What Is Cradle cap?
Baby’s scalp develops an oily scale or crust in a yellow color called as cradle cap. It occurs in babies very commonly, and it can be cured quickly. Cradle cap is not considered as any sickness. It also does not mean that the child is not taken care well.
What Are The Symptoms Of Cradle cap?
Some of the symptoms that can be witnessed in the babies suffering from the cradle cap are as follows:
- The appearance of scales or crust in the form of patches on the baby’s scalp.
- Skin becomes oily or very dry and has yellow scales or white flakes.
- Perhaps some redness appears on the scalp or skin.
- Even on the groin, nose, eyelids, and ears, such scales develop. Newborn babies usually have cradle cap. It will not give any itching sensation.
- A common term of cradle cap is the infantile seborrheic dermatitis. Sometimes it is misunderstood as infantile eczema. It is another type of skin problem. Know that eczema will have pronounced itching and cradle cap hardly causes any itching feel to the baby.
What Are The Causes Of Cradle cap?
- The particular reason behind the development of cradle cap is not known. For sure it is not caused because of bad hygiene, bacteria, or allergy.
- It might result due to fungal infection, overactive sebaceous glands, or both. Sebum is an oily substance produced by a gland present in the body called as the sebaceous glands.
- When the sebaceous glands secrete more sebum, it prevents the drying of the old skin cells. Hence, they don’t fall from the scalp but stay in the scalp.
- The reason behind the production of more sebum from the glands is due to the presence of mother's hormones in the baby's body even after the birth of a baby.
- If it is caused due to fungal infection, then it may be because of the reason that the mother’s who took antibiotics before childbirth. Also, due to the intake of antibiotics within the week of the baby birth. Since she breastfeeds the baby, the child gets influenced by the antibiotic.
- Apart from destroying the harmful bacteria, Antibiotics also kill the useful bacteria. Such bacterias play a role in preventing the fungal infection.
- Research indicates that the newborn baby with cradle cap usually has their close family members affected by asthma or eczema.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Cradle cap?
Certain things that the parents of the baby suffering from cradle cap should do to treat and prevent cradle cap condition of their baby are as follows:
- You must massage the scalp and brush lightly every day to reduce the effect gradually. First, rub gently into the scalp using your fingers and loosen the sticky flakes. Next, use a soft brush and remove the loosened flakes slowly. Remember to handle very carefully as the baby’s scalp is very fragile.
- Give head bath to the baby every alternate day using a mild baby soap till you find the cradle cap reduces.
- Make sure you clean the soap residues from the scalp.
- Take advantage of the purest form of oil preferably almond oil, coconut oil, or olive oil. Use organic oil and take them in your hand to rub gently on the baby’s scalp. Avoid dripping the oil into the baby’s eyes. After fifteen minutes of application of the oil, comb the flakes using a baby comb which is very soft. After thoroughly removing the flakes, carefully wash the baby’s scalp using a mild and natural baby shampoo. Do not leave any oil on the scalp and clog the pores.
Humidifier Can Help
- Sensitive and dry skin and scalp of babies with cradle cap can be reduced using a humidifier. Keeping a humidifier in your baby’s sleeping room offers moisture and helps to lessen the dryness of skin. If you have an air conditioning at home, then it can additionally make your baby’s body dry. A humidifier will help to give moisture to its surroundings.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Cradle cap?
Things that must be avoided by the parents of the cradle cap suffering babies are as follows:
- Don’t use anti-dandruff shampoo as it is not dandruff.
- When you see the lifting patches of cradle cap, you get tempted to remove them with hands. But your nails could irritate the baby’s skin and scalp and lead to skin infection. Allow the flakes to fall on their own.
- Never vigorously massage the scalp.
What Are The Best Foods For Cradle cap?
