My younger daughter has very sensitive skin and she had suffered cradle cap as a baby. It started with dandruff on head and forehead area. Slowly yellowish and patchy scales formed on the skin. These scales started spreading on her hands and legs too. The skin becomes red, very rough to touch and she started itching for relieving it. She was not even 2 months old and this scales made her cranky most of the time. Considering it as a skin allergy we stopped using her baby soap, oil massage, moisturiser. But it did not help and these scales started swelling. It was very painful to see my baby going through this.
We visited a paediatrician and she referred a dermatologist for a further consultation. Then we had a consultation with a dermatologist, and he prescribed some medication. I started applying prescribed ointments on her skin. But it didn’t help her and worsened the patches. We immediately rushed back to the dermatologist and he diagnosed the problem as a cradle cap in babies. It is a skin problem mostly observed in infants and also known as seborrheic dermatitis, crust lactea, milk crust. It has symptoms like yellowish, patchy, greasy skin and rashes formed on baby’s head, eyebrow eyelid area.
We used all prescribed medicines /ointments for applying on the skin and also mild shampoo, soaps, moisturizer for her. But the patches reappeared on her skin. Then doctor started steroids for treating this problem and after using it her skin got better and dandruff also disappeared. Once we stopped steroids the greasy patches appeared again. It happened repeatedly and thus doctor prescribed medications. It went on till her first birthday. And after that thankfully it never reappeared. Every time we visited the doctor I got to know a few things about cradle cap and how to soothe baby having it. The good thing is cradle cap does not bother baby much except itching and it goes away as baby grows. It is completely curable and gets better with medicines.
Following are simple tips to deal with cradle cap in baby
Maintaining clean surrounding around the baby is important as irritants like dust, fungus, and fragrance might cause irritation, rashes in baby’s skin. While cleaning (Dusting, mopping, vacuum cleaning) take the baby out of the room and then the clean room. Increase the frequency of cleaning process, as you can keep the environment irritant-free. Poor hygiene does not cause Cradle cap but maintaining more hygiene helps to avoid skin irritations.
Make sure all baby clothes and other clothes near baby are soft and made using good quality cotton fabric. Mother /caretakers should wear soft cotton clothes, as baby gets exposed to their clothes. (Clothes made up of polyester, chiffon, nylon may harmful for baby’s gentle skin.)
3. Avoid using a few things
It’s better to avoid using a few things when you have a baby at home. The list of things to avoid is: deodorants, perfumes, essence sticks, and air fresheners, disinfectant sprays. There might be harmful chemicals in it and it might worsen the cradle cap patches, swelling on the baby’s skin.
Make sure mattress, pillow, blankets, towels used for baby are not too old and should be washed, cleaned regularly. Also, the cloth used for it should be cotton and soft. Old/ Dirty mattresses, a pillow might have dust, fungus in it and it may be an exact allergen to cause irritation or rashes in baby’s skin. Maintain clean bedding for baby and it will be of great help to avoid skin problems.
Normal cloth detergents have harsh ingredients/ chemicals in them. Using the normal detergent for washing baby clothes may cause irritation in the baby’s skin. Instead, use a liquid detergent especially made for baby clothes. It’s free of harsh chemical.
6.Itch relieving creams
When a baby has cradle cap they keep on itching the skin. For soothing the itchy skin, use any dermatologist prescribed itch relieving cream on the affected area. This creams can be applied 2-3 times in a day. I used itchcam (itch relieving cream).
If it’s winter time and baby needs to wear protecting clothes then go for soft woollen clothes, thermal wear. Some type of wool may cause itching and irritation in the baby’s skin. Also, avoid blankets made from wool and instead use cotton blankets. Cotton clothes are gentle on baby’s skin and won’t cause irritation.
8.Bath and massage
Avoid massaging baby as it may worsen the cradle cap patches, swollen skin. You can give a regular bath to the baby but after bathing, just pat dry her skin using a soft cotton towel.
9. Use moisturiser
Apply prescribed/ mild moisturizer on baby’s skin every day. Moisturizers protect baby ’s delicate skin and help to heal cradle cap. I used Cetaphil moisturizer to keep baby’s skin soft and it helped in healing her skin rashes fast.