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An Infants Condition Called Cradle Cap

Most of the time, babies are already born with quite a distinguished tuft of hair on their soft and fragile head and parents usually take a very careful approach while giving their babies a bath for the first time of it’s first few months of life. All seems to be going well the first 6 months when you suddenly see something quite peculiar about your baby’s scalp. You may be mortified to find out that your baby’s scalp is starting to somewhat peel off! Now, before you panic, which is really quite normal for first time parents that have not had the chance to experience this, we will try to discover what is really happening to your baby’s head.

A baby’s hair starts to grow as soon as a mother is passing through her 6th month of term. From thereon, the infant inside the womb continues slowly to develop it’s follicular tissues except for one difference, due to the fact that babies are conceived inside the womb, the follicular growth is very different from ordinary human hair growth. To put the facts in order, due to the embryonic fluid in which the baby was conceived, the baby’s hair tends to be more thinner like our skin hair.

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After a baby is born we can see that it already has those hair present on it’s scalp and it looks like those hairs will be it’s permanent growth for the duration of up to one year. A baby’s hair is more thinner, softer and more delicate than that of an adult’s solely because it still retains some of that embryonic fluid still inside it’s follicular tissues. There are even cases of slight to moderate signs of pattern baldness, sometimes manifesting irregular hair growth which tends to show on your baby’s head. This may cause some distress on the part of some parents but be rest assured that it is just a normal phase in which your baby normally goes through. There are however physiological causes to some babies continually loosing their hair on the back part of their heads as a result of constantly being rubbed against a pillow while sleeping.

If using any infant formula in lieu of traditional breast feeding, just make sure that the infant formula that you are giving your child has no harmful ingredients that may cause allergic reactions to affect your baby’s scalp. It is advised to consult a pediatrician if this will happen. There is also the issue of sweat that can cause allergies on your baby’s scalp which may affect the way it’s hair is growing. The acidic reaction of sweat can sometimes be caused by your hands being contaminated with irritants that can cause adverse reactions on your baby’s scalp. It is best practice to always wash your hands and use germ killing soap before handling your baby’s head.

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Always remember to avoid letting your infants head be irritated with any form of fabric that you use as sheetings or beddings that contain questionable materials that may cause skin and scalp irritations. When bathing your infant, always make sure to use the most mildest shampoo that a pediatrician may recommend, as to avoid any adverse irritation of your baby’s skin and scalp. From a time of 6 months to about 1 year, you will start to notice signs of flaking and shedding of hair from your baby’s scalp, as said before, there is no need to panic as it is a normal stage of what a baby’s hair growth goes through.

Cradle cap is usually a harmless issue when it comes to a baby’s natural manner of shedding their old scalp tissue which is being changed by new ones. A baby’s scalp undergoes these changes in relation to the closing up of it’s cranial cavity. Once the cranial cavity starts the process of closing up, the scalp begins to retract and stretch out, causing the old scalp tissue along with the original follicular hair growth to peel off. The amount of old scalp tissue which is being removed contains the entire follicles and roots of the original hair growth that was propagated during the baby’s conception in the mother’s womb.

The changing temperature along with hormonal changes being made to the baby’s skin and scalp also contributes to this change. The dead scalp tissue that is being replaced by new ones should never be forcibly pulled of since this stage of tissue change is quite similar to that of a dried up scab that is naturally being removed from the skin. Applying unnecessary methods of removal might cause wounding on your infants scalp. It is on these delicate changes that you should keep an observant eye out for any signs of infection as bacterial build up may propagate inside the open scalp tissues of your baby’s head.

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Psoriasis and eczema might have a chance to propagate in between the skin tissues as moisture from bathing may not be completely removed, causing bacteria to develop. It is advised to use an antibacterial shampoo that is effective in making sure that there will be no chance of any unwanted irritants that can cause any complications to your infants scalp. Along with this, you should always make sure that you completely dry off your baby’s head as to assure that there is no more moisture that can lead to bacterial growth. The use of mild baby oil can help a great deal in hastening your baby’s cradle cap condition as mild baby oil can greatly soften the old follicular tissue, eventually peeling it off away without harming your baby’s newly developing scalp. Using a very soft baby’s hair brush can also help in brushing off any excess skin and a gentle upward stroke is recommended in order to effectively remove those dead follicular tissues.

Always make sure that your baby’s head is well ventilated in order to avoid sweat to develop on their scalp, as it can cause great discomfort on your baby’s part, causing irritation in between the scalp area. Eventually, after completely shedding off their old scalp, a baby will now regenerate new hair growth, however there are some cases in where babies still remain quite bald even though they already have undergone the rejuvenation of their scalp growth, though it is really nothing to worry about as most babies really start to grow their hair naturally after that stage.

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Josh Matthews

My name is Josh Matthews and I am 53 years old and live in Miami. I have two kids, one boy and one girl with my wife Linda. My son Jon is now 19 years old and in College. My daughter Jennifer is 14 and still in High-School. We also have a dog. When I don't work in the marketing department of a health company, I like to spend time outdoors with my family and friends. I don't do as much sport as I should but my family and me go on a skiing vacation at least once a year.

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Dealing with thinning hair

About the author

I am 53 years old and live in Miami. I have two kids, one boy and one girl with my wife Linda. My son Jon is now 19 years old and in College. My daughter Jennifer is 14 and still in High-School. We also have a dog. When I don’t work in the marketing department of a health company, I like to spend time outdoors with my family and friends. I don’t do as much sport as I should but my family and me go on a skiing vacation at least once a year.

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