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Cradle cap

General characteristics

General characteristics

Cradle cap is a yellowish 'crust' like build up of skin that can form on the scalp of babies. It is a common condition that rarely becomes severe or causes problems for the infant.
It is thought to be caused by an overproduction of sebum, an oily protective substance secreted normally by the sebaceous glands of the skin but some suggest a fungal infection may be implicated. In adults or older children it is generally termed seborrhoeic dermatitis.
Cradle cap usually clears up after a few months untreated but if the skin becomes red or cracked it may require additional healing agents to help it heal to prevent bacterial or fungal infection taking hold.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

In infants breast feeding should provide good nutrition to the baby and help their immune system to develop properly. Whilst you are breastfeeding ensure you are eating a good balanced diet, limiting junky, processed and sugary foods including alcohol.

Give older children half a teaspoon of good quality wheatgerm oil in food or milk every other day or take it yourself if still breastfeeding.

Eat foods rich in B vitamins such as whole-grains (a good varied muesli daily would do it), dark leafy vegetables, nuts and sprouted seeds.


Useful herbs

Useful herbs

If you suspect that fungus may be a causative factor - or even if you don't - make a tea from equal parts of marigold, wild pansy (heartsease) and burdock root. Use a teaspoon of the mix in a cup of water and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain, allow to cool and wash the babies head with the tea and allow it to dry. Repeat every or every other day until it clears. You could also powder the dried herbs and mix with a little oil to make a paste, apply to the babies head and leave for a few hours before gently rinsing off. Repeat daily or every other day as needed.
Drink a cup of the above tea every day so the herbs will pass through the breast milk to the baby.

Natural healing

Natural healing

Coat the babies scalp with olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil or similar vegetable oil, leave for a few hours then gently comb, brush or peel away the patches. Wash off thoroughly with warm water with a few drops of lavender or tea tree essential oil added to it.
Limit the times you wash your babies hair and do not use shampoo, even baby shampoo can irritate delicate skin. Instead use lavender water to wash the scalp every few days.
Consider taking probiotics yourself which will pass through breast milk and assist the babies natural defences.
Drink a cup or 2 daily of chamomile tea if you are breastfeeding or give a teaspoon of tea to baby up to 3 times daily.

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