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Cradle cap at 5 yrs old? What's causing this?

Posted by on Oct. 29, 2009 at 4:14 PM
  • 11 Replies

 My 5 yr old is having a battle with cradle cap. It was just in one spot on the side of her crown, but now there are more patches surrouding it.

I comb the scales out but they just keep coming back. What's causing this and what else should I be doing?

CafeMom Tickers
by on Oct. 29, 2009 at 4:14 PM
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Replies (1-10):
tanya_marieh
by on Oct. 29, 2009 at 4:15 PM

  It could be from washing the hair to much or the shampoo.  It also could be environmental.

kristinas8
by on Oct. 29, 2009 at 4:22 PM


Quoting tanya_marieh:

  It could be from washing the hair to much or the shampoo.  It also could be environmental.


Probably not too much washing, I only wash her hair once a week. She has really dry skin and the dr. told me to only bathe her as needed. She never smells and doesn't get dirty much, and her hair has never looked greasy a day in her life. I do use dandruff shampoo because that's what I remember them telling me to do when she was a baby.

What kind of environmentals do you mean?

 

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Dance13
by on Oct. 29, 2009 at 4:25 PM

You can go to the store and buy some Gentle Nature's Cradle Cap care. I used it for my son once and He didn't have cradle cap again til 1.5 years later. I really recommend the stuff. It works I even use it for myself to get Shampoo build up out.

kristinas8
by on Oct. 29, 2009 at 4:30 PM
Quoting Dance13:

You can go to the store and buy some Gentle Nature's Cradle Cap care. I used it for my son once and He didn't have cradle cap again til 1.5 years later. I really recommend the stuff. It works I even use it for myself to get Shampoo build up out.

Can you get that at say Walmart?
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2girlsMom.MN
by on Oct. 29, 2009 at 4:36 PM

Maybe it's actually eczema...

I was told to rub vinegar on cradle cap, I have no idea if this actually works or not.

My baby had cradle cap so bad I blame it on her hair not growing and she being bald at 12mos. I finally got rid of it. I would take a tiny tiny comb a baby comb  or maybe a lice comb would work a regular comb is to big. And I would just scrape her head, you have to be consistant with it. You can't just do it once a week. Do it every day. Scrape scrape scrape, Then wash hair. Cradle Cap is excessive oil on the scalp. You may have really hard water where you live and that can cause dry skin or hair problems. I have that problem my water is so hard that it's drying my skin out and causing my hair to over produce oils.

                        

Dance13
by on Oct. 29, 2009 at 5:23 PM

Yep walmart target and i even think walgreens.

Quoting kristinas8:

Quoting Dance13:

You can go to the store and buy some Gentle Nature's Cradle Cap care. I used it for my son once and He didn't have cradle cap again til 1.5 years later. I really recommend the stuff. It works I even use it for myself to get Shampoo build up out.

Can you get that at say Walmart?


mommytoG
by on Oct. 29, 2009 at 5:26 PM

Cradle Cap (infantile or neonatal seborrhoeic dermatitis, also known as crusta lactea, milk crust, honeycomb disease) is a yellowish, patchy, greasy, scaly and crusty skin rash that occurs on the scalp of recently born babies. It is usually not itchy, and does not bother the baby. Cradle cap most commonly begins sometime in the first 3 months. Similar symptoms in older children are more likely to be dandruff than cradle cap. The rash is often prominent around the ear, the eyebrows or the eyelids. It may appear in other locations as well, where it is called seborrhoeic dermatitis rather than cradle cap. Some countries use the term pityriasis capitis for cradle cap. It is extremely common, with about half of all babies affected. Most of them have a mild version of the disorder. Severe cradle cap is rare.

Contents

[hide]

[edit] Causes

The cause of cradle cap is not clearly defined but it is not caused by an infection, allergy nor from poor hygiene. Possibly it has to do with overactive sebaceous glands in the skin of newborn babies, due to the mother's hormones still in the baby's circulation. The glands release a greasy substance that makes old skin cells attach to the scalp as they try to dry and fall off. There may be a relationship with skin yeasts (Pityrosporum ovale, newly renamed Malassezia furfur). Nutritionally oriented practitioners have speculated that the disorder is caused by the baby's immature digestive system being unable to absorb sufficient biotin and other vitamins of the B-complex.

[edit] Warning signs

Home remedies are appropriate with mild cases. If the condition thickens, turns red and irritated, starts spreading, appears on other body parts, or if the baby develops a persistent diaper rash, medical intervention is recommended. Fungal infection (tinea capitis) and scabies can mimic cradle cap.

Cradle cap is occasionally linked to immune disorders. If the baby is not thriving and has other problems (e.g. diarrhoea), a doctor should be consulted.

