What is baby cradle cap? This is a skin condition common in newborns. There are different forms of baby cradle cap treatment including baby cradle cap shampoo and baby oil for cradle cap. These help on how to get rid of the condition.
What is Cradle Cap on a Baby?
In case you have experienced some unsightly skin condition on your baby’s scalp, a search around will tell you it is known as cradle cap. What is cradle cap on a baby? Cradle cap, also known as milk crust, is a skin rash that affects the scalp of babies. The rash can develop in babies as young as a few days old up to around three months old.
Contrary to popular belief, the condition is not caused by poor hygiene, an infection or negligence. It is also not contagious. Doctors differ on the causes of this condition. Some medical practitioners believe that it is the result of accumulation of dead skin while others blame it on the type of yeast known as Malassezia. The general consensus, however, is that Cradle Cap is a skin condition.
It is characterized by a yellow patch of rough, flaky skin developing on the baby’s scalp. The flakes can at times be greasy and crusty but are not itchy and do not pose any health risk to the baby. The greasiness can be explained by the invasion of the baby’s scalp by the mother’s hormones which still circulate within the baby. These hormones lead to the development of sebaceous glands in the skin of the baby especially in the area around which Cradle Cap develops.
Baby Oil for Cradle Cap
Baby cradle cap is common. If left on its own, it could go away with time. This though could take a long while than if some form of intervention was made. One safe method of intervention is using baby oil for cradle cap treatment.
Nutritive baby Oils are the best alternatives. These lack chemicals or any synthetic components as well as any form of genetically modified organisms as well as cosmetic preservatives known as parabens. Instead, organic natural oil contains useful organic components that not only protect a baby’s soft and delicate skin but also add nutritive components. Chamomile is one such component and has been used for ages to heal and calm irritable skin.
Other organic components include Jojoba and Calendula. Jojoba is known for several functions on the skin, all of which would suit a baby’s skin well. These include soothing, softening and moisturizing delicate skin. Additionally, Calendula, another organic component found in natural oils, soothes and protects a baby’s delicate skin. Doctors also recommend vegetable based baby oil, but warns that it is no substitute for organic baby oil.
Other options include almond and olive oil for cradle cap which are well known for treating the condition. Some of these oils are sold as natural oils. However, some of them come with different properties and might have added chemical fragrances, which instead of soothing the baby’s skin, add to the irritation.
Some of them could also contain synthetic additives which reduce the effectiveness of the oil. Additionally, they are hazardous to the baby’s skin as they are known to clog up the baby’s skin pores. This inhibits the discharge of toxins that build under the baby’s skin. It is therefore important to choose carefully the type of baby oil that one uses for cradle cap. Stick to safe and well known products.
Whichever baby oil one settles for, the usage is the same. Simply rub some of it on the affected area, massage it in and leave it to rest. One could leave it on overnight for maximum effect. This will help it soak in the crusts of the cradle cap and thus loosen it. This makes it easy for it to be lifted off the skin using a cradle cap brush or cradle cap comb. Rubbing a clean piece of cloth could as well get the flakes of the skin.
The baby oil is then washed off the head using some warm water and mild shampoo. When done regularly, this will help to keep off the cradle cap. The use of this kind of oil is advantageous as it is something that one already has. As a result, no new purchases are being made. Baby oils also tend to be mild enough and will rarely cause any negative or allergic reactions.
Baby Cradle Cap Treatment
When left untreated, cradle cap leads to the accumulation of flaky scales on the scalp of a newborn. Fortunately, there are a number of tried and tested baby cradle cap treatment options. These are known to be used on babies with desirable effects being yielded.
The simplest form of treatment for the condition is the use of oils. Different types of oils help to make the flakes loose. This makes it easy to detach them from the skin. One could pick between baby oil, coconut oil, olive oil or even Shea butter. All these work in the same way.
Another option would be the use of baby shampoos. These are used to wash off accumulated flaky matter. They are good and mild enough for the baby’s scalp. One could pick organic baby oil which is free of harmful chemicals. When applied on affected area it soothes and calms the skin. Where the condition is severe, one may request the doctor to recommend a medicated shampoo for the baby.
For mild Cradle Cap, it is recommended that the affected area be treated with warm water and soap more than once a day. After every wash, brush off the flakes from the scalp when the hair is still wet. This should be enough to get rid of the condition.
At times, inflammation may occur on the affected area, which will eventually get infected. Mild antibiotics are recommended. Alternatively, antifungal gels such as Ketocnazole cream as well as steroidal creams especially hydrocortisones may be used. These though should only be used after the advice of a doctor as they are quite strong.
How to Get Rid Of Baby Cradle Cap
A baby’s skin is very sensitive and as such, ridding it off baby cradle cap can be a delicate procedure. How to get rid of baby cradle cap involves a number of repeated steps which must be carried out with utmost care.
One important step to start the process off is using baby shampoo. To begin with, apply the affected areas with the shampoo. Massage it gently in circular motions, and then rub gently with a very soft baby hair brush. Wash off the shampoo with clean warm water. The loose flaky matter should come off with the shampoo. Dry the area with a soft baby towel.
Apply organic baby cradle cap oil in the cleaned area. With your palm, use circular motions to gently apply the baby oil evenly. Alternatively, a soft cloth or cotton wool is recommended. While some doctors argue that the oil can be cleaned within an hour, most recommend that the oil be left un-cleaned for a night.
In the morning, apply the baby cradle cap shampoo on the affected area to wash off the oil. Use a soft baby brush to pick off loose flaky matter. Do not attempt to peel any stubborn material of the baby’s skin. This could hurt the baby and make the condition worse.
Baby Cradle Cap Shampoo
Generally Baby shampoo is used to get rid of unwanted material that builds up on the baby’s skin. These include dead skin particles, dust and dandruff. Baby cradle cap shampoo is specially formulated for the treatment of cradle cap in babies.
The best type of this kind of shampoo is one in which the manufacturers omit chemical additives especially those used in ordinary shampoos. Instead they have special ingredients which significantly lowers the irritation on baby’s skin. Additionally, the shampoos should be made using non-ionic surfactants which have increased mildness on the baby’s skin. These surfactants also reduce the stinging and burning effects of any chemical additive.
Pediatricians advise that mild baby cradle cap shampoo should be used to treat this condition. However, parents are advised to use stronger shampoo if the mild ones fail to have the desired effect. Look at the ingredients list for any allergen.
At times, a prescription may be necessary when purchasing a medicated shampoo. Others are available without one. In case you settle for over the counter strong shampoo, checkout if it contains the necessary active ingredients for the best effect. While using stronger shampoo avoid any contact with the baby’s eyes as this will cause an irritating burning effect. Also ensure that no shampoo gets into the baby’s ears, nose and mouth.