Have you seen a kid with dandruff or is yours having the condition? We help you gain an understanding of it by discussing what causes dandruff in kids, baby dandruff on head, baby dandruff treatment and dandruff shampoos for kids.
Baby dandruff can be frustrating for any parent as some people tend to attribute it to poor hygiene though this is not always the cause. First time mothers tend to get concerned about the cradle cap too much. Learning baby dandruff causes, remedies, shampoo and treatment will go a long way in helping parents deal with it. Read on for these and more.
What Causes Dandruff in Kids?
Dandruff in kids is quite common. At times the causes are unpreventable and there is nothing that one can do to prevent it. Contrary to popular belief, it is not always that the cause of dandruff in kids is poor hygiene. This being the case, what causes dandruff in kids?
Medical practitioners have observed that kids with dandruff experience rapid and excess dead skin cells shedding. If not addressed at its mild state, the dandruff situation may develop to become severe. This may be accompanied by severe itching. Whatever the severity of dandruffs maybe, it is important to take care of it before it gets worse.
Below are some causes of dandruff in children.
Overproduction of sebum: Over active oil glands in children are at times responsible for dandruff. The oil then gathers at the hair follicle’s base. This leads to clumping of some tiny flakes. These then become bigger and noticeable with time. The situation of baby dandruff is worse in boys as they produce more oils. They thus have more visible dandruff than girls.
Malassezia: Malassezia is a fungus that is found on the scalp. Normally, its growth is limited and thus it causes no problems. At times though, there is an overproduction of oil. Since it feeds on oils produced by the scalp, it grows out of control when there is excess. It’s by products are acidic and cause an irritation on the skin. This leads to a reaction in which the shedding of dead skin cells in kids is increased hence the baby dandruff.
Eczema: This is a skin disease that affects many children. Kids who suffer from eczema are prone to dandruff. The drying up and itching of the skin tends to speed up production of new cells. This makes the shedding of dead ones to be on the rise and results in dandruff.
Contact dermatitis: This is a condition in which kids become sensitive to products that get into contact with their skin or scalp. These include hair products such as hairsprays and shampoos. If the kids are sensitive to these, their scalp will react by itching, scaling and flaking. It may also become red. This will result in dandruff.
Hormonal changes: Children reaching puberty experience hormonal changes. This may contribute to dandruff.
Improper shampooing: When a kid’s head is not properly shampooed, the dead skin cells remain on the scalp. As a result, there is a build up with time. This causes dandruff. The same happens when the shampooing is irregular.
Others: There are other things that could cause dandruff in kids. These include an unhealthy diet, dry weather, inadequate sleep and stress.
Dandruff Shampoo for Kids
There are shampoos that are dedicated to fighting dandruff in kids. Most of these contain tar or salicylic acid. Before settling for any, it would be important to consult your doctor to ensure that these components are not in toxic amounts and that they will not affect your baby negatively.
Anti-dandruff shampoo for kids can be used twice a week and alternated with regular shampoo. Always ensure that you rinse off the shampoo completely so as to get rid of the residue that forms after it combines with dandruff.
Baby Dandruff Treatment
There are a number of ways through which baby dandruff treatment can be done. Among these are as listed below.
Regular Shampooing: Irregular and improper shampooing could be a cause of dandruff in kids. Improving this could help treat it. Shampoo your kid at least thrice a week using a regular shampoo and observe if there will be any improvement. Also ensure that you do it right by properly rinsing their hair off. This will ensure that the entire dead skin cells residue is drained from the hair.
Anti-Dandruff Shampoos: In case regular shampooing using ordinary baby shampoo does not work, try out anti-dandruff shampoos for kids. It is important to be cautious when using these products as they could be too strong on kids. It would be best to purchase them under the guidance of a dermatologist or hair professional. They are bound to know what is most appropriate for the kid. This can be used at least twice a week and alternated with regular shampoo. There should be visible results within two weeks.
Reduce Hair Products: Some kids get dandruff as a result of increased use of styling products. If you suspect that this could be the case, try and reduce the amount you use on your kid. This adjustment should be effective enough for your baby dandruff treatment.
In case this does not help the situation or in case it gets worse and your baby complains of painful scalp, severe itch or hair loss, it is time to see a dermatologist. They will diagnose if the condition could be as a result of other skin diseases.
Baby Dandruff on Head
Baby dandruff on head can start as early in life as in infancy. This baby dandruff on head manifests itself in a dry flaky skin or it could appear as a brown or yellow thick oily patch. In case one notices this, it is most likely cradle cap. This is referred to as infantile seborrheic dermatitis in medical terms. This is a very common condition.
Cradle cap is normally harmless. It appears on the baby’s head in the early weeks of life and will start clearing up by the time the baby is six months. By the time they are one year old, it should have cleared up though in rare cases it goes beyond this time.
The same condition may be noticed around the baby’s ears, eyebrows, armpits or other creased body parts. Though there are varied reasons given for the cause of cradle cap, one thing is true; it is not as a result of poor hygiene.
It is believed that at the end of a pregnancy, a baby receives a lot of hormones from the mother. This over-stimulates the seborrheic glands which are responsible for producing oil. This is what results in the cradle cap. Another reason for baby dandruff on the head is an irritation caused by malassezia, a fungus that thrives in the sebum.
Cradle cap is nothing serious as long as the baby does not exhibit severe itch that is accompanied by hair loss. It is nothing that bothers the baby and is not contagious.
How to Treat Baby Dandruff on Head
In case your baby dandruff on head bothers you, there are a few things you could do to better the situation:
- Using your fingers, gently massage your baby’s scalp to loosen the scales
- Use gentle cradle cap shampoos. Be sure to rinse off all residue and gently brush with a soft brush after that.
- In case these do not work, use an oil remedy to loosen the flakes. Rub some natural oil such as extra virgin olive or almond oil on the scalp and leave it in for 15 minutes. Use a fine tooth brush to get the flakes out and follow up by shampooing. Ensure all oil is out to avoid clogging the hair follicles.
Read More on Dandruff Causes & Types:
- Is Dandruff Contagious and Hereditary?
- Causes of Dandruff in Women, Kids and Men
- Dandruff Symptoms and Signs on Face and Ear
- Different Types of Dandruff (With Images & Shampoo)
- Severe Dandruff Causes, Treatment and Home Remedies
- Dandruff Hair Loss: Does Dandruff Cause Hair Loss? Treatment & Remedies
- Eyebrow Dandruff Cause, Treatment & How to Stop
- What is Dandruff? Definition of Dandruff with Pictures
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