Cradle cap is a greasy scalp condition which affects babies and can be upsetting for the mother who wants her child to look perfect. Fortunately, the cure is simple. Cradle cap which is also known as Seborrheic dermatitis is a common condition often associated with infants. However, it can also affect adults, causing discomfort and embarrassment. This article will explore the causes symptoms solutions for cradle cap in adults.
As the name implies, cradle cap is a condition which affects very young babies. It often develops when a baby is four to six weeks old and some babies seem to have a greater tendency towards it than others. There is the possibility of it occurring whenever mother is nervous about washing the babies hair or does not do it properly.
Although cradle cap looks unpleasant it is not harmful nor is it infectious, so it cannot be passed on to other children.
Causes and Symptoms of Cradle Cap in Babies:
Sebaceous glands all over the body produce an oil called sebum which stops the skin and hair from drying out. Cradle cap occurs when the sebaceous glands in the young baby’s scalp produce too much sebum.
The excessive oil builds up and forms very unattractive, greasy yellow-brown or grey patches or crusts. These patches or crusts are usually just on the scalp but they can spread on to the forehead and they may also sometimes be found in the eyebrows.
Sometimes the cradle cap is accompanied by weeping red eruptions in the skin creases behind the ears, around the neck, under the arms and in the groin. If your baby has these symptoms you should see your doctor.
Treatment of Cradle Cap in Babies:
Although cradle cap is harmless, it should be treated promptly because it becomes more awkward to deal with as the baby’s hair grows.
The treatment is simple and can be done quite easily at home. The baby’s scalp should be washed everyday, or every other day with water and one percent anti-seborrheic shampoo. This is an antiseptic shampoo with a slightly detergent action. It can be obtained from drugstore, but do tell them that it is for a baby. Shampoo the scalp in the normal way, taking care not to get any of the solution into the baby’s eyes.
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Extra Precautions for Cradle Cap in Babies:
If the cradle cap will not come off easily, it should be loosened by rubbing a little olive oil, nut oil or liquid paraffin into the scalp. Leave it on for several hours, or overnight, and then the softened crusts can be washed out or combed out with a very fine tooth comb. Take care that you do not scratch the baby’s scalp. Once the treatment is started, the cradle cap should clear up within a few days.
Cradle Cap in Adults:
Cradle Cap in adults can be happened due to stress, hormonal imbalance, pollution and even for some medical conditions. The scientific name of adult cradle cap is seborrheic dermatitis. Seborrheic dermatitis can be happened for several factors. Lets see the causes of cradle cap in adults.
Causes of Cradle Cap in Adults:
1. Overactive Sebaceous Glands:
Overproduction of sebum the oily substance secreted by Sebaceous Glands can lead to cradle cap. Other biological factors that can contribute to case of cradle cap in adults include the hormonal imbalance, stress and anxiety and even certain medical conditions. All these lead to overproduction of sebum which is responsible for cradle cap in adults
2. Malassezia Yeast:
The presence of the Malassezia yeast on the skin is associated with seborrheic dermatitis. This yeast feeds on the sebum, leading to an inflammatory response which manifest as cradle cap.
3. Genetic Predisposition:
Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to seborrheic dermatitis, making them more susceptible for developing cradle cap in adults.
Symptoms of Cradle Cap in Adults:
Flaky or Scaly Skin:
Due to the overproduction of sebum, adults can experience the thick, yellowish or whitish scales on the scalp, face. These affected areas can produce an embracing itches. This gives you an indication of cradle cap in adults.
Redness on the skin:
The early symptoms of cradle cap can be shown in the redness that happens due to some inflammation. This is a common symptom of cradle cap.
Dandruff is most common problem related to scalp. This dandruff may occur due to pollution, excessive oiliness and presence of flaky skin. The excessive presence of dandruff is the common symptom of cradle cap.
Natural Solutions of Cradle cap in Adults:
1. Anti-dandruff Shampoo:
Adults suffering from cradle cap are recommended with medicated-shampoo that has the medicated ingredients like ketoconazole, selenium, sulfide or pyrithione zinc can effectively reduce the symptoms of cradle cap in adults. It is recommended that use the shampoo 2/3 times a week with the instructions of the professional healthcare.
