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Baby Dry Scalp – Newborn, Toddler, Infant Treatment and Remedies

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Does your little one have a dry scalp? Then read on to learn more about baby dry scalp. You will learn how to tell the difference between the cradle cap that occurs commonly in babies and is not such a great concern, and the kind of dry scalp that you should give closer attention to. We’ll also highlight various treatment options and hone remedies for baby dry scalp.

Baby Dry Scalp

There is a common misconception that dandruff, otherwise called cradle cap when it occurs in babies, is the same as dry scalp. The two are not one and the same thing. Both conditions share some common characteristic notable among them being the production of flakes and sometimes an itchy scalp.

Cradle cap(dandruff) on a baby's head
Cradle cap(dandruff) on a baby’s head

Dry scalp and dandruff however have some distinct differences that you need to know.

Dandruff (or cradle cap for that mater) is usually attributed to excessive oil production as a result of overactive sebaceous glands and is thought to be linked to a fungus called malassezia. The fungus typically feeds on fatty acids found in the sebum produced in the scalp.

Baby dry scalp, and adult dry scalp for that matter, is on the other hand attributed to loss of the moisture and natural oils from the scalp. For that reason, dry scalp is just that; dry! The scalp just gets unusually dry and cause flaking and sometimes itching. That is to mean that dry scalp is not characterized by the oily feel that is typical of baby dandruff.

Consequently, applying a good moisturizing oil can help to get rid of baby dry scalp but may worsen cradle cap. Oil treatment should thus be followed by thorough removal of the oil by washing if used for the latter case.

Another notable characteristic of baby dry scalp is that the flakes will be generally white as opposed to the yellowish color that is characteristic of cradle cap (baby dandruff). The flakes produced are also generally smaller and easy to brush off when a dry scalp is involved and relatively larger and sticky to the scalp when baby dandruff is involved.

How to Get Rid of Baby Dry Scalp – Treat, What To Do

Oil massage on baby's scalp
Oil massage on baby’s scalp

Now that we know that baby dry scalp (in the context of this article) is attributed to scalp dryness, what can you do to get rid of it. Well, your first bet would be a regular moisturizing regime.

Applying some oil onto your baby’s scalp is one of the easiest baby dry scalp home remedies. Most users report success with olive oil, but you may as well use baby oil. Vaseline is also reportedly good even though some skin care experts advice against it, saying that it clogs the pores.

Simply massage some olive oil onto the scalp before bedtime and after bathing your baby. While olive oil doesn’t make your baby smell particularly well, it usually works great and may be your best step towards getting rid of your baby dry scalp.

Applying a hydrocortisone cream twice a day can also help to treat baby dry scalp.

Hydrocortisone creams are available over the counter under brand names.Talk to your pediatrician or chemist at your local drugstore for advice and instructions before using such creams on your baby.

Using a moisturizing shampoo also ranks among the best baby dry scalp home remedies. Selsum Blue is an amazing moisturizing dandruff shampoo that not only relives the baby of its dry scalp but also dandruff.

Beyond the Above Baby Dry Scalp Remedies

Use gentle baby soaps and shampoos
Use gentle baby soaps and shampoos

In addition to the above home remedies, you should as well consider identifying and addressing any underlying factors that could be triggering dry scalp in your baby.

Some common causes of dry scalp are weather changes and the associated use of heating furnaces (e.g. during winter), use of harsh soaps and shampoos, lack of moisture in your house, and excessive washing of your baby’s hair (and scalp of courseJ) to name but a few.

You will in particular want to:

  • Use gentle baby soaps and shampoos
  • Avoid washing your baby’s head everyday

Toddler Dry Scalp

Toddlers (children aged between 1 and 3 years) get exposed to more factors attributed to dry scalp than their younger counterparts because of their relatively more mobility. On the other hand, toddlers have already outgrown the dry scalp and cradle cap predisposition phase (typically lasting for about six months).

Getting rid toddler dry scalp gives room for numerous options (discussed above). These range from essential oils and baby oil to antidandruff

shampoo (such as Dentinox Cradle Cap Shampoo and Selsum Blue Shampoo), and use of hydrocortisone cream.

How to Prevent Infant Dry Scalp

Run a humidifier in case it is to dry
Run a humidifier in case it is to dry

How can you prevent infant dry scalp? This is a question that seems to pop out a lot in online baby care and parenting communities. The first thing should be to address any underlying factors in your home followed by adopting friendlier baby care routine.

Among the ways to prevent infant dry scalp are:

  • Run a humidifier in your home if you suspect it is to dry. Do your due diligence to avoid over-humidifying your home as this can lead to nasal congestion just as much as low-humidity will.
  • Use gentle baby soap to clean your little one
  • Avoid bathing your baby’s head every other day. This can strip out the scalp’s natural oils lading to infant dry scalp.
  • Apply some essential oils onto your baby’s scalp after bathing him/her. Olive oil, almond oil, and grapeseed oil are great option but most people seem to favor olive oil for infants.
  • Protect the baby from direct sunlight: While out in the sun, cover your baby’s head with a hat or bonnet to protect the scalp and skin from the harmful effects of sunlight and thus prevent baby dry scalp and sunburn

Newborn Dry Scalp

As we have already mentioned, babies are very prone to cradle cap, which is simply dandruff. For dry scalp however, that is a scalp that is unusually dry but is not really affected by dandruff, there are numerous products that can be used to get rid of baby dry scalp.

For children aged below 6 months however, it is generally recommended that you stay away from most of these products and only limit yourself to oil treatments. You will in particular want to limit yourself to using olive oil for newborn dry scalp as it seems to be the best reviewed essential oil in online forums.

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