Memphis mom Jessica Olin has two beautiful, healthy children. When her oldest, who is now 3, was an infant, she began to notice that his head was peeling abnormally. Soon, the peeling worsened into thick, yellow crusty scales. Horrified, she took her son to the doctor, where he was promptly diagnosed with “seborrheic dermatitis,” commonly known as cradle cap. Now an experienced mother of two, both of whom suffered from cradle cap, Jessica considers herself an expert mama when it comes to this common skin condition. Here, she offers her advice to new parents in the same situation:
Many new parents have heard about cradle cap, and at some point, they believe their child has it. What advice can you give a mom who thinks her child may have cradle cap?
Many of my friends, especially new mothers, have asked me this same question. My response is usually the same — you will know something is not right. Slight peeling of the skin is normal in infants and looks nothing like cradle cap. Unlike dry flaky skin, cradle cap is thick, oily, yellowish, and crusty.
What remedies work best to treat cradle cap?
The best thing that worked for my children was rubbing their scalps with a toothbrush dipped in olive oil. This was something my doctor suggested, and I felt better using natural ingredients on my babies. If your child’s condition doesn’t improve, your pediatrician can prescribe something a little stronger.
Any other advice or words of encouragement you can offer to new mamas whose babies are suffering from cradle cap?
Don’t’ be embarrassed by it. Cradle cap is very common and has nothing to do with poor hygiene. You have a healthy, precious newborn; don’t let a little skin condition take away from that.