Babies are delicate by nature. They appear so fragile and helpless. One seldom overlooks the changes that take place in them. Have you ever noticed your child’s eyebrows turning red? Several questions must have crossed your mind but ultimately, knowing the reason was your desire.
The body has different ways of communicating naturally. Babies tend to ignore the urge to sleep; however, tired they are. At such times, you may notice the eyebrows turning red. It could be due to the baby’s constant rubbing of the eyes or sheer exhaustion. However, there is another reason for that redness, cradle cap.
What Is the Cradle Cap?
Otherwise known as seborrheic dermatitis, it is baby dandruff. Unlike what we commonly know about dandruff, this does not clear using baby shampoo. Simultaneously, it does not affect the hair only but other parts of the body, such as the baby’s forehead, eyebrows, and other body parts.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin disease that results in an itchy rash with peeling scales. The oily skin turns red and irritated.
Should You Be Worried?
One need not worry as such skin irritations are common in children. Doctors estimate that nearly half of children born will suffer skin discomfort by their first birthday. The cradle cap is not contagious or painful and will completely clear off when the child turns one. It is important to note that this does not happen due to poor hygiene, as some may suppose.
However, this does not mean that you should completely disregard the cradle cap. The baby’s body will often stabilize on its own. Even so, in some rare cases, the cradle caps could turn into infections. It may be due to excessive scratching from fingernails, clothing, or beddings. It is thus essential to watch out for a cradle cap despite the conditions being rare.
Difference Between Cradle Cap and Other Conditions
It may be difficult to tell the difference between the cradle cap and other skin conditions in some instances. It may happen if the rashes occur in other parts of the body other than the head, where it commonly appears. How can one identify it then?
First, the cradle cap mostly forms small patches of crispy skin that feels hard and rough when touched. These patches may be stretched from your baby’s body in little clusters. And, of course, a cradle cap most probably forms on your baby’s head, face, and neck.
Unlike other skin diseases like eczema, the masses of dead skin in the baby stick on the child’s skin; in cases of eczema or dry skin, the flakes from the slow skin rub off easily. At the same time, the skin in the cradle cap will feel oily and rough. However, in eczema and dry skin, the body feels tender and soft.
What Causes Cradle Cap?
There isn’t much that is known to cause this condition. However, several factors are known to contribute to this state.
First is the theory of maternal hormones, which suppress the child’s sebaceous glands. As a result, they do not function optimally hence excess oil. The dead skin that sheds off naturally gets caught in the oil hence the formation of clumps.
Another theory holds that a yeast infection could cause it. When Malassezia, a strain of yeast, settles on your baby’s skin surface, redness, and inflammation form. It is because your baby’s body strives to fight off the yeast. As a result, there may be a buildup of sebum and dead skin cells, well-known as cradle cap.
Although it happens rarely, doctors sometimes link the condition to immunodeficiency. It may be due to the absence or defective components to help fight off infections. In this case, your doctor will diagnose and treat the child.
Prevention and Treatment of Cradle Cap
It is important to bathe your child only once a day. Contrary to the common belief that frequent bathes prevent the condition, the opposite is true. Regular baths increase the secretion of oil by the sebaceous gland, causing a cradle cap.
Instead of the baths, you can use wipes after every diaper change. At the same time, you should frequently change dirty clothing. The baths also ought to be short. Just like frequent bathing dries the skin, long baths have the same effect.
It is important to use baby products that are specific for cradle caps. The cradle cap cream prevents and eliminates the condition. It also helps to soothe any discomfort that the child might experience.
If your baby’s cradle cap doesn’t seem to clear or looks infected, you should consult your pediatrician. In awful cases, a topical steroid, hydrocortisone, could be recommended to ease the symptoms.
My nights used to be a struggle, trying to get my baby to sleep soundly. All that changed when I discovered SleepBaby.org. It’s amazingly effective, getting him to drift off to sleep in just 45 seconds! This gem was suggested to me by his daycare. Life without SleepBaby.org? Unthinkable now.