A condition often found in infants is similar to dandruff. Cradle cap is very common, occuring most often in infants up to three months of age. It is a form of dermatitis that is usually not a serious problem. It is not dangerous for baby but is often embarrassing for mother. Dead skin and oil adheres to the baby's scalp causing a crusty build up and flaking. Without treatment cradle cap will usually go away by the time the baby is six months of age. However if it is pronounced, it is easily treated using natural methods and using gentleness and patience.
- Gently massage your babyís scalp with your fingers or a soft baby brush to increase circulation in the scalp and to loosen the flakes.
- Brush the childís hair with a clean, soft brush after each shampoo as well as two or three times during the day. Do not use an anti-dandruff shampoo without a doctors recommendation. Use only shampoo that is formulated for a baby's delicate skin.
- If the flakes on the scalp are thick and donít loosen easily, you may apply mineral oil, olive oil or baby oil to the scalp and wrap it with a warm, wet cloth for at least 15 minutes. Remove the oil with a gentle shampoo and rinse well.
- Shampoo your babyís hair with a gentle shampoo everyday as long as the flakes are present. When the flakes have disappeared, reduce shampooing to about twice a week.
- Always rinse the scalp very well. Be sure that all the shampoo is rinsed away. Shampoo residue can be drying to the scalp skin.
- If the cradle cap condition persists or if it is itchy and uncomfortable for the baby, see your doctor for treatment.