If your baby’s scalp is dry or flaky, you may wonder if it’s from a buildup of hair products or dandruff. You may want to put lotion on your baby’s scalp, but what should you do? And what are some good lotions to use on babies?
Can Lotion Be Applied to a Baby’s Dry Scalp?
To treat dry scalp in babies, avoid using oils, lotions, or Vaseline, as these will simply attach to the flakes and aggravate the condition.
Over-washing is one of the most common causes of infant dry scalp. Make sure to rinse fully because leftover shampoo might cause dandruff in babies.
Treating a baby’s dry scalp can be difficult. In some cases, baby dry scalp may be resistant to treatment. If this is the case, you should consult a physician to determine the best course of action for treating your child.
In the case of dry scalp caused by cradle cap or seborrheic dermatitis, the doctor might prescribe ointments or shampoos to cure it.
What is Cradle Cap?
Cradle cap is a skin condition that causes a build-up of oily or dry skin on the scalp. It can also happen on other parts of the body, including around the nose and behind the ears. The cause is unknown, but it’s not contagious and doesn’t harm baby. Cradle cap is common in newborns because their scalps are extra sensitive to changes in hormones. It usually goes away in a few weeks and doesn’t cause any problems.
What Causes Cradle Cap?
No one knows exactly why babies get cradle cap, but it’s thought to be linked to a hormone (androgen) that is present only in babies. This hormone may make their skin more oily than usual.
It typically affects the scalp because the head is constantly being exposed to air. In addition, babies can develop small red bumps on their skin if they’re extra sensitive to some ingredients in soaps and shampoos; if this happens, try a different formula.
Babies who are born prematurely or those with certain medical conditions may be more likely to get cradle cap. Premature babies have less of the hormone that causes cradle cap and may get better skin after they’re born.
There are also a number of conditions – such as ichthyosis, atopic dermatitis, hair loss genes, and lupus erythematosus – which can cause a person to have cradle cap even if they’re not a baby. In some cases, people with these conditions have a stronger reaction to allergens than others.
How do I Treat Cradle Cap?
Most of the time, cradle cap will clear up on its own within a month or two. But if it’s still there at 2 months, you may want to visit the family’s GP. The doctor will examine your baby’s scalp and see if the cause is something else. You may be prescribed a medicated shampoo if the problem doesn’t improve. It should clear up quickly after this treatment ends.
For mild cases, there are some things you can try at home: gently scrape or rub off the scales while they’re still wet (this is easiest to do before bathing). Dry the scalp well and then apply a light moisturizer or olive oil. You can also try applying an over-the-counter medicated shampoo.
As we’ve already mentioned, It usually clears up without treatment and doesn’t cause any problems. However, your GP may prescribe a mild steroid cream to reduce the itching and redness.
Eczema Compared to Cradle Cap
Eczema is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that causes dry, itchy red patches on the body. The most common places for eczema to form are on the arms, head or neck. Eczema can be treated with medication and other topical treatments, but if these fail then aggressive treatment is needed.The skin may feel as if its burning or drying out – it’s not unusual to see patches developing on your baby’s skin over time.
It may take some time for your baby to show signs of eczema as it is a progressive condition that develops over time. In infants and young children this condition is most common on the face, scalp, elbows and knees, with the rash spreading from these primary locations.
Eczema can also appear on other areas of skin but these are often parts of skin which are rarely exposed to the sun.
When to Visit The Pediatrician
Newborns are especially vulnerable to skin conditions like cradle cap and atopic dermatitis – an allergy-related condition that causes a red, itchy rash. If your newborn has either of these conditions and symptoms persist, it will be time to visit a pediatrician or a dermatologist.
The doctor will conduct a physical examination and will ask you questions about the rash: when it began, where it appeared for the first time, whether there is any itching or other symptoms.
The doctor may take a skin sample (a biopsy) and will probably recommend using mild steroid cream for the rash. The doctor may also prescribe an antihistamine to control itching.
The symptoms should disappear within several days, although it can take a few weeks for the rash to go away completely. Antihistamines and steroid creams can be bought without a prescription, but you should use them only after consulting with your pediatrician or dermatologist about the symptoms.