Hair loss affects nearly every age group, even infants. Hair loss in babies can be pretty alarming especially for first time parents. Infants ordinarily experience some degree of hair loss in their first year. It happens in periods and is a direct result of their rapid growth and development. Their initial head of hair will fall out (sometimes completely) in the year following birth but will be quickly replaced by new and healthy hair. In this case, there is no need to worry. However if your infant is experiencing excessive hair loss that takes a while to grow back and is accompanied by a chronically dry and scaly scalp, your child might have a skin problem.
It looks like my baby has dandruff. Is it cradle cap?
Infantile seborrheic dermatitis, commonly known as “cradle cap”, is a skin condition that affects babies. Infants inflicted with this condition will present with scaly skin on to top of their heads that sort of resembles dandruff. Only the scaly patches of skin appear crusted over with a yellowish to brown color. Hair loss is an unfortunate consequence. If the condition is severe enough, it can get quite itchy and can become a constant source of irritation or discomfort for your baby which is why it needs to be resolved quickly. Most parents are at a loss as to how to handle baby hair loss and dry scalp because they don’t even know what’s causing it.
What causes cradle cap?
Well, cradle cap is relatively common and is caused by an overproduction of oil by the oil glands of the infant scalp. The exact cause for overstimulation of infant oil glands is unknown but some suppose it might be brought about by hormones that the mother has passed to her child. You’re probably wondering how too much oil causes skin dryness. It doesn’t seem to compute. Actually, an excessively oily scalp with lots of sebum is the perfect kind of environments where fungi can thrive. Extreme cases present with fully-developed fungal infections; they’re the variant which present with additional symptoms like redness and discomfort. Cradle cap itself is not contagious and has little or nothing to do with hygiene. Though, washing your babies scalp can aid in preventing it.
How to treat your baby’s cradle cap?
If you’re baby does have cradle cap, don’t panic. If you catch it pretty early on, it’s very simple to treat. You may not even need to seek out professional help because some cases resolve over time without intervention. But if you feel like you need to arrest the condition before it progresses into a true fungal infection, then worry not. There are many articles on how to handle baby hair loss and dry scalp due to cradle cap. Lucky for you we’ve collected all the best ways to remedy the consequences of cradle cap. The four methods listed below demonstrate how to handle baby hair loss and dry scalp.
Proper blood circulation to the baby’s scalp will aid in eliminating the patches of scales and crusted over skin. Good circulation promotes healthy skin; it keeps skin looking vibrant and free from disease. So you have to get blood pumping into the portion of your infant’s head affected by the skin condition. To do this, you need only to gently massage your baby’s scalp using your fingers or if you’re a bit squeamish and are uncomfortable touching the patches of crusted skin, then a soft brush or towel will do. The action causes the dry skin to be rubbed off. Additionally, the massaging motion helps increase blood circulation into the area. Massage your child’s head regularly and you will begin to see results in a few days.
Though lack of hygiene does not directly cause cradle cap, regularly washing your baby’s hair with shampoo can help resolve the issue. Bathing your baby’s hair actually washes most of the excess oils away. Preventing the excess oil from accumulating on your baby’s head decreases the chances of him/her developing a fungal infection because you do not give them the environment in which to proliferate. Gently wash your baby’s hair with a mild shampoo. Afterwards brush his/her hair with a soft brush or lightly wipe with a towel. Make sure you wash your child’s head once every day for best results.
Natural oils like baby oil, almond oil or olive oil are perfect for moisturizing the dry skin on your baby’s scalp. Rub a small amount onto the affected skin. The oil will soften the scaly patches of crusted skin afterwards you can easily brush them off with a soft brush. You may leave the oil overnight so the dry skin will properly soften. Just make sure to thoroughly rinse the oil with water and shampoo the next day as not to worsen the condition.
Applying Vaseline onto your child’s scalp during bedtime works just as effectively as the mild oil treatment. It is a little messier but equally softens the crusted skin enough for you to effortlessly brush them off the next morning. If you do not have Vaseline you may opt to use shea butter. And of course, do not forget to wash it off afterwards. Petroleum jelly and shea butter are very sticky and may accumulate dirt and grime which is bad for your baby.
Dry scalp and hair loss can be easily controlled just by following the four simple methods we’ve enumerated above. They’re all safe and natural remedies any parent can do at home. However If the condition does persist, it may be time to go see a doctor. A pediatrician will know how to handle baby hair loss and dry scalp especially in the advanced stage. Or switch out your regular baby shampoo for a medicated formula.
We personally recommend all four of them to treat cradle cap and prevent it from getting worse. This saves your baby from potential irritation and saves you as a parent from dealing with a chronically cranky baby. Have you had any experience with this sort of thing before? Or know how to handle baby hair loss and dry scalp better? If you do, please share your story with us in our comments section.