Milchschorf owes its name to its appearance: the skin changes are reminiscent of milk, which is burnt in the pot. Cradle cap generally occurs in babies from the 4th month of life and in infants. Most of the hairy head is affected, often the face (forehead, eyebrows, cheeks) and the neck, rarely other areas.
Cradle cap: causes and symptoms
The cause of milk scab is unknown. Not infrequently, however, cradle cap is a sign of an atopic disposition, ie an innate hypersensitivity of the skin and mucous membrane against environmental substances, and the first manifestation of atopic dermatitis. Many children with milk scurf suffer from atopic dermatitis as adults. In some cases, however, the milk scab disappears after a few months.
It is typical for milk scab that the initially dry, whitish scaling is accompanied by itching. This seduces to scratch, the affected areas ignite, wet and crust with yellowish scab. The affected children are sleeping poorly, are whiny, restless and scared.
Delineation of head glands and baby acne
In the vernacular, the term cradle cap is often used for the gneiss, although there is a difference. These harmless, greasy-yellow scales settle shortly after birth like small caps on the scalp and are often single signs of seborrheic infant dermatitis. The scales of the Kopfgneis adhere firmly and are often divided into small fields.
In contrast to milk scab, these lesions neither itch nor affect the child. However, seborrheic infant dermatitis may sometimes be severe and affect several parts of the body. Their appearance may then be difficult to distinguish from atopic dermatitis.
Also not to be confused is the milk scab with a baby acne. Baby acne is harmless skin lesions that occur shortly after birth and are caused by a hormonal change.
Milchschorf: What to do?
First of all, if you are unsure whether the skin changes in your baby are cradle cap or have any other cause, ask your pediatrician for advice. Especially the itching - in the evening usually stronger than in the morning - and a child with a bad name speak for Milchschorf. With mild changes, vegetable remedies and homeopathy can be used against milk scab. In pronounced cases of cradle cap the therapeutic principles of atopic dermatitis apply.
If possible, avoid scraping off the scales, as this irritates and injures the skin and causes inflammation. To remove dandruff gentle methods by soaking the scales, for example with medicinal plants or in the pharmacy available Milchschorfgel recommend.
Cucumber scab to treat with medicinal plants
In order to remove dry crusts from the scalp, you can rub the head with oil in the evening before going to bed and wash it with baby shampoo the next morning. Particularly suitable are olive oil, calendula oil or burdock root oil. Pansy tea has also proven its worth, which also locally softens the scales and additionally acts against the itching and the inflammation.
You can dab and cleanse wet areas with a saline solution, which you can either buy from the pharmacy or make yourself (boil 1 g of cooking salt with 100 ml of water, keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days). The spots are then allowed to dry easily.
In the case of gneiss, a study has shown that half a milliliter of borage seed oil applied twice daily in the diaper area leads to an improvement in the scalp in less than a week. The connection is not yet clear. Borage seed oil can be bought for it in the pharmacy in the form of capsules. In addition, it has proven itself in the form of creams, ointments and bath additives.
Cradle scab with homeopathy
Also in homeopathy, preparations with pansies have proven successful: Viola tricolor helps especially in very wet areas. If the yellowish bark of the cradle cap is in the foreground, the homeopathic remedy called graphites is more likely. Sulfur is recommended for massive itching. However, as with atopic dermatitis, constitutional treatment by a homeopath is more effective.
Treating cradle cap and atopic dermatitis
The treatment of atopic dermatitis is always difficult. If the milk scab is the first sign of this chronic disease, patience and a good pediatrician are required. The therapy consists of several elements:
- Search for causes
- Fix individual triggers
- Prevention of acute relapses
- Treatment of skin changes and discomfort
- Psychological support
Important in this context is the basic care of the sensitive skin. Basically, wet rashes should be moist, such as with wrappers or gels, and dry eczema dry or dehydrated.
As treatment options against the symptoms of heavy milk scab and atopic dermatitis - especially against the itching and inflammation - are various drugs, plants and homeopathic remedies available. Also, methods of climatic therapy, microbiological therapy (such as probiotics), acupuncture, and relaxation procedures may be helpful.
It is also important to pay attention to regular exercise and healthy