Cradle cap-it doesn’t seem to bother babies but can cause mummies some quiet despair trying to rid their little darlings of the unsightly crusty flakes. Seborrheic dermatitis, to give it it’s proper name, is a disorder of the sebaceous(oil secreting) gland, causing scaly, flaky patches of skin usually on the scalp and while it may be visually unpleasant and moderately itchy it is a harmless condition. More severe cases will have yellow scaling behind the ears and red papules on the face.It will clear of it’s own accord but if you can’t wait that long check out these helpful tips.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, cradle cap is characterised by too much dampness in the system so cutting down on fruit juices and sweet and sugary foods if your mini is on solids should help to reduce the symptoms. If you are breastfeeding, this means cutting down on your intake of sweet, sugary foods or spicy,fatty foods to stop the excess dampness being passed on.
For any red papules on the face, you can massage a small amount of roasted sesame seed oil into the affected area.This should be left on during sleep and washed off in the morning.
Shampooing more often-up to once a day can help to dislodge the flakes as can rubbing a small amount of neutral oil-olive oil is best-into baby’s scalp, leaving it for 15 minutes and then brushing out with a fine tooth comb or a soft bristle brush. Make sure you shampoo baby after to remove all traces of oil as the last thing you want is for the glands to be blocked again and more cradle cap to appear.
As with any intricate baby task, it’s easier to manage when baby is distracted, so have some toys close at hand. And it’s definitely not as much work when baby is younger (and balder!) but as this photo shows, you can still have fun in the middle of a treatment-this is Mini styled as a punk while the olive oil works it’s magic.