What is Cradle Cap?
Cradle Cap is a common, harmless, non- contagious, painless skin condition which mostly affects the scalp of newborns although it can, in rare cases, affect adults too. It usually self-resolves within a few weeks to months. In severe cases there is a risk of bacterial infection. If you are worried, book an appointment now with one of our homeopaths.
Why does it affect some babies?
The exact cause of cradle cap is unknown but the general consensus is that it is to do with an excess of Mother’s hormones which pass the placenta prior to birth. This causes over production of sebum from the oil glands in the hair follicles. Another possible cause is a reaction to a yeast present on the skin called Malassezia (Mal-uh-see-zhuh). The skin of most, if not all warm-blooded animals is covered with these microbes which form part of the normal cutaneous microflora in humans but they can very occasionally cause inflammatory reactions such as folliculitis, dandruff or eczema.
What are the symptoms?
You will notice patches of thick, greasy, scaly skin forming crusts which can be white, yellowy or greenish forming mostly on the scalp, although the face, neck, behind the ears, nappy area and folds of skin are also possible sites. This crust is simply made up of dead skin cells. The skin underneath is often a lighter colour and can look slightly inflamed. If the patches are removed, occasionally this cases bleeding.
How to treat it yourself?
This is an area where Homeopathic remedies can be extremely helpful. If the suggestions below don’t yield immediate results talk to your homeopath or book an appointment with one of our team. You can also gently wash your baby’s scalp with a mild baby shampoo but don’t attempt to use anti-fungal measures without the supervision of your homeopath or doctor.
Which homeopathic remedies are best?
You need to look carefully at the presentation of symptoms in your baby and try to match the picture that fits most closely to the remedy picture. Ask for help if you find this difficult. I have listed the remedies in the order I have prescribed most at the top. Look at the whole picture.
Yellow scales, copious moist discharge, very sticky, bald spots, baby may be anxious, loves warmth.
Very thick, crusty yellow scales with a sticky, honey-like discharge, otherwise often rough dry skin, areas affected include eyelids, behind ears and scalp which may be cold to touch. A chilly, irritable baby with a large appetite.
A highly greasy / oily scalp, white scales and redness underneath, can affect neck & armpits, baby is slim, sensitive to emotions, can suffer from constipation, is not cuddly or responsive to touch.
A sweaty scalp, white patches which have a honey like odour, neck and ear can also be affected, small babies often affected by colic, a calm baby, very sensitive to cold.
Clammy sweaty head, loss of hair, scalp can feel hot, a very communicative baby but easily scared, usually chilly.
Thick yellowy – white scabby crust which may bleed and can spread to the face, profuse smelly sweats although the head is cold, a placid, plump baby, digestive issues and a poor sleeper.
Thick, yellowish leather-like crusts gluing the hair together, there can be pus under the scabs, dryness, chalk-like scabs extending to the nape of neck & eyebrows, loss of hair, a restless, touchy baby. (see a historic case anecdote below).
Thick brown moist crusts with reddish borders, bleeding when scratched, mostly on the forehead, temples & chin, worse getting wet or cold, a strong personality.
Yellowish-green crusts, scalp is completely covered, tangles the hair, bleed when detached, raw, red scabs, baby fearful
Bald spots on the head, perspires during sleep, black scurfs, head cold to touch, most often used in babies where the fontanels remain open too long, baby anxious when lifted.
A anecdote from the history books.
In the 1700’s to the 1850’s medical treatment was often so violent that the German Physician, Dr Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of modern homeopathy, gave up medical practice turning to research into safer methods of treatment and the rest is history. In 1857 Carroll Dunham A.M., M.D., President of the American Institute of homeopathy notes a case which will both amaze and horrify you. Here it is in brief:
A 17 year old boy presented with notable deafness. Aged 3 years he had undergone what can only be considered barbaric treatment of a scalp condition which doesn’t sound unlike severe cradle cap. A tar cap was placed on his head and when firmly adhered to the scabs was violently torn off, scabs and all, leaving the whole scalp raw. This was then painted with a solution of liquid silver. The eruption on the scalp did not reappear but from that moment the child was totally deaf. Dr Dunham prescribed Mezereum 30c once in the February, March, September and the following January. Improvement set in slowly but finally the boy’s hearing was completely restored.
I love homeopathy!