Dry Flaky Scalp
It is a common misconception that Dry Flaky Scalp and Dandruff is the same thing. They are not. Dry Flaky Scalp is dry as Dandruff is the result of an oily scalp, and is also called cradle cap when it affects babies.
Overactive Sebaceous Glands can initiate Dandruff or Cradle Cap and keeping the scalp oiled with this condition can make it worse. Dry scalp on the other hand can be effectively treated with moisturizing oils.
Cradle cap is similar to dandruff in some ways. When cradle cap seems to appear in older infants or children, it is usually dandruff.
What is it?
Cradle cap is a crusty, dry, scaly, and sometimes a yellowish rash on the scalp which is common with babies and toddlers. Cradle cap is harmless and usually goes away over a few months but sometimes persist into the childhood years.
Why does my child have it?
Although an exact cause is not known, it is likely that Cradle Cap is triggered by an overproduction of the oil glands in the scalp due to hormones, sweat, or even regular shampoo. Bacteria or poor hygiene does not initiate Cradle Cap.
How to treat?
Most cases of Cradle Cap just needs to be carefully washed with a gentle shampoo. We recommend Paul Mitchell’s Baby Don’t Cry which contains chamomile and cornflower extract to calm, soothe, and relax the oil glands in the scalp.
Using a washcloth or even a very soft toothbrush, rub a small amount of the shampoo on the cradle cap. Let the shampoo sit on the scalp for a few minutes. Then, gently massage the scalp to loosen the cradle cap. Never pick at the scalp, this can cause sores or even temporary hair loss. Finally, rinse the hair with fresh water from the faucet. DO NOT scoop water out of the bathtub. Bathwater is full of oils, just what you are trying to get out of your child’s scalp. If your baby’s cradle cap is critical or spreading to other parts of their head/body, see your pediatrician.
Dandruff causes the flaky, white, or yellowish skin to form on the scalp and other oily parts of the body. Other areas that can get seborrhea include the eyebrows, eyelids, ears, crease of the nose, back of the neck, armpits, groin, and bellybutton. It’s a very common condition in kids and adults alike, regardless of age or race.
Dandruff is not contagious or an indication of poor hygiene, and it often can be controlled by daily shampooing with a gentle shampoo. In more severe cases, a doctor may recommend a medicated shampoo or cream.
Often, the first symptom someone with dandruff will notice are white flakes of dead skin in the hair or on the shoulders. The scalp may also become itchy and scaly.
- Dry, flaky skin that gets worse in cold weather.
- Dry skin on the face, forehead, ears, or eyebrows.
- Flaky skin on the chest or other parts of the body that have hair.
- Greasy or oily areas of skin on the scalp or other areas of the body.
- Mild redness in the affected area.
- Temporary hair loss.
Over-the-counter dandruff shampoo can treat moderate cases of dandruff. Many types are available, and not everyone works for every person, so you may need to experiment until you find the one that works for your child.