Cradle Cap remedies
About Cradle Cap
Cradle cap is the common term for seborrheic dermatitis, or seborrhea, which is also called dandruff in older kids and adults. It's a relatively common condition in newborns and children as old as 3 and causes thick white or yellow scales on the scalp. Some kids just get scales in a small patch; others have scales all over their heads. Sometimes, cradle cap can even occur on the eyebrows, eyelids, ears, crease of the nose, back of the neck, diaper area, or armpits. In rare cases, such as in babies who have eczema or dry skin, cradle cap can cause cracked skin that itches and oozes a small amount of clear yellow drainage.
Cradle cap is not contagious and it isn't an indication of poor hygiene. Most of the time, it just goes away on its own. In severe or persistent cases, though, a doctor may recommend a medicated shampoo or lotion. Washing your baby's scalp daily with mild shampoo can also help to loosen and remove the scales caused by cradle cap. Though it might look to be uncomfortable or irritating to the skin, cradle cap generally doesn't bother kids.
The exact cause of cradle cap isn't known, although some researchers believe it can be caused by an overproduction of skin oil (sebum) in the oil glands and hair follicles. A type of yeast (fungus) called malassezia can grow in the sebum along with bacteria, and this may be another factor in the development of cradle cap.
Seborrhea often runs in families, meaning the conditions that lead to cradle cap can be passed from mother to baby before birth. Certain factors — such as weather extremes, oily skin, infrequent skin cleaning, lotions that contain alcohol, obesity, and other skin disorders — can increase a child's risk of developing cradle cap.
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