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Cradle Cap

Cradle Cap

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Cradle cap, also known as crusta lactea or milk crust, appears in yellowish, patchy and greasy scales over the baby’s scalp. It is a harmless and non-itchy scalp condition that is found in many new born babies.

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

Causes of cradle cap.

No specific cause for cradle cap  has been identified. It is not caused by bacterial infection or poor hygiene. Sometimes, cradle cap may occur due to fungal infection or due to overactive sebaceous glands on your baby’s head.

Antibiotics prevent fungal growth. The theory behind fungal infection maybe related to the antibiotics given to the baby during the early days of her birth and those transferred through the mother into the baby’s body. These antibiotics kill the bacteria that prevent fungal and yeast growth, thus resulting in the development of cradle cap due to fungal infection.

Glands cling to old skin. The role of overactive sebaceous glands in causing cradle cap is widely accepted by paediatricians. The sebaceous glands in the baby’s skin remain overactive due to the mother's hormones that still remain in the baby's blood circulation. These glands release a greasy substance called sebum that makes old skin cells attach to the scalp instead of falling off as they dry.

Cure for cradle cap.

There are a number of ways to prevent this. For instance, you can try running a comb your baby’s fine hair gently, or apply some oil and massage the scalp.

Combing prevents scale formation. Regular combing prevents the formation of scales. Hence cradle cap can be prevented by gentle and regular combing your baby’s hair. Use a baby brush instead of a regular comb to avoid hurting the baby.

Use shampoo. If the cradle cap still develops on your baby’s head you can consider washing it daily with water and a mild baby shampoo. You can also use a soft bristle brush while.

Olive oil softens the scalp. You can massage your baby’s scalp with olive oil at night. You can then remove these soft scales in the morning with a gentle brush, or wash them during bathing time.

Don‘t pick the scales. Remember not to try and pick out these scales. This may damage your baby’s soft scalp and may also encourage further scaling.

Generally, irrespective of whether it is sebaceous-gland-related or fungal, gentle washing itself is enough for the cure of cradle cap. However, consult your paediatrician if the condition persists or spreads.

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