Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pesky Cradle Cap

You’re scheduled for pictures of your little pipsqueak only to find that your baby’s head is covered in scales. What is it? And how can you get it to go away?

After thumbing through my handy baby reference books (see sidebar), I found that cradle cap is considered a type of dermatitis of the scalp. To get rid of the scales, they suggest rubbing mineral oil (which is baby oil sans the fragrance) or petroleum jelly on the scalp, wait a bit, and then shampoo. When Baby Bear was still a tiny cub, she actually loved when I “massaged” her scalp using a Q-Tip and mineral oil. It really worked well.

Now that she’s 9 months, I noticed cradle cap returning. When I went in for her first haircut, I mentioned it to the stylist, who had her own theory. She said that cradle cap was actually caused by Baby Bear’s cheap shampoo. Supposedly, the wax in it helps protect the scalp. But the wax can also build up and block the hair follicles causing the hair to fall out. Yikes!

After frequent combings to remove the loose flakes and switching shampoo, the scales are gone. Now I’m not sure what to believe about cradle cap. Is it pieces of the scalp or leftover wax from the shampoo? Whatever it is, it seems that using an oily substance to loosen it helps, as well as possibly trying a different shampoo.

I’d love to hear what others have learned about cradle cap.

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