|Borago by CCS||About cradle cap|
What is cradle cap?
Cradle cap, or infantile seborrhoeic eczema, is a harmless condition that affects up to 40 percent of all infants aged 0-6 months and even up to a year. Cradle cap is a whitish-yellow coating that many babies develop on their scalp. If you scrape the coating, the skin underneath is often red and irritated. Occasionally, cradle cap can occur on other parts of the body, such as the face, the armpits and in the diaper region.
If you are unsure whether your child has cradle cap, see a children's clinic.
What causes cradle cap?
A clinical study conducted at Södersjukhuset hospital in Stockholm shows that children with cradle cap are deficient in the fatty acid GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid). A fat that children uptake via breast milk or formula, but which children with cradle cap are incapable of absorbing.
In the child's metabolism, the fat is broken down into small bits, and each little fat substance fulfils an important function for the child's development. For instance, that the epidermis functions normally, providing the protection it is designed for. The studies showed, for instance, that the GLA deficiency was the result of the child's immature enzyme system. When the child grows older, the enzyme system matures, and the problem of cradle cap disappears.
Is cradle cap harmful?
No, it is not harmful. Most children are not bothered by their cradle cap. Still, many parents feel better removing it.
What does the skin underneath the cradle cap look like?
After the cradle cap has disappeared, the child's scalp can appear pinkish, as the skin's fine blood vessels shine through the slightly thinner skin. The skin regains its normal tone after approx. 2-3 weeks, which is the skin's renewal time.
Can I speed the process by rubbing the scab away?
No, the scab loosens by itself. Actively scraping it can, instead, irritate the skin.
My child has a lot of hair. How do I apply the lotion, and what happens to the hair when the scab falls off?
If your child has a lot of hair, it is important to try only to apply the lotion to the scalp, massaging generously and distributing it evenly. When the cradle cap disappears, it can loosen strands of hair that were attached to the thick scales that the child has already lost. It can seem as though the child is losing tufts of hair instead of individual strands.