25 answers

Yellow Crust on Skin

Moms! My baby has ezcema on his forhead and a little in his hair... When I let his face go (ie. not even clean it with a wet wash cloth) it starts to get better. When I attempt to clean off the crusties (no soap, just warm wet wash cloth) it gets worse! The doctor said I could put lotion on it after I wash his face, but again, it gets even worse!
Any ideas other than just let it go and not wash his face?
When I shampoo his hair, i use a soft bristled brush to get the dry skin off his scalp, but then again, it starts to seep yellow stuff that crusts over... YUCK!
Any help would be great!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you so much to everyone who answered!!
I used the Cetaphil and Aquaphor on the cradle cap and spots of ezcema on his forehead and cheeks and in 3 days I started to see a difference! The olive oil trick worked as well right before bath time, so thank you to all who recommended the all natural remedies!
Hopefully we'll be able to stay on top of it (considering we live hours away from much of our family, pictures are a MUST- and we want him to look cute, of course! ;) ) hehe

Featured Answers

Cradle Cap is a form of sorrebhric dermatisis (but I can't spell it.) Its not a problem but doesn't look pretty. My peditrican said to put hydrocortosone (1%) on it once a day if it was bothering me. Other wise I could just leave it. It seems to keep it under control. Mine gets it in his eyebrows and he looks so funny! Good luck

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In addition to creams for ecezma, I used olive oil. It's natural and won;t harm him.

1 mom found this helpful

my newborn (now 5 mos.) had the same stuff and it finally went away when his hair decided to start growing....not sure if there's a connection. one product i used on his head that softened the stuff up....i use it on my face too.....is Africa's Best Herbal Oil.......it's in the Afro-Amer. product area....it is cheap and contains a bucketful of oils you'd never be able to put together yourself for that cheap.....good stuff....but alas, the crust will eventually disappear on its own.

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If it's yellow crusty stuff without red underneath, it's not eczema, it's seborrheic dermatitis, otherwise known as Cradle Cap! Cradle cap often gets really gross around this age.

If his skin isn't really sensitive to fragranced products, I'd try using a dandruff shampoo (careful about the eyes, obviously) even onto his face and let it sit a minute before washing off. I also found that the cradle cap on my little guy's eyebrows could kind of be rolled off with a little goo--Lansinoh or Aquaphor would kind of soften it up and then it would just rub off. Weird but true.

If it is eczema (looks red and irritated, and then starts to ooze and crust), you really can get away without washing it at all. Or try something super mild and moisturizing like Cetaphil, which may help you wash away some of the crusty bits without making it dryer. And try Aquaphor, probably at least 3 times a day (and every time he gets wet!). I also use a prescription cream called Atopiclair under the Aquaphor, which helps make the skin softer. You'll probably have to see a dermatologist for that, though.

Good luck! The good news is that either way he'll most likely outgrow it in a couple of months.

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L., Sounds like your son has cradle cap. My son is four months old and had the same thing. Before I wash his hair I put baby oil on his scalp and let it sit there for a while. (I have read to leave it in there for an hour, but you try entertaining an infant for an hour with oil in his hair!) Then I sampoo it out with Aveeno and then shampoo again without the oil. It cleared up within a day. I did skip doing this routine a few times and it came back. I started back up with it again and it cleared up. Hope this information is helpful.

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Before trying any of the ideas that people have given you I would check with your doctor. My kids and I have Ezcema and the Aveeno baby wash with the Oatmeal really works well. Once a week I use the oatmeal bath and that helps it also.

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Cradle Cap is a form of sorrebhric dermatisis (but I can't spell it.) Its not a problem but doesn't look pretty. My peditrican said to put hydrocortosone (1%) on it once a day if it was bothering me. Other wise I could just leave it. It seems to keep it under control. Mine gets it in his eyebrows and he looks so funny! Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

Best Wishes L.-
I've read through the responses and it looks as though you've had some great input. In regards to the eczema, we've had excellent luck using a thick coat of Eucerin at night and a thin layer of Aquaphor when going out into the weather each day. This regimen seems to keep the eczema from "coming out" or better put, getting inflamed. Last winter, we needed to use Westcort (a steroid cream) b/c my son had a very raw patch of eczema on his cheek that we wanted to clear to avoid a bacterial infection. Westcort worked well for that purpose, but I prefer not to use it if possible. For bathing, my son's skin has responded very well to use of Mustela Stelatopia wash for baths and Mustela Cleansing Milk for washing up in the mornings. This product is a bit pricey, but is available at Babies R Us - same shelf as Aveeno. Hopefully, your son will respond to something that was offered up on this forum. Best of luck. K.