Applying moisturizers to the affected areas can help soothe dryness and reduce flaking. Look for products containing ingredients like salicylic acid, coal tar, or sulfur as they have anti-inflammatory properties.
3. Topical Steroids:
In severe cases of cradle cap in adults, when the natural treatments fail to provide relief, a professional health adviser may prescribe topical steroids. These medications help reduce inflammation and eliminate case of cradle cap.
4. Life Style Changes:
Stress and anxieties, unhygienic condition, fast food can enhance the problem of cradle cap. In these, your professional health adviser may recommend you to go through stress management system, regular exercise and suggest you to maintain healthy diet and hygiene.
5. Medical Consultation:
If symptoms of cradle cap prevail for long time despite the use of over-the-counter remedies, it is advisable to seek for medical advice. A dermatologist can provide a proper diagnosis and identify the potential causes of cradle cap and recommend suitable treatment options.
Q. My baby daughter has cradle cap, and quite honestly, it looks unattractive. Is it a good alternative to cover her head with a bonnet while the trouble lasts?
Ans: However unpleasant the cradle cap looks, it is not a good idea to keep the baby’s head covered all the time because it will make her hot and the problem will persist. Obviously, if the baby goes out and the weather is very cold, she will need a warm bonnet. But when she is indoors, or out in the mild weather, her head should be left uncovered. You do not need to cover your baby’s head but to teat the cradle cap in this case.
Q. What is cradle cap in adults?
Ans: Seborrheic dermatitis or seborrheic eczema which is known as cradle cap in adults, is a common skin disorder characterized by the symptoms of red, scaly and oily patches that often affect the scalp, face and other areas with active oil glands.
Q. What causes cradle cap in adults?
Ans: Although the exact reason for cradle cap in adults is yet to ascertained as the reasons of cradle cap in adults are various and unknown. The causes of cradle cap in adults may include – heredity, hormonal changes, yeast overgrowth and excessive oil production by the skin’s oil glands.
Q. Is cradle cap in adults contagious?
Ans: Cradle cap in adults is not contagious. It is not caused by infection and can not be spread from person to person.
Q. How the cradle cap in adults be treated?
Ans: Medicated shampoos or topical lotions with substances like ketoconazole, selenium sulfide or zinc pyrithione are frequently used as treatments for cradle cap in adults. Additionally, regular washing and mild exfoliating can aid with symptoms management.
Q. I know it is important to wash baby’s hair regularly to avoid cradle cap. But I am frightened of touching the soft spot on top of his head. Can it be easily damaged?
Ans: The fontanelle or soft sot is a soft area of cartilage where the bones of the skull have not yet fused together. There are in fact two of them, one on top of the head and another smaller one at the back of the skull. They make the birth easier by allowing the skull to be compressed. They are covered by a very tough membrane and with normal handling there is no need to worry about damaging them.
Q. When should I see a doctor for cradle cap in adults?
Ans: It is recommended that if the over the counter the natural remedies and homely care do not help your symptoms and reduce the problem of excessive itching, and inflammation in the affected area, you must visit to a dermatologist. Always you seek medical advice before the condition gets worsen.
Q. My baby is six years old and is cradle cap. I don’t like the idea of using medicated harsh shampoo on her as she is so young. Will I use some baby oil and baby shampoo to clear up?
Ans: Unfortunately, ordinary baby oil and shampoo will not do the trick to clear up cradle cap. Even if the cradle cap is not very severe, it is still best to stop using ordinary soap or baby shampoo and switch to a special antiseptic shampoo.
Q. Can cradle cap in adults cause hair loss?
Ans: Cradle cap in adults may cause temporary hair loss if the affected areas are scratched excessively or if the condition is left untreated. However, hair typically grows back once the cradle cap is treated properly before the condition gets worsen.
Q. Are there any natural remedies to treat cradle cap in adults?
Ans: Although all natural treatments like coconut oil or olive oil may offer momentary relief, it is necessary to visit to a dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis and course of therapy. Natural remedies may not address the underlying causes.
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