Dandruff in babies is not uncommon and it is often observed in first six months of life. Many refer it as cradle cap. In medical terminology it is a form of dermatitis, an inflammation of scalp skin. Dandruff in babies is not a major medical concern as in most instances the condition resolves on its own. However, with few home measures it is possible to hasten the healing process.
Washing the baby’s hair two to three times in a week, applying oil over the scalp and gentle combing will get rid of skin flakes of dandruff without delay. Since the baby’s scalp skin is sensitive, use a shampoo that does not have harsh chemicals and take care while you comb.
What Causes Dandruff In Babies?
Dandruff in babies is a sort of inflammatory reaction of skin.It usually occurs in the first six months of infancy. The typical feature of such form of dandruff is not similar to that observed in adults and adolescents. In adults it is shedding of dead skin cells that produce dandruff.
The exact reason of its development is still not clear, but pediatricians believe it occurs due to excess of oil secretion in scalp skin and hair as a result of hormone changes that occur after birth.
The other possibility suggested is growth of yeast germs. Yeast gets its food from the oil glands and the skin in some babies may react to produce inflammatory changes.
Dandruff Symptoms In Babies
Cradle cap or dandruff in babies which is common in infancy varies considerably in its severity. It usually develops within six months of birth. The characteristic feature is adherent white or yellowish, scaly or crusted patches on a portion of scalp or whole scalp.
When it is extensive the forehead is also involved. It may also appear on other areas of body such as eyelid margin, external ears, underarms, at the back of neck and in genitocrural folds. In this condition the scalp skin may become dry, and in rare cases it may cause itching.
Aside from being unsightly, dandruff in babies is not contagious or discomforting.
Home Remedies For Dandruff In Babies
Dandruff in babies usually does not require to be treated. The condition is not discomforting or dangerous to baby’s health. Above all it clears off on its own in few months. By the time baby becomes one year old, almost all the flakes are gone. However, for its unsightly appearance many parents seek speedy solution to the problem.
One of the effective treatments for curing the condition is to apply oil over the scalp and gently brush the area with a comb. Apply any vegetable oil such as coconut oil or olive oil on scalp and let it remain for 10 to 15 minutes.
With comb having soft bristles, gently peel off the flakes from the scalp. Once the scaly flakes are removed wash the scalp with a mild shampoo which does not contain harmful chemicals. Follow this routine at least two to three times in a week.
In some cases where yeast is suspected, use of medicated or anti fungal cream may be beneficial. However, before using them, consult a pediatrician as the skin over scalp is too sensitive.