Cap and dandruff are both often caused by Malassezia yeasts and, depending on how they are treated. Once can find a plethora of home remedies on the internet and old wives’ tales abound. For the most part, for a relatively new condition, these remedies will do the trick.

Parents must use common sense, though, when choosing a remedy for their child’s Cradle Cap, as some home remedies may exacerbate, or complicate, the condition. Also, when trying to get rid of it by combing it out, you can really hurt your baby!

The most common home remedy for Cradle Cap is the application of oil to baby’s scalp. The trick is finding the best kind of oil to use. Some advocate vegetable or olive oil, others: baby oil, still others say mineral oil is the best oil to use to “cure” cradle cap. But because the exact causes of cradle cap are not known, the type of oil used as a home remedy may be the difference between cure and complication.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “…one contributing factor may be hormones that pass from the mother to the baby before birth. These hormones can cause an abnormal production of oil (sebum) in the oil glands and hair follicles.

Another factor may be a yeast (fungus) called malassezia (mal-uh-SEE-zhuh) that grows in the sebum along with bacteria.” (Cradle cap: Causes. (nd). Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cradle-cap/DS01074/DSECTION=causes on May 7, 2013.).

Cradle cap isn’t really harmful, just disconcerting. It generally clears up by itself within a month without medication so you can simply wash your baby’s hair once a week with a mild baby shampoo, then brush his hair with a soft baby brush to loosen the scales.

If you want to take a more active approach, you can use one of the home remedies. The most popular is to massage oil into your baby’s scalp, one to three times a day, wash baby’s hair with baby shampoo and towel dry. Using a baby comb, which is fairly flexible, comb the hair in the “wrong direction”, opposite of how the hair grows, lifting the scales up and away. Apply the oil again after baby is all bathed and ready for bed.

You have to be very careful about not applying too much pressure when combing out the baby’s hair, though, or you may damage his scalp and cause it to become painful. Use short, quick strokes…just enough to get underneath the scales. Don’t continue to go over the same spot over and over again. If you do this carefully, within a few days to a week, the cradle cap will be gone.

 imagesCAR1AQ44                    White-Mineral-Oil-60N-70N-100N-

A word or two on the types of oil to use. Baby oil is mild and formulated for baby’s skin but, because of the perfumes often found in it, perhaps mineral oil may be the best choice. Olive oil has the added advantage of being all natural and also contains a natural sunscreen, which can be beneficial to babies who have very little hair.

HOWEVER, vegetable or olive oils are not the best choice if the cradle cap has been there for awhile and should only be used if you’ve just noticed its presence. This is because the Malassezia yeast will actually feed on the fatty acids in the sebum (the oily substance produced by hair follicles). So the nutrients in these oils can only make the yeast thrive! As a matter of fact, when scientists want to grow a culture of the Malessezia yeast, they grow it in olive oil!

If frequent washing of baby’s hair, or treatment with home remedies aren’t working, talk to a doctor. He may recommend a stronger shampoo or a hydrocortisone cream to reduce inflammation of your baby’s scalp. NEVER use over the counter anti-fungal creams without being advised by your baby’s pediatrician, as only he knows your baby’s health as well as, or better, than you.

Just an FYI:  There are a lot of websites that offer money-saving, printable coupons for baby supplies and a lot more! Try GoodDeals247 and see if you can find a bargain worth going after!

Advertisements

17 comments on “BABY GOT CAP!

    • Well of course you are, Dixie! but you know, researching this kind of stuff really makes you appreciate how much “the old folks” knew without knowing the science of a thing. Amazing, isn’t it, that sometimes knowing how to cure it is as important as how it got there in the first place! I mean, it’s good to know how to avoid something, but sometimes even the best laid plans go awry and don’t work anyhow!

  1. Excellent information! I remember when my first child got this & I didn’t know what was going on! So easy to clear up if you know what you’re dealing with!!!

    • Have you ever thought about publishing an e-book or guest authoring on other sites?
      I have a blog centered on the same subjects you discuss
      and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would enjoy your work.
      If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send
      me an email.

      • I have no idea why your comment fell through the cracks, but I only just found it…nearly a year later! Unfortunately, health issues have precluded my being able to keep up with my sites for the past 8 months or so, or is might have caught it sooner…

        Thank you so much; validation is something every author appreciates. Actually, I have several books in progress and have been pondering whether or not an eBook or two should be in my future!

        I’ve never been invited to guest author by anyone before but, wow! What an honour for the suggestion!

        Of course, I realize this is a year late in acknowledging, but thank you again for the validation.

  2. Hey there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a extraordinary job!

  3. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this outstanding blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will talk about this website with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

    • Thank you so much, Iraida! Wow…a donate button! Maybe when I retire I’ll revisit that thought! Thanks for bookmarking and following and, please, feel free to share all over the world if you’d like!! I did visit your site…I recognize just enough Italian to have gained a bit of understanding of what it’s about. I’m going to have to “Translate This” when I get home to see exactly what the results of those tests revealed! Have a wonderful week…

  4. What’s Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It positively useful and it has aided me out loads. I hope to contribute & assist other users like its aided me. Good job.

  5. I just want to tell you that I am beginner to weblog and absolutely loved your website. Very likely I’m going to bookmark your blog . You absolutely have superb posts. Appreciate it for sharing your blog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s