Stop Cradle Crap (Oops, I Meant Cradle Cap)

If you are reading this article, it’s probably because your infant or your grand baby has Cradle Cap. The malady is certainly not dangerous but it is very aggravating to most parents – myself included.

All four of our children suffered with it (or should I say my wife and I suffered because of it) and it became known in our house as “Cradle Crap”.

Cradle cap is the common name for a condition newborns or young babies develop which causes redness and scaly patches on the scalp. The baby gets a sort of infant dandruff caused by overactive oil glands on the scalp and face, and the condition sometimes also affects the neck, ears and even armpits.  In our youngest son’s case it became a thick waxy scale on his scalp.

It’s certainly upsetting when your beautiful baby suddenly comes down with cradle cap but regardless of how concerned you might be, it is generally harmless and will eventually go away  in time even untreated.

Cradle cap’s root cause generally remains unknown but it seems that hormonal changes the baby experiences after birth brings on the condition. The oil glands overproduce for several weeks to several months, resulting in the scale.

It is unusual for a toddler to have cradle cap even though some infants will keep it until they about one year of age.. I bring this up because if your pre-schooler seems to have the malady you would be advised to have his pediatrician take a closer look to rule out something more serious such as another ailment of allergies of some kind.

Should the scale spread beyond the scalp to the face, neck, armpits, and even the diaper area it has another name, “seborrheic dermatitis”. Even though this looks horrible and uncomfortable to the baby that doesn’t seem to be the case. It doesn’t seem to cause the infant any pain but causes most of the grief to the parents. Just remember mom and dad, you’re not doing anything wrong and you are not to blame.

This subject has engendered a number of remedies, but with mixed success. They include shampoos, herbal remedies, and in the past, even witch doctors and shamen. However, none of these remedies keep the baby’s sebaceous glands from over producing oil.                                

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