[edit] Prognosis

Assurances that this condition will clear as the baby matures are very common. However, studies[citation needed] have shown that the condition occasionally persists into the toddler years, and less commonly into later childhood. It tends to recur in adolescence and persists into adulthood. In an Australian study, about 15 percent of previously diagnosed children still had eczema 10 years later. Sometimes, cradle cap turns into atopic dermatitis. Rarely, it turns out to be misdiagnosed psoriasis[citation needed].

[edit] Treatment

[edit] Scalp, behind ears, eyebrows

The common advice of applying oil (vegetable, particularly olive oil, or mineral oil) liberally to the scalp and letting it soak in overnight or for lesser periods of time seems to conflict with the fact that Malassezia yeasts thrive in oily environments, although anecdotal reports suggest it may be effective. If the cradle cap is not severe, you may try to comb it out gently after bathing. The softened scales can then be brushed away with a soft brush, comb or cloth, but if not done very gently, this can worsen the condition and bring about temporary hair loss. There has been no study done on these recommendations.

Applying petroleum jelly (e.g., Vaseline) liberally overnight is another popular treatment. The softened scales either fall off during the night, or can be brushed off in the morning.

Making a paste from sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and leaving it on the affected area for 10 minutes can also help lift the scales.

There is broad disagreement regarding the role of shampoos. Some sources warn against frequent shampooing, others recommend it. Mild baby shampoo is often recommended, while never specifying what "mild" actually means. Baby shampoos often contain detergent surfactants, perfumes, quaternium-15 and other eczemagenic irritants. Again, no studies have been performed.

Keratolytic (dandruff) shampoos (e.g with sulfur, selenium, zinc pyrithione, or salicylic acid) are generally not recommended as they sting eyes and may worsen the dermatitis. In stubborn cases some doctors do recommend them while others warn against the use of medicated shampoos in newborns due to systemic absorption. Dandruff shampoos often contain sodium dodecyl sulfate, a noted skin irritant.[1]

Steroid and tar preparations have also been used but have significant drawbacks. Immunomodulators (tacrolimus/Protopic, pimecrolimus/Elidel) have not been approved for babies under two years.

Ketoconazole shampoos and creams are taking first place in medical treatment of moderate to serious cradle cap. Research so far indicates that this anti-fungal medication is not absorbed into the bloodstream. Ketoconazole shampoo is currently made with a number of problematic irritants and allergens.

A Swedish study[citation needed] found good results from massaging the scalp with small amounts of borage oil twice a day. # Tolleson, A., and Frithz, A. 1993. Borage oil: an effective new treatment for infantile seborrheic dermatitis. Brit. J. Dermatol. 129:95.

Other home remedies recommended in various alternative sources and parent forums are herbal washes (e.g burdock or chamomile), aloe gel, and tea tree oil (Melaleuca oil) shampoo. Tea tree oil and aloe can be sensitizers; any worsening should be an occasion to discontinue the remedy in question. Both remedies have been tested in medical trials and found useful.[citation needed]

[edit] Eyelids

Typical medical advice is to use diluted baby shampoo on a cotton swab to cleanse the eyelid. There is no agreement on the dilution, which ranges from a few drops to a half cup warm water, to a 50/50 mix. No studies have been performed on the efficacy or safety of this treatment. (Please note the problems with baby shampoo noted above.) In adults, a study comparing soap and baby shampoo to commercial eyelid scrubs found that patients strongly preferred not to put soap or shampoo on their eyelids. Baking soda has also been recommended (a teaspoonful in a cup of boiled water) and is well accepted by adults. Boiled warm water wash may help.

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tanya_marieh
by on Oct. 29, 2009 at 6:10 PM

  I just mean the things that can be eaten and have a slight allergic reaction that make the skin drier.  I know there are some foods that can cause eczema and or dry skin to be worse.


Quoting tanya_marieh:

  It could be from washing the hair to much or the shampoo.  It also could be environmental.


Probably not too much washing, I only wash her hair once a week. She has really dry skin and the dr. told me to only bathe her as needed. She never smells and doesn't get dirty much, and her hair has never looked greasy a day in her life. I do use dandruff shampoo because that's what I remember them telling me to do when she was a baby.

What kind of environmentals do you mean?



2girlsMom.MN
by on Oct. 29, 2009 at 6:13 PM

Yep our hard water and milk makes my kids skin absolutely horrendous. It makes my hair oily.

I was told by my dd's dr. to put Olive Oil on her noggin.. it helped somewhat but scraping that cradle cap off really worked.

                        

themountainmama
by on Oct. 29, 2009 at 6:19 PM

Has the doc taken a look?  I'm wondering about eczema, one of my boys has this.  One of my girls has sebbhorea ?? something or other.  Neutrogena T-sal soap takes it right off, then I keep up with the same label T-gel soap.  For the T-sal, suds it up and let it soak for several minutes before rinsing.  Watch the eyes, kind of stings.  Good luck. 

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