Cradle cap

Cradle cap: Description, Causes and Risk Factors:Cradle cap is the yellowish, greasy scaly patches that sometimes appear on the scalp of young babies. It's a common, harmless condition that does not usually itch or cause discomfort to the baby.It usually occurs on the scalp, but can also appear on the face, ears and neck, or in skin folds, such as at the back of the knees and armpits. Cradle cap usually appears in babies in the first two months and tends to clear up by itself after a few weeks or months, although in rare cases it can last much longer.Cradle capExactly what causes cradle cap is not clear, although it may be linked to overactive sebaceous glands. These are glands in the skin that produce an oily substance called sebum. Cradle cap is not contagious and it is not due to poor hygiene or an allergy. The disorder is also supposed to be caused by skin yeasts.Another theory is based on the baby suffering a fungal infection. The infection can be a result of the mother having being given antibiotics prior to birth or the baby being given them up to a week after birth. Antibiotics destroy damaging bacteria but can also destroy the friendly bacteria that prevent things like fungal infection.In most cases, cradle cap is marked by the appearance of red, scaly rashes on the scalp. After a few days, the scales accumulate to form thick, yellow plaques. These look like scabs stuck to the scalp skin. This thick layer may form a covering on the entire scalp. Sometimes, the baby suffers from a loss of hair in the affected region due to the disease.Symptoms:Signs and symptoms include:Patches of scalp that are yellow and greasy. Diagnosis:Cradle cap is easily recognizable, and usually it requires no further diagnosis. However, if the rash seems to be very itchy or irritating, it may be necessary to rule out eczema. If there are additional symptoms, a Healthcare provider should be consulted for a physical exam and possible testing.Treatment:Most cases of cradle cap will clear up on their own in time. Gently washing your baby's hair and scalp can help prevent a build-up of scales and massaging baby oil or natural oil, such as almond or olive oil, into their scalp at night can help loosen the crust.There is usually no need to see your GP if your baby has cradle cap. However, you may want to ask them for advice if your baby's scalp becomes inflamed or if the cradle cap spreads to other parts of their body.Over-the-counter dandruff shampoos can reduce the dryness and formation of flakes and fight cradle cap in older children.NOTE: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.

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