Cradle cap is a common skin condition in newborn infants and babies below the age of three. In medical parlance it is known as seborrheic dermatitis. The condition is characterized by greasy scaly rash mainly on the scalp, but occasionally it may also migrate on face and ears. Seborrhea in adults and older children is also known as dandruff.
The exact underlying cause of cradle cap is not known, however researchers believe it is caused due to excess production of oil in the skin and yeast infection.Cradle cap on face and scalp is not discomforting for the baby and it is not contagious. In most babies, it is not itchy. Fortunately, in majority of cases cradle cap on face clears up on its own in few months as the baby grows.
In case of inflammation and secondary infection, the baby requires medical attention. Treatment for cradle cap on face may not be similar to that on the scalp.
What Causes Cradle Cap On Face Of Baby?
As mentioned earlier researchers are not able to clearly define the exact cause of seborreic dermatitis in infants. However, some scientists believe it to be associated with excess production of oil in the oil glands. Parents should be assured that cradle cap on face and scalp is not a result of bad hygiene or an allergy.
Overactive sebaceous glands produce excess amount of sebum or the oil which prevents the old skin cells to dry and fall off. The reason behind this over activity is believed to be due to maternal hormones still remaining in the infant’s body after birth for few months.
Another theory suggests it to be due a fungus like yeast growth called malessizia which is responsible for cradle cap. The condition primarily affects the scalp and it may then spread to other areas such as face, eyebrows, behind the ears. The reason for fungus infection may be due to antibiotics given to the baby in first week after the birth or mother who had taken antibiotics few days before the delivery. Antibiotics may destruct the good bacteria which do not allow the fungus to grow.
Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Cradle Cap On Baby Face
Baby’s facial skin is delicate therefore treating the condition requires more care. Often an infant having cradle cap on face also has the problem on scalp. Treatment of scalp cradle cap is as important.
- Massage with your fingertips baby’s scalp and face with olive oil or coconut oil or almond oil. These oils help to scrape away flakes and scale present on face and scalp. Oil also keeps the skin moisturized.
- Wash baby’s head with mild dandruff shampoo at least once in a week. Reduce its application once the cradle cap on face begins to heal.
- Use soft brush to remove flakes from the scalp and thus the area will remain clean.
- Calendula plant has natural anti inflammatory and anti septic properties. Cream prepared from calendula extract will help to alleviate cradle cap on face. Besides the moisturizing effect of cream will be added benefit.