Baby Eczema, also known as infantile seborrheic eczema or more commonly cradle cap, is a common condition affecting babies less than one year old. Cradle cap is associated with a number of different factors indlucing hormone breakdown, yeast in the digestive tract, food allergies and inflammation. It usually starts on the scalp or the diaper area and quickly spreads. Although this type of eczema looks unpleasant, it is not sore or itchy and does not cause the baby to feel uncomfortable or unwell.
Cradle cap is often the first sign that your baby may be having trouble processing what they are ingesting. Babies on formula have higher incidence of cradle cap because it is tougher for them to break down. Breastfed babies who suffer with cradle cap may be having difficulty processing mother’s milk due to an allergen in her diet. It is important, from a naturopathic perspective, to identify what is causing the cradle cap because the inflammation in the system will often progress beyon the scalp and cause eczema. This type of atopic or inflammatory status in your baby’s system puts them at higher risk for allergies and asthma as well.
Topical treatments for cradle cap include rubbing castor oil all over the affected area and waiting for it to soak in before very gently rubbing it away with a warm cloth. Avoid picking or scratching at the area because small cuts can become infected creating discomfort for baby. Repeat this often until the cradle cap resolves. If the cradle cap persists, investigate the underlying cause and remove it to not only get rid of the sympton of cradle cap but also lower the inflammation in your babies body and decrease risk of eczema, allergies and asthma as well as digestive discomfort. Rubbing castor oil over your baby’s abdomen will also help with the breakdown of hormones that can contribute to cradle cap, as well as providing extra blood flow to the digestive tract to aid in processing of formula and/or breastmilk.