I panicked a little when I first saw white flakes in my baby’s hair. As I checked his scalp, I saw yellowish crust and that concerned me. Why were pieces of skin falling off his head?
After mentioning it to his paediatrician at the next visit, I realised this was cradle cap. Cradle cap is a common skin condition caused by the skin’s overactive oil glands. The glands help to ‘waterproof’ the skin by making a slightly greasy substance called sebum. Old skin cells normally dry up and drop off. However, with the extra sebum, the old skin cells stick to the scalp, causing cradle cap.
The appearance of cradle cap makes it look more serious than it actually is. Cradle cap is not caused by poor hygiene. Neither is it contagious. Some babies may have cradle cap on their eyebrows too. It is generally a minor skin condition. However, if the area affected by cradle cap starts to ooze or smell, then you must get a medical professional to have a look at it in case there is infection. The area beneath the skin may be affected by bacteria that will require medical attention. Also seek medical opinion if baby scratches a lot at the cradle cap areas, indicating that it is itchy as it could be eczema instead.
Otherwise, cradle cap will go away on its own without treatment. Because of its appearance, parents may want it to heal more quickly. About half an hour before baby’s bath time, apply Flaky Scalp Cleansing Lotion on baby’s scalp. Give it some time to moisturise and loose the cradle cap crust from the scalp. During bath, gently wash out the lotion. Some crusts may come out on its own then. After bath time, while wiping baby’s hair, use a fine comb to brush out any crusts that are tangled in the hair. It is important not to pick at or forcibly remove crusts from the scalp if they are not already loose.
For faster recovery, gently massage Flaky Scalp Oil onto baby’s scalp and leaving it for a few hours or even overnight. This would help to moisturise the scalp, making it easier for the crusts to loosen.
Generally, cradle cap will improve on its own. If it doesn’t or if it spreads, then do take baby to your doctor to make sure all is well.