Seborrheic dermatitis can be a challenging skin disorder to treat. Even in newborns, this form of skin disorder is often referred to as "cradle cap" and can lead to great distress in parents. If you are the parent of a new baby that has developed cradle cap, it is important to understand not only how to treat the skin disorder but to also know how this form of dermatitis developed initially.
Cradle cap in newborns is a skin disorder that often spontaneously resolves by the time your child reaches eight months of age. However, because this form of dermatitis is often unsightly in newborns, parents struggle to find solutions to the skin complication that usually develops by the time your child is two weeks of age. Because cradle cap is not pruritic, most pediatricians will opt to allow for the natural progression of healing with your child's cradle cap but, even still, many parents search out remedy options.
While you can use a topical antifungal treatment and anti-dandruff shampoos on your baby's head, most pediatricians will suggest that you avoid these types of treatment options. Instead, consider applying an emollient to your child's scalp at night before bed and then brush the scalp, with a baby brush, in the morning followed by a bath and head shampoo using baby shampoo. While this will not cure cradle cap, or seborrheic dermatitis in newborns, it can reduce the appearance and minimize the cosmetic effect.
One of the most important things you will want to address with your baby's pediatrician involves that associated with the use of products that contain corticosteroids or zinc pyrithione. Even in some over-the-counter products used to treat skin disorders, these ingredients may be present and could be a health risk to a baby with cradle cap. When possible, avoid using these products unless your baby's pediatrician has specifically made a recommendation to do so. Also, whether using creams or shampoos, the treatment option will not usually result in a different outcome with most babies showing improvement in cradle cap in two to three weeks.
Even without any form of treatment, it is important to remember that newborn's will develop seborrheic dermatitis without any underlying basis although some pediatricians attribute a form of yeast overgrowth to the health complication. In most cases, children who develop cradle cap will experience a resolution before their first birthday and, in many cases, in the first few months of life. If your baby has cradle cap, remember that this is most likely not associated with any preventable action that occurred and very limited products should be used in managing cradle cap or trying to alleviate the development of it.