Causes and definition
Cradle cap is a condition that occurs in the newborns and babies. It is characterized by redness and patches on the child's scalp. The cause of this unpleasantly looking, but not serious, nor painful or itchy condition, is yet unknown, but it may have something to do with hormonal changes in your baby's body. Sometimes, the cradle cap can affect the baby's neck, armpits or ears as well. When this condition spreads to armpits or some other part of the body, doctors call it "seborrheic dermatitis". This rash usually doesn't affect children beyond their first year of age. This is a natural, perfectly normal condition and it will eventually disappear when the glands find their hormone production balance and settle.
The only way to prevent this condition may be frequent shampooing. Some parents suggested, through their discussions, that the adult, anti dandruff shampoo may help, while others mentioned some petroleum jelly-substances, but there were no real results. However, there are a few things that may help controlling this condition until it disappears.
Wash your child's hair frequently. Some parents mentioned that mineral oil may help, but others disagree. The best way is to try shampooing the baby's hair, soft-brush it and it may remove the scales. If it doesn't help, try oil, it may loosen the flakes, and then, wash it away. If this doesn't help as well, try with special medicated baby shampoo, but only after consulting your baby's doctor.
Scalp, eyebrows, behind ears
The common way of using vegetable or mineral oil is to apply it to affected areas and leave it over night. Tomorrow, you just gently brush it away with a piece of cloth, toothbrush or a very soft baby hairbrush. The usage of petroleum jelly (Vaseline) in curing cradle cap is similar.
There's a major disagreement about frequency of using shampoos. Some people think that the shampoo will help dry the skin out and, therefore, prevent cradle cap, while others think that detergent, perfume, quaternium-15 or some other substance can additionally irritate baby's skin.
Ketoconazole shampoos, specially prepared in pharmacy seem to be a good idea. However, because of the presence of many irritants and allergens, they might have some side-effects, but still present a good benefit/loss choice.
Several studies showed that the injection of biotin or B-complex to baby's vein or breast-feeding mother have been very helpful and swept this rash away swiftly. Some doctors will prescribe pills with biotin, which also may work.
If this rash spread to eyelids of your baby, you may try with applying diluted baby shampoo on a cotton swab and gently clean the eyelids with it. Some parents recommended baking soda.