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Cradle cap is a type of dermatitis that affects infants. It usually appears as flaky, scaly patches on the baby's scalp, and although it's really common, it can be quite alarming to parents who are seeing it for the first time.
In this post, we'll be exploring what causes cradle cap, how to spot it, and most importantly, how to treat it. So, if you're a new parent who's worried about your baby's skin health, keep reading!
If you're wondering if your baby has cradle cap, look out for white, yellow, or red patches of greasy, scaly, skin, or small, dry flakes like dandruff.
Where can cradle cap develop?
Although it usually appears on the scalp, cradle cap can also appear on a baby's:
If your baby gets cradle cap in their nappy area, it can help to keep the area as clean and dry as possible.
There are a few things that should be avoided when it comes to baby cradle cap, these include:
Cradle cap usually lasts for a few weeks to a few months, but it can vary from baby to baby. If you are concerned about your baby's cradle cap or if it seems to be getting worse, it's always best to seek advice from a healthcare professional.
It's important to note that while cradle cap is rarely cause for concern, as with any health or medical conditions, there does come a time when medical assistance might be needed.
You should seek medical assistance from your doctor for your baby's cradle cap if:
If you notice any of these signs, it is best to consult with a healthcare professional as soon as possible. They will be able to determine the best course of action for your baby's specific situation. If the cradle cap is inflamed or infected, they may prescribe a specialist steroid cream to help treat it.
The best ways to prevent cradle cap are regularly washing your baby's hair with a specially designed baby shampoo, gently brushing their scalp, and making sure that all traces of shampoo, soap or cleansers are rinsed off your baby after bathtime.
Cradle cap is known medically as seborrhoeic dermatitis. The exact cause of it is not known, but it’s thought that many factors including the presence of Malassezia yeasts and immune response are associated with its development.
No. While you can take measures to gradually treat cradle cap at home, you should never pick or scratch it. When it comes to cradle cap, it's best to be patient and remember that although it looks uncomfortable, it’s not likely to harm your baby.
No, the good news is that cradle cap isn't usually painful for babies, and it can’t be caught or passed on from one baby to another.
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