Babies are prone to certain conditions that are more bothersome for their parents than for themselves. Some conditions and ailments look bad, but a baby might not even notice. If you're a new mom, you're probably constantly checking your baby for any abnormalities and calling the doctor at the first sign of any symptoms. In most cases, the symptoms are harmless and are merely a natural part of a baby's growth and development. Infant acne is an example of one such condition. Babies are totally clueless to the fact that their complexion is temporarily unclear, but their moms are the ones who are nervous about it. Cradle cap is another such condition. It causes scaling and flaking on a baby's scalp, but it is surprisingly harmless.

Cradle cap, also known as seborrheic dermatitis, occurs most commonly in infants younger than one year old. Scientists aren't absolutely sure what causes the condition, but it's likely a result of imbalanced yeasts. Symptoms include scaling, redness, flaking, and a waxy appearance on the scalp. Regular washing and massaging of the scalp are effective in most cases, but if your baby's condition is more severe it might require medicated shampoo as prescribed by his or her pediatrician. Recent studies actually show that the application of olive oil will also relieve the symptoms of cradle cap. Always check with your doctor before trying any home remedies, but definitely consider this method before paying for expensive treatments that will do the same things.

If your baby's cradle cap seems severe and doesn't go away with traditional treatments, make sure his or her pediatrician takes a closer look. It could actually be eczema on the scalp or even psoriasis, and leaving these conditions untreated could result in more serious complications. The symptoms of cradle cap are extremely similar to the symptoms of these other conditions, so an official diagnosis is the only way you'll know for sure how serious your baby's scalp abnormalities actually are.

Cradle cap on its own is not serious, so if your doctor determines that your baby has it, rest assured that simple treatments will cure it in a reasonable amount of time. Even simple remedies such as olive oil might cure it just as well as expensive medicated shampoos, so check with your baby's pediatrician about trying them to save time and money. Your baby won't notice the difference either way.

Source: Elaine Siegfried: Use of Olive Oil for the Treatment of Seborrheic Dermatitis in Children. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. Volume 166 Issue 10 pp. 961 2012

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