15 answers

Cradle Cap Vs. Excema

My 3 month old has this nasty red and dry, flakey stuff on his head, which I assumed was cradle cap. He seems to be clawing at it all the time at night, like it's really bothering him and itchy. He has givin himself two bad scratches on his face by doing it. I try to keep his nails short, but you know how that goes, they grow like crazy! I'm beginning to wonder if it's something more. Does anyone know what the differences are between cradle cap and excema and how should I try and give my poor baby some relief. It really does seem to be affecting his sleep. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Here's something my mother in law showed me for cradle cap. Take a stick of butter and lather his head where the cradle cap is. Put a hat on him and let him sleep with the butter in his hair all night long. It won't be plesant but it really works. The next day just give him a bath and wash his head. It actually worked, and she has not had cradle cap since and my mother in law swears upon it because all of her 6 children had it bad and she did that once with each child and they didn't get it for awhile after that. That is if it is just a really bad case of cradle cap.
Good Luck

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I have a 5 month old with both. We made an appointment in NOVEMBER with a pediatric dermatolgist and had to wait until MARCH to get an appointment as there are only 4 in the chicagoland area. Anyway, the gental naturals works great! You can use t-gel by nutrogena or head and shoulders. Now, if you use these products you have to be VERY careful with eyes as these are not tear free. One of my mistakes was to bathe my baby less often because I would notice that her excema would flare up after baths. The key to excema is to have quick baths more often like every other day with warm water. Plus she suggested I pitch the baby soap and wash cloths. I now use cetaphil liquid soap and lotion on her. I also use aquaphor ointment on her little spots and if she gets a spot that just wont go away I use Hydrocortizone ointment 2.5% (you can ask your pediatrician for it). Hope this helps. By the way, you will know it is excema if you see a dry, itchy, reddish spot on your child's skin. Hope this helps.

Agree with Tricia to treat cradle cap with olive oil, with eczema, it can be many things, it looks like round, coin like shaped rashes on back and torso, rashes typiclly around the folds of their skin in their legs and arms. With my baby, eczema shows up anytime I eat dairy and nuts and found through searching that eczema is typically related to nut, milk and dairy allergies (since the milk and nut molecules are too hard to digest) if you are b/f, then hold off on all dairy products (you can switch to rice milk and cheese which is pretty good) and all nuts, especially peanut butter. If you are formula feeding, then try a gentler formula for those who have milk allergies. Eczema can also be caused by detergents, so if you just tried a new one, then switch to a more non-toxic one (Method from Target is a pretty good brand). Good luck.

There are separate items you can get for either at Target. Gentle Natural does one for excema. It works great! I even use it on my skin because it is so sensitive. There is another one for cradle cap. When my daughter had cradle cap she didn't seem to itch and it wasn't red, just sort of scaly. My guess would be excema.

Here's something my mother in law showed me for cradle cap. Take a stick of butter and lather his head where the cradle cap is. Put a hat on him and let him sleep with the butter in his hair all night long. It won't be plesant but it really works. The next day just give him a bath and wash his head. It actually worked, and she has not had cradle cap since and my mother in law swears upon it because all of her 6 children had it bad and she did that once with each child and they didn't get it for awhile after that. That is if it is just a really bad case of cradle cap.
Good Luck

All three of my children have had cradle cap and my third also has eczema. In my experience, cradle cap has never been red or itchy. It has always been a scaly/crusty & dry and yellow color and has never bothered any of my three. It is normal around that age to start pulling their hair and ears and may scratch at the same time due to lack of coordination. Now with eczema, my sons was never on his head, just his legs, arms and feet. So maybe it is eczema? The best treatment for cradle cap that I have found is rubbing the head with Olive Oil or Grape seed Oil letting it sit for five minutes then gently comb through the hair loosening the scales and then wash as normal. I tried those special shampoos with my first, but they never worked as well as the Olive Oil. Just so you know, if it is cradle cap it will go away on its own around 12-15 months. My son just turned a year and it's just about gone.

Arbonne baby products are recommended for both problems. I can have products at your door within 3 days at a great Mamasource discount.

Cradle cap and excema are both skin conditions of extremely dry skin. I know that a lot of people recommend rubbing it off or putting staight oil on it but be careful not to irritate the skin further. If the oil is mineral oil or conatins mineral oil you will be compunding the problem. Mineral oil seals the skin preventing it from breathing or taking in any moisturizers. In addition if products have chemicals or fragrances you will cause more irritation and drying. I would recommend Arbonne's ABC baby line. I used it on my own children and on my girlfirends little girl that I used to babysit for. Her daughter had the worst cradle cap and excema I had ever seen and the dermetologist products were very strong and not working. Her excema was so bad she used to crack, bleed and ooze. I used the body and hair wash for her whole body and hair. She would wash her hair at night with the same product and then while the pores are open she would put the ABC baby oil on her scalp while she slept. Your pores open at night while you sleep and then close up in the morning. Placing it on at night helped to hydrate her scalp while she slept. Even though it is oil it is not mineral oil and absorbes into the skin so there is not an oily feeling. All Arbonne products are 100% natural, free of mineral oils, chemicals, fragrances and animal by-products (dead animals used for cheap fillers.) Also use a soft wash cloth and rub gently in circular motions while washing the hair. My girlfriend's daughter did AMAZING and to this day does much better on the ABC line than anything the dermetologist has prescribed. All Arbonne products come with a 45 day money back gaurantee so it gives you time to see if it works for your children. I would love to help you more. You can reach me at ###-###-#### or ____@____.com can also read more about the animal by-products or the Arbonne company on my website at www.sharonlime.myarbonne.com!

My son had both and when i thought that a patch on his scalp was the cradle cap like in another area, treating it with baby oil and scraping made it worse. Turned out that that one seciton was his excema. Hydrocortisone 1% works wonder on excema. After applying that, he was much better. IT will help get rid of it and stop the itching. My pediatrician is the one that reccomended it and works great! Good luck.

When my daughter changed baby shampoos, her daughter's cradle cap cleared up. She was using the #1 product out there and switched to Shaklee's Small Wonders Baby Shampoo. It is chemically free. She now gives it to all her friends.

Hi S.,

I read through the other responses and it looks like you have received some reat descriptions of the differences between cradle cap and eczema.

Here are some secific things you should do if you are leaning toward eczema:

1. Avoid eating dairy, acidic foods (oranges, tomatoes, pineapple etc.) eggs, and peanut butter, French
fries, margarine, donuts, hydrogenated oils, and SUGAR.
2. Avoid lotions and creams with Lanolin.
Even moms and dads should avoid lanolin if they hold and come in contact with the child. Many people do not know these have side effect like thinning of
the skin and loss of pigmentation.
3. Use laundry detergents that are free of fragrance, dyes, and chemicals.
Things like Dreft for Babies or FREE products (like tide Free) are NOT okay to use. THey leave a residue on the skin that causes skin problems in many people. I use and recommend SHAKLEE cleaners. THey were one of Oprah's favorite picks last year. Visit my website to learn more about non-toxic cleaners that can save a lot more money than buying from the grocery store. www.shaklee.net/fruth/getclean
4. Remove all chemicals from your home. Many of the everyday cleaners we use contain harmful chemicals that can irritate the skin.
For example, if you use a floor cleaner that contains bleach and the child is playing on that floor the residue
from the cleaner will end up on his skin. You would NEVER give your baby a bath in bleach, so don't use it
to clean with. "Over 150 chemicals found
in the average home have been linked to allergies, birth defects, cancer, and psychological abnormalities.
(Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission) Again you will also be saving your family $200 to $300 a
year just by switching to Shaklee Cleaners.
5. When giving your child a bath, try to use to coolest water possible. The heat will bring out the rash
even more. Be sure to use a cleanser that is at a perfect ph. When finished, lightly towel dry leaving the skin moist
and immediately apply moisturizer. This will help to lock in moisture.
6. One of the most important is a supplementation program, which includes essential fatty acids and probiotics.

I hope this helps.

T. Fruth
Wellness Consultant

Hi S.,
The difference is that cradle cap is only on the infants head. Eczema can be ALL OVER. They both can be treated the same way which is keep MOISTURE & OIL on the child.

For the child head use to wash a dandruff shampoo and to oil the scalp use a grease called SULFUR-8 (FROM ANY WALGREENS). About twice a week

For the body bath in dove or caress because those soap are very mild and have moisture in it then apply vaseline

the next morning you will notice a difference but you will also have to do this everyday.

Cradle cap can range from mild driness on the scalp to more severe rash. My son had a mild case & he also had eczema. For the cradle cap since it was mild yellow scales on only his scalp my Dr said to pick at it & they will flake off. (that is the one thing you actually pick at, not like belly buttons, circumcisions these days etc.)

With the eczema, it was on his back, shoulders, arms & legs. It was a red, scaly rash. For that I stopped using Johnson & Johnson soaps & lotions & changed to Aquaphor gentle wash for baths & Lubriderm after baths to hold in mostiture. For bad stops once a day I used a small amt of cortisone at night on his back & legs. Within 1 day I saw a diffence.

sounds like just what my son went thru. he started w/ red cheeks and cradle cap, then it spread everywhere. never got rid of the redness unless i used steroid creams, but i stopped doing that after I found homeopathy. we see dr. josephine polich in naperville for his eczema (www.dupagehomeopathic.com). she can treat this and cradle cap and any other skin issues so well. please read this great newsletter she put out about eczema. this case was way more severe than my son's case, but he got so much better and helped him sleep better, etc.

Eczema tends to weep. My daughter had it all over her face. I thought it was baby acne at first but it started oozing (weeping) a amber colored liquid. it was so wrong. Cradle cap is more like the skin colored oily flakes on the head. I didn't think cradle cap itched so you should probably see the dr. or you could try 1% hydrocortisone cream on it and see if it improves. If it doesn't the dr. will likely prescribe 21/2% hydrocortisone cream to clear it.

Good luck!

I agree with the olive oil suggestion.

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