8 answers

2 Year Old with Dry Scalp

I was just sitting with my two year old in my lap, and noticed that she has patches of peeley, dry scalp on her head - not dandruff persay, as she has never had any noticeable dandruff particles - its just mildly scaly like a patch of dry skin on your arm. Im kind of at a loss at what to do with it - she gets a bath every other day if not EVERY day, and we use johnsons moisturizing baby wash on her from head to toe. Because she DOES have hair, I don't want to put baby oil on her head, but I am uncomfortable using any medicated shampoo as she is just a child and doesn't really have the bacterial dandruff that most adults have. Anyone else have any ideas?

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So What Happened?™

Thanks for all your suggestions - spoke to the ped, and had it looked at. She does NOT have cradle cap - I never thought it was as I know what cradle cap looks like, and her little peely patch looked decidedly unlike cradle cap. Im going to start using a different baby wash and shampoo for her, but for now, the ped suggested I put a little bit of my own hair conditioner on her scalp when she has a bath, every other day. And surprise, it works! I think I will go to whole foods soon and check out their baby skin/hair care products. Thanks!

Featured Answers

Hi K.,
My name is J. and my youngest has had dry scalp since she was about 1-2 years old. I found out that it is ecsyma. The only thing that I did was go out and m=by Paul Mitchells Tea Tree shampoo. You dont need to use very much since you just put it on the scalp. Try to stay away from any gels, hairspray also. Then about 3 times a week (at first) I would put tons of baby oil on her scalp. Let it soak. Then as I saw her little head get better i sut down to once a week to now 1 a month. But she is 5 years old and just loves it when I put the oil in her hair. She says it takes the itches away. Well I hope this helps a little.

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Well, I first would ask pediatrician, second, STOP using the Johnsons baby wash. Horrible stuff. Use kid shampoo or just plain mild shampoo. Suave, or whatever. You can try a moisturizing shampoo if you wish. I think washing the hair every other day is too much. Think of her as a little human. Would you put the same soap on your hair as your body? I think not. We are supposed to limit our washing, if you want healthy hair, to two-three times per week. Dermotologists will have a list of perfectly good shampoo for her. See if Tom's makes shampoo. They make toothpaste. Whole Foods good resource, Elephant Pharm also very good resource. Good luck.

Our son has had this problem for a while now and he is 7. The doctor said it was eczema and we have a prescription for Elidel that helps and every other shampoo we use the Selsun Blue Moisturizing shampoo. Even if you just use it in that spot it seems to help. I can remember now how old he was when we started using it.

Hi K.,
My name is J. and my youngest has had dry scalp since she was about 1-2 years old. I found out that it is ecsyma. The only thing that I did was go out and m=by Paul Mitchells Tea Tree shampoo. You dont need to use very much since you just put it on the scalp. Try to stay away from any gels, hairspray also. Then about 3 times a week (at first) I would put tons of baby oil on her scalp. Let it soak. Then as I saw her little head get better i sut down to once a week to now 1 a month. But she is 5 years old and just loves it when I put the oil in her hair. She says it takes the itches away. Well I hope this helps a little.

It sounds like your daughter has cradle cap. The best way I have found to solve the problem is to use a little oil (I like to use almond or some other nice organic oil, you can get it from the health food store. Any food grade oil will work.) Put a little oil on her scalp and put a comb through her hair. You'll see that it comes right up and out through the strands of her hair. If you plan this before a bath; it will be like an indulgent oil treatment for her hair and scalp.
...and remember 2 year olds are learning what type of people they are becoming. The more patience you can practice now, the better reward you'll receive with a well-balanced child. You'll get through the terrible 2s.

Hi K. - if you shop at Whole Foods, I believe they have some homeopathic remedies for cradle cap that may work. Otherwise, you could try leaving olive oil on her hair overnight, then combing it out in the morning with a fine-toothed comb. Then wash as usual, but also put in a little leave-in conditioner. I hope that helps!

By the way, I'm also in the Bay Area, and studying psychology. I have a 4 1/2 year old with a baby on the way, so will likely take a break from my studies. My area of interest is in neuropsych, but I'm also fluent in ASL, which may lead me down a different path eventually. My husband is also in IT.

You may want to check with your pediatrician on this, but most likely it is cradle cap (that's what it sounds like to me). Two of my children had it, and one didn't so this seems to be an individual issue. My children who got it was at the same time - roughly 2 years. I used a dime-sized amount of Neutrogena T-gel shampoo. Massaged it in and then let it sit while I finished up the rest of the bath. Rinsed carefully. Took a few applications and then the scalp was clear. The shampoo dissolved the skin patches easily, and if it ever came back, I would do spot applications on the site until it was clear again. On this website there is a lot of advice on the subject of cradle cap so you can look there for more info.

My son had this same issue (it looks like cradle's cap) and when I spoke with his pediatrician about this he said that it is a form of cradle's cap but at this age, they refer to it as dandruff. I was told to use baby oil on his hair. Because I did not want to have his hair all oily, I would put it on his head an hour prior to my son getting into the bathtub when it was a wash the hair day. It will eventually go away, I was just looking at my sons scalp last night and noticed that he did not have it anymore ... he is now 3 so I think they just outgrow it.

Hi,

My 2 year old also has a dry scalp - the doctor said it is still remnants of cradle cap. They told me to use baby oil, which I was also hesitant to. Then, someone told me to put the baby oil on her hair while it was dry, as the reason you get the lingering greasiness is that oil and water don't mix. Then comb through her hair, getting it all off the scalp. Then, after the baby oil, use shampoo (hair still not wet with water), then rince. The shampoo cuts the grease and then the water washes it out. I have yet to try (we are on vacation and I don't have access to baby oil here), so I am going to try when we get back next week. Good luck.

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