Whenever we talk about any disease, one of the questions that arise is whether this disease is contagious or not, which means it can spread from person to person. Well, what about seborrheic dermatitis?
Infantile seborrheic dermatitis, or cradle cap, is as common as a rash in children. Infants and toddlers affected by this condition will have scaly patches of different colors on their scalps and other body parts.
According to Medical News Today, around 10% of babies within one month of age and 70% of babies of 3 months of age are affected by cradle cap.
Does your baby have crusty flakes on its skin, and you want to know how to treat it? Is infantile seborrheic dermatitis contagious or harmful? Well, this blog is all about cradle cap, its symptoms, causes, and its treatment.
Seborrheic Dermatitis in infants and toddlers is widely known as cradle cap. This condition does not harm your child but can cause discomfort, itching, redness, irritation, and inflammation (in severe cases).
Seborrheic dermatitis is pronounced as “seh-bah-ree-ick der-muh-tie-tis.”
It usually develops and automatically recovers within months or, sometimes, in a year, but if it doesn’t, you must take preventive measures and good treatment.
When affected, your baby’s scalp will be covered by dry skin full of white, red, pink, or red scaly patches and crusty flakes. It mostly covers the baby’s scalp and face, but when it starts spreading, it can cover various body parts, including armpits, diaper area, neck, and trunk.
Although it starts spreading on the face and body if not treated on time or if the situation becomes worse, it doesn’t mean that it can attack another child.
Yes, you don’t have to quarantine or detach your baby from society because infantile seborrheic dermatitis is not contagious. Similarly, in adults (dandruff), cradle cap is not contagious.
You can let your child play with other babies and toys without the fear of spreading disease. It doesn’t mean you should be careless about this condition. You must diagnose it and seek treatment to avoid severe conditions.
However, seborrheic dermatitis is still not contagious in severe conditions, but you must take care of your baby’s health.
It is a child form of dandruff. There is no specific cause for it.
- Cradle cap can develop in a child by a yeast (Malassezia) found on all human skin.
- Another cause is the hormonal transfer from the mother to the child, which stays in the baby after birth and can cause dry skin with scaly patches.
- The overproduction of oil (Sebum) by sebaceous glands can make it hard for the skin to absorb oils, ultimately causing the production of oily and dry flakes on the skin.
These are the well-known causes of seborrheic dermatitis in infants.
It is quite easy to recognize cradle cap when you see the following symptoms in your or someone’s child:
- White, red, pink, or yellow scaly patches or crusty flakes on the baby’s scalp or body.
- Redness, itching (some cases), irritation, or inflammation (severe) in the affected area.
If you see these symptoms, your child is affected by cradle cap. This is not a severe situation because this condition is common. However, if it spreads to the baby’s face and body, you must look for its treatment.
To treat infantile seborrheic dermatitis, you must be careful about the product or remedy you use to treat your baby. Some products or oils include allergens, which can make the situation worse.
That’s why we recommend using a good shampoo for cradle cap treatment created by a Pediatrician. This shampoo doesn’t contain fragrance or any allergen. It contains natural ingredients that treat seborrheic dermatitis and are also good for the baby’s daily routine. It soothes and hydrates dry skin.
You can also try applying natural oils on your baby’s scalp or body if your baby is not allergic to oils. Natural oils are completely safe to use.
If home treatment doesn’t work or worsens the situation, you must visit a good Pediatrician.
Preventive measures play a crucial role in the treatment of Infantile seborrheic dermatitis.
If your baby is not affected by cradle cap, got affected but wants to avoid spreading, or you want your child not to get affected by it in the future, then you must look at the preventive measures below.
It can help stop the spreading of seborrheic dermatitis in infants and avoid developing in the future:
- Avoid scratching or picking flakes with your fingers.
- Always use a gentle cradle cap brush to remove flakes.
- When using a brush, make sure you don’t rub it hard.
- Be careful when using natural oils because they can contain protein, which sometimes causes allergic reactions.
- Instead of baby shampoo, use a specialized shampoo for cradle cap treatment with a gentle brush with soft bristles.
If you see inflammation or continuous spreading, or if treatment is not working, visit a reputable pediatrician for treatment. In severe conditions, it is better to consult a doctor instead of trying different remedies and treatments because you should not risk your baby’s health.