What on earth is Cradle Cap?
All you need to know about Cradle Cap
Meeting your new human for the first time is usually mixed with a feeling of overwhelming love, joy and a bit of confusion. Well, at least for me it was! Along with all the joy and love, there are many concerns you'll face once your little arrives.
One of those concerns may be Cradle Cap. Cradle cap causes crusty or oily white, red or yellow patches on baby's skin. Interestingly it doesn't just appear on the head. This is the most common location, but it can also flare up on your baby's forehead, eyebrows, ears and nappy area.
Should you be worried about Cradle Cap? The simple answer is NO. It is completely harmless, not contagious and usually disappears within the first year. It isn't itchy or painful and is not caused by poor hygiene. It is, however, difficult to remove and doesn't look too good.
The cause of this annoying, and rather common condition is as a result of your baby's body adjusting to its new environment. The actual root cause is a bit of a mystery. One popular theory holds that baby's sebaceous glands (oil producing glands) are not working at full strength because of mom's hormones passed to baby during gestation and nursing. These hormones can cause too much sebum to be produced in the oil glands and hair follicles. When that oil is present, dead skin cells get caught in the oil and as a result form clumps and scales. Another factor may be a yeast called malassezia that grows in the sebum along with the yeast. A third possibility is that cradle cap is a result of a fungal infection. Although medical professionals are not in agreement on this point. More research is needed.
Whatever the cause, Doctors know that it is not caused by poor hygiene, is not an allergic reaction, or a bacterial infection.
What are the best ways to treat Cradle Cap?
Cradle cap usually clears up by your child's first birthday. It may be tempting to wash it off, but bathing your baby too frequently will dry her skin which causes the sebaceous glands to produce more oil and exacerbate the problem. And which may be the cause of the problem to begin with! Gently massaging a little pure plant oil into the affected areas has proved to be effective in most cases. Leave the oil on the skin for about 30 minutes and wash off with warm water and a clean cloth. If your baby is older than 4 weeks you can start introducing a natural (preferably organic) baby shampoo. By very gently rubbing the cloth or using a soft brush over the cradle cap, will help to remove it. Be sure not to scratch it, in severe cases this may cause infection. If your little one's skin seems inflamed or infected, see a pediatrician right away. Make sure not to use mineral oil (read the label carefully) which will block the pores and exacerbate the condition. Mylu's Baby Massage oil uses nourishing Grapeseed and Sweet Almond Oil which are infused in calming lavender and chamomile flowers. This unique formulation will gently treat the cradle cap with regular use.
My son was born with a rather stubborn case of cradle cap, gently (and very patiently) treating it in this way really made a difference. Something else you could try, if you are breastfeeding, is to continue taking your prenatal vitamins. Which should have B vitamin biotin in, which is important for healthy skin. You normally get enough from your diet, but pregnant and breastfeeding moms are often deficient in it. Because Biotin plays an important role in skin maintenance, if you are breastfeeding, taking a supplement may help treat cradle cap.
Continuing with your prenatal vitamins will also help your energy levels somewhat!
Right, having lived through cradle cap and survived to tell the tale and because I know that a worried mom does better research than the FBI, I hope this has helped! Good luck Momma Bear, you've got this.
May your coffee be stronger than your Small Human.