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My doctor told me that what I thought was eczema covering my daughter's face and chest was actually cradle cap (didn't know it went anywhere but on the head). He said to just use warm water and a washcloth to clean the area and said to not use any lotion. He has me use Vaseline on that instead (but said do not use it on the head). After I covered the areas on her face and body with Vaseline, it went away pretty quickly. Now whenever I start seeing her skin looking a little patchy or scaly, I just layer on the Vaseline. The doctor warned that the Vaseline may cause baby acne, but I haven't seen that happen yet. Hope this info helps!

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L., my son has very sensitive skin, so i've always just washed his face with warm water too. make sure that you pat the area dry after washing it so it doesn't become chapped. also, try a very thin layer of vaseline. this keeps his skin nice and smooth and it's non irritating. you also may want to check with the dr as it could be a different condition. he'll be on the mend soon!

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Hey, L.!
With my daughter's cradle cap, nothing helped, I just had to wait for it to pass. Many babies have it, so people understand when they see it. My daughter's lasted six months and then vanished. The less you wash it etc the better. Definitely don't use soaps etc. unless they are totally fragrance, allergy and irritant free. Same with lotions-make sure they are PLAIN. Even if you manage to scrub it down a bit, it comes back, and you can irritate the baby's skin more, so it's not really worth it. Hang in there! it WILL go away!
a m y

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you have gotten a lot of great advice - we use aquaphor by eucerin. it comes in a big tub and is a bit pricey, but alcohol is not an ingredient. good luck. it does go away.

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Saturate the crusty area with olive oil using the baby brush to lift the flakes and get the oil into his/her skin. Let it sit for about 15 minutes and then wash the effected oil.
My last 2 boys had this and it worked for them. After about 2 weeks the area stopped crusting over.

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Sounds like the yellow crusty stuff in his hair is "cradle cap". Very common in newborns...all 5 of my babies had it to some degree. The easiest thing to do is just apply baby oil to the area (during a bath is the best time) and let it sit for several minutes to loosen the crusty stuff. Then take a fine tooth comb and gently comb through the hair being sure to run it along the scalp. You should be able to scrap a lot of it off but it may take several treatments to get rid of it completely. Shampoo after you comb all the loosened pieces out. There is also a treatment I used on my last baby that worked great...can't remember the name...but it's found with other baby shampoos, is in a green bottle, and says it's specifically for cradle cap. You will need to keep on top of it for several months because it tends to recur.
T. M.

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My son's eczema responded well to Aveeno baby/eczema products and oatmeal baths as well as aquaphor. While we had trouble getting rid of it he never had as much seeping as much you explain. It was mostly dry, scaly and red. If his skin is broken open I'd be concerned about avoiding infection. I'd take him back to the doctor or maybe find a pediatric dermatologist.

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I am sorry to hear that you have to deal with this problem as well. My son is now 7 months old and we still have that problem. We took him to an allergist and a dermatologist. They gave us elidel and figured out what was causing it. Maybe you should ask your pediatrician for a referral. I have also been told that using olive oil helps but I did not try it. Good Luck!

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I found this on WebMD.com -- sounds like the best thing to do is to just rinse your babies skin with water --don't use a brush or wash cloth which may be irritating the skin more -- then, pat dry and apply a lotion.

Hope this helps -- see below.


What Are the Treatments?
Good skin care is a key component in controlling eczema. Proper care of the skin can often be enough in many milder cases of eczema.

In treating eczema, most doctors will start patients on basic therapies. One example is a room-temperature bath to remove crusted skin. A good moisturizer (in cream, lotion, or ointment form) helps conserve the skin's natural moisture and should be applied immediately afterward.

If mediation is needed, newer drugs called topical immunomodulators are available to help treat eczema. These medicines help control inflammation and reduce immune system reactions when applied to the skin. Examples include Elidel and Protopic. Use of these medicines may help reduce the need for corticosteroids.

WARNING: The FDA has issued its strongest "black box" warning on the packaging of Elidel and Protopic. The warning advises doctors to prescribe short-term use of Elidel and Protopic only after other available eczema treatments have failed in adults and children over the age of 2.