Some of the foods that must be consumed by the breastfeeding mothers of the baby suffering from cradle cap are as follows:
The immunity enhancing nutrients present in berries will help reduce the cradle cap condition. Berries have high antioxidant content and combat inflammation. The anthocyanins found in the Acai berries assist in fighting infections. Include Acai berry and Elderberry in the mother’s diet regularly to pass on the immunity enhancing nutrients to the baby.
Button mushrooms and other edible mushrooms contain riboflavin and niacin of Vitamin B. It helps to strengthen the immune system. Mushrooms are also rich in biotin. Biotin deficiency leads to the overproduction of sebum from the sebaceous gland. The imbalance in mother’s hormone affects the kid as it shares the mother’s blood when lying inside her uterus. As already mentioned, overproduction of sebum causes cradle cap. It is the responsibility of the mother to provide more biotin to the baby and by eating the right food like mushrooms. Also, antioxidants and selenium in mushroom help to build the health of the infant.
As discussed already, cradle crap can also occur due to the antibiotics consumed by the mother during or immediately after pregnancy. Artichokes will help to remove toxins and work as a simple home remedy in alleviating the cradle cap effect caused due to antibiotics. When a mother consumes artichokes regularly, it will boost the liver function and secretes more bile in the baby.
Breastfeeding babies benefit from the oysters taken by the mother. Oysters improve the immunity of the baby and combat cradle cap caused because of weak immune system. It is seafood and is loaded with selenium and zinc. The omega-3 fats help to soothe the reactions caused by inflammation. The other nutrients including iron, manganese, copper, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B12 support in improving the general health of the baby. It protects the infant from any infection and helps in fighting them better.
Vitamin C Foods
Vitamin C significantly plays a role in enhancing the body immunity. It contributes to rejuvenate the skin. Mother must eat Vitamin C rich fruits and Vegetables. She breastfeeds the kid to pass on the goodness of Vitamin C to the baby to fight cradle cap condition.
Biotin present in avocados normalizes the secretion of sebaceous glands in babies and helps in healing and prevention of cradle cap.
Add more watermelon to mother’s diet. Also give small quality directly to infants. Just check with your child’s pediatrician before directly feeding your baby with watermelon juice. The addition of watermelon juice to the diet will hydrates the skin well and improves the immunity and skin health. Also, the powerful antioxidant called glutathione present in watermelon will further enhance the resistance.
Most of you love to eat the rich and creamy peanut butter. Apart from being tasty, it is also loaded with biotin. Biotin helps the baby to get rid of cradle cap condition.
Indian curd and Greek yogurt have probiotics that offer various benefits to the body. Yoghurt has Vitamin B, calcium, and protein. The probiotic microorganisms found in curd improves the immune system and cleanses your gut. It fights infection. Consume curd in the diluted form as buttermilk to clear the toxic effect of antibiotics.
Remember to consume organic, or homemade curd. Commercial products loaded with preservatives may not help and will cause reversal effect by inducing more fungus.
What Are The Worst Foods For Cradle cap?
Some foods that must be avoided by mothers who are breastfeeding their babies are as follows:
- Yeast: Cradle cap can get severe if the yeast is consumed by the nursing mothers of the suffering babies. Therefore, one must not consume foods containing yeast such as bread, croissants, cakes, muffins, cookies, etc.
- Sugar-containing foods: Consumption of sugar aggravate the fungal and bacterial growth. Therefore sugary foods should be cut- down from the diet of the breastfeeding mothers of the babies suffering from cradle cap. Few examples of high sugar content foods are packed fruit juices, jams, puddings, etc.
- Allergenic foods: Mothers who are breastfeeding their babies must prevent eating allergenic foods. As such foods can cause allergic reactions that can be transferred from mother to the baby by consuming the breastmilk. Some foods that are allergenic are eggs, wheat, and milk.
What Are The Medicines For Cradle cap?
What Are The Tips To Manage Cradle cap?
Even after the scales go, regularly wash the baby’s hair and scalp with mild shampoo. Make sure not to let the scales build up again.