Cradle cap is a non-infectious condition of the skin that develops on the scalp of new born babies. They are patches of red, yellow or white scales found on the scalp of babies and just disappear within a month. Cradle cap does not cause itchiness or discomfort, but it not attractive to look at especially when the baby has no hair to hide it.
Cradle cap is a common skin problem in infants which has flaking and accumulation of yellowish crust found in the scalp. When it is severe, it can spread to other parts of the skin such as the forehead and behind the ears. Cradle cap is also known as seborrheic dermatitis or milk crusts. This condition usually happens in infants between one and nine months and considered as a contagious disease. The crusts last about for weeks and then suddenly disappear and reappear again after sometime.
Causes of cradle cap behind ears
Cradle cap can occur due to an increased activity of the sebaceous gland which produces sebum which is an oily substance that is found in the scalp and other skin areas and there is a mild inflammatory change. The oil will build up in the glands and prevent old skin cells from falling off; instead they remain in the scalp behind the ears.
The hyperactivity of the oil glands is caused by the hormone of the mother that is present in the body of the baby and remains in the body of the baby for months or even after the birth of the child. If the mother has taken antibiotics for days before giving birth, there is a possibility that the infant will suffer from fungal infections. Antibiotics damage the good bacteria which help in preventing development of fungal infections. Cradle cap behind the ears is an extension from the scalp or from the forehead and sometimes occurs without spreading to other areas of the skin.
Treatment and home remedies of cradle cap behind ears
- Cradle cap behind ears is harmless. Wash gently the affected area in order to remove the flakes and yellow crusts or rub a delicate toothbrush in the area to help remove the scales.
- Massage the affected area using warm oil such as olive or coconut to help loosen the scales and leave on overnight. In the morning, wash the affected area using baby shampoo and once the scales become loose, use a cloth in removing the scales found behind the ears.
- Using petroleum jelly also helps in removing cradle cap behind the ears. Rub petroleum jelly on the affected area and let it stay overnight. Petroleum jelly helps soften the scales and use a soft bristle brush in removing the remaining loose scales.
If cradle cap behind the ears becomes inflamed or there are signs of infection, seek medical help immediately.