Baby's Dry Scalp | Pediatrics East
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Baby's Scalp

Newborn Baby

Care of Baby's Dry Scalp

It is normal for newborns to have white dandruff-like flakes on their scalps. The flakes are old skin being shed and is not a dry scalp condition. Do not use oils, lotions, or Vaseline. This will only paste the flakes to the scalp and make the condition worse.

Over-washing is a common culprit of baby dry scalp. Make sure to rinse thoroughly, as residual shampoo can contribute to baby dandruff. Baby dry scalp treatment is fairly simple- wash your baby’s hair 2-3 times per week with a gentle baby shampoo and brush your his or her hair with a soft baby brush. A humidifier can also help to prevent dry skin, particularly in the winter.

Thick white or yellowish scales are called cradle cap, or seborrheic dermatitis. It is a very common condition in infants. In addition to the scalp, it can also occur on the back of the neck, diaper area, armpits, eyelids, and more. It, too, is associated with old, dead skin and is only made worse by oils and lotions. While your baby’s scalp may look dry, it actually isn’t. An underlying issue with cradle cap is the overproduction of sebum. Sebum is an oily substance naturally occurring on the skin that keeps the skin moisturized.

You can treat cradle cap by removing scales with a soft brush and washing with a dandruff shampoo, such as Sebulex, daily for one to two weeks. In a lot of cases, cradle cap will go away on its own. If the condition persists, gets red and irritated or spreads, see your physician.

A newborn baby’s head appears large in proportion to the rest of his body. The suture lines or spaces between the skull bones may feel very wide, or they may override, causing ridges. There are two soft spots—one on the top of the head near the forehead, and one near the back and middle of the skull. These allow for brain growth. Don’t be afraid of the soft spots. You can touch, comb, and shampoo these areas with no danger to the baby.