Ah, that beautiful soft baby head, so perfect for nuzzling against and kissing… unless it’s covered in cradle cap, which might be enough to make you think twice. What is cradle cap, and do you need to be concerned about it?
We’ve teamed up with Children’s Panadol to provide you with lots of quick and helpful information covering many aspects of children’s health and development. We hope you’ll find them a great resource as you take care of your family every day.
What is cradle cap?
Cradle cap is a form of dermatitis, caused by inflammation of the oil glands in the skin. This results in a build-up of natural oils and dry scaly skin, which can cause redness and form a yellow or brown crust on your baby’s head, eyebrows or behind the ears. It most commonly affects babies under three months, however, it is not infectious.
Scaly patches on your baby’s face or other parts of the body are not cradle cap and should be checked by a health professional, because they could be eczema or another skin condition.
What to do
- To remove the crusts, you could massage sorbolene and glycerine lotion or olive oil into the affected area twice a day for a few days.
- Then gently wash the affected area with warm water to remove any loose scales (do not pick them off).
- Use a soft towel to dry baby’s head (this helps loosen the scales too).
- Consult your Child Health Nurse or pharmacist if it doesn’t clear after a few weeks, if the skin under the scales is red and weeping, if it seems to be spreading to other areas of the body, or if it continues after the age of three months.
How to prevent it
Every day, wash and massage your baby’s scalp and gently brush their head, even if they don’t have much hair.
This is an excerpt from The First Five Years, which is a handy and easy to navigate book, specifically developed to help parents. It contains a comprehensive collection of practical parenting information and useful tips for your child’s first five years. If you’ve ever wanted a quick guide to refer to in the middle of the night, or to help you decide when it’s time to see a doctor, this is a resource which will help you on your way. You can view it online or download it for free at The First Five Years.
(This is a sponsored post for Children’s Panadol)