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Cradle Cap in Infants - Symptoms Causes And Treatment

Team AckoFeb 8, 2024

Parenthood is a beautiful world with a combination of both wonderful as well as confusing moments. Along with all the love and care, you tend to experience many concerns as your little bundle of joy steps into her outside world. Babies are known for their soft, smooth skin. When you observe a flaky, dry skin or scaly patches that resembles dandruff, or thick oily yellowish patch on your princess head, then it’s probably a cradle cap. The condition is neither painful nor itchy. 



It is a common condition in newborns or in the children as old as 3 years. You might observe scales may be in small patches or might find scales all over your kid’s head. It is likely for you to notice even on the eyebrows, eyelids, ears, crease of nose, back of the neck, diaper area or on the armpits. Cradle cap is not contagious neither is a sign of poor hygiene.

Cradle cap in infants: Causes

The first question that strikes your mind is what is cradle cap? Even in the 21st century doctors aren’t sure about the cause of the cradle cap. According to the studies so far, it has been discovered that over activity of the sebaceous glands characterized by excessive secretion of sebum (skin oil) that prevent the old skin cells from drying and falling off the scale. Instead, it sticks on the scalp. It is a fungal infection that occurs as a result of mother taking antibiotics before or after giving the birth. Antibiotic destroys the useful bacteria that prevent things like fungal infections.

Another cause of the formation of cradle cap is the malassezia, which is a type of yeast or fungus; it grows in the sebum along with the bacteria those results into formation of yellowish patch on your little ones head. Other factors that also results in production of cradle cap on your kid’s head are, extreme weather conditions, oily skin or weak immune system.

Cradle cap in infants: Symptoms 

Cradle cap varies in intensity depending on your little one’s body texture. It can be grouped together in different patches or might spread all over the head. You might observe following symptoms:

1. It may manifest as slight redness and flaky skin.

2. It may be visible as extreme redness and a literal flaky cap on your child’s head.

3. It may appear as oily or dry skin covered with flaky white or yellow patches.

It is possible for you to observe that flaky patches start to spread on different body areas. You might discover it spreading to the area behind your kid’s ears or patches might appear on the forehead, nose, armpits or back of the neck. It is important for you as a parent to remember that you should never pick or scratch the area, doing it might lead to severe infection.

Cradle cap in infants: Treatment?

Generally, it is a common condition which is found among the infants. There is nothing to worry about and with time the patches would shed out on its own. There are few ways to treat cradle cap:

Applying baby oil before giving head shower:

Gently massage your baby's affected area with the baby oil. Allow the oil to soak into the scales for few minutes. You should always keep in mind to wash away the oil, as too much oil can worsen the cradle cap.

Shampoo 2 to 3 times a week: 

You must shampoo your baby’s hair twice or thrice in a week with a mild and gentle baby shampoo. Leave the shampoo for few minutes on the scalp and then rinse it completely.

Use soft brush for your baby’s scalp:

It is suggested to use a very soft brush for your little one or an alternate to the brush is to use a soft terrycloth towel. It helps in gentling removing the scaly skin. Make sure that you don’t remove or pick at the scales.

If you are still nursing then you should take Vitamin B supplements:

Vitamin B is a necessity for a healthy skin. This helps in treating the cradle cap of your little doll. But, before you add any supplement in your daily diet, you must consult your physician.

Be patient

You should always keep in mind that cradle cap is a manifestation of an imbalance in your kid’s body. It will take a while to get cured or condition to completely disappear.

Cradle cap in infants: When you need to consult your child’s physician?

Though cradle cap is rarely serious, but it calls for red alarms in case it gets worse. If you notice any of the below mentioned symptoms then it becomes the area of concern and you must consult your doctor.

1. If you notice that your young one’s cradle cap doesn’t seems to get any better after your treatment, rather it looks more infected.

2. When you observe the redness starts to spread to over a large part of the head or spreads to the different parts of the body.

3. When patches start to look itchy or start bothering your tiny toddler.

4. The more severe case is when bacteria start to develop in areas that might starts to bleed.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only, based on industry experience and secondary sources. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a qualified expert for health or insurance-related decisions. Content is subject to change, refer to current policy wordings for specific ACKO details.



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