Research in animals has linked Elidel and Protopic with an increased risk non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. In those studies, the risk of cancer increased as the dose of the drugs increased. The FDA has also received reports of serious adverse events in children under the age of 2 who were prescribed the drugs, although they have not been approved for use in children in this age group.

Corticosteroid creams and ointments have been used for many years to treat eczema. Your doctor may recommend application of over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream in mild cases but often will prescribe a stronger steroid cream when the eczema is more severe. When other measures have failed, the doctor may prescribe oral corticosteroid medication; steroids should always be taken with caution and never without medical supervision.

Taking oral antihistamines may also help relieve symptoms. Some of these may cause drowsiness, which may be of benefit if nighttime itching is a problem.

For extreme cases of eczema, therapy using ultraviolet light may be prescribed. In adults, drugs that suppress the immune system may also be an option in the more severe cases. These medicines, such as cyclosporine or methotrexate, may be used in cases when other treatments have failed.

To relieve stress and improve circulation, it also helps to take a brisk walk or exercise on a regular basis. Set aside time for other relaxing activities.

hi L.,
I am a consultant for a skin care company called Arbonne. We have a diaper rash cream that I use on severe dry/excema skin. It heals and moisturizes the skin at the same time. Its worth a try. Let me know if you would like a sample. It has been a blessing for many parents.

There are several different things that can attribute to those symptoms. My son had ezcema when he was a baby and the only thing that worked was Arbonne Baby Care. I have also had several other mothers tell me the same.(and I am not just trying to sell you something!). Arbonne's Baby Care (ABC) is all natrual and often works when other common remedies fail. I would also like to tell you that a common mistake is to use Vasaline or baby oil. these products contain petroleum. Products that contain petroleum are more harmful than good. they form a coating on the skin that does not allow the skin to breathe. If you would like a sample of the Arbonne Baby Care line, you can visit my website www.tammyjones.myarbonne.com . There you will find a link to my e-mail. E-mail me and I can send you a before and after pic. Good luck and God Bless!

Hi L.. It sounds like cradle cap, but if it is eczema, you should try using more natural products. Both my husband and son suffered from dry, sensitive skin and we starting shopping with Melaleuca. They provide non-toxic products that really helped with their skin conditions.

Barbara Murtaugh

Hello... I put Tea Tree Oil on my sons eczema and it really works, but he is 8. Maybe you can read up on it and see if its ok for infants.

As far as the dry scalp, is it cradle cap? I used vitamin e oil and calendual for that and it worked really well.

Good luck

Sounds like the stuff on the scalp is cradle cap. My 1st had it for a long time. Take a clean tooth brush and put some baby oil and try to scrub it off. Use a soft tooth brush. Don't worry, you won't hurt his head

As for the dry skin on his face... what type of lotion did the dr say to use? Surprises me that the doc. said to put lotion on, unless it is a dermologically tested lotion. Be careful what you use, don't use anything with fragrance


I don't know much about this myself, but here is a forum my sister runs. There is alot of help there. Check it out.

So, it's winter.......dry heat. Leaving it alone will allow the natural oils to accumulate & it helps it. Fighting my son's same condition at this time of year was fruitless. Cortisone creams, less bathing, great lotions...none of it helped. Spring came, we headed to the Florida shores & in a short # of days, it went away & never returned...ever. He's now 22. Honest to God, it never came back & I did nothing.

Consider the time of year, the weather, give the wee one less baths, no soap on the face, whatever lotions are suggested & above all, don't fret. Good luck!

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil!
Nothing works like it. For people with chronic psoriasis and eczema, consistent application will heal and rejuvenate the skin unlike any cream and steroid use can be prevented totally. It works, it works, it works. It is a simple and God given remedy. Cradle cap disappears in a weeks time.

Hi L.-
I am a mom of 5 and my youngest was a preemie that had eczema as well, what finally cured my daughter was a prescription cream caled"Westcort 2%", it is a very strong hydrocortizone
cream that I applied overnight and in the am I would wash her hair w/ the soft bristle brush and yes the skin would come off and it was pretty gross but in about a weeks time she was healed. Also I noticed that in the summer when I would put her in our pool that it came back alittle bit so I just repeated the process, try that but first talk to your dr and see if he will write a script for the cream. I t really did work for my daughter. take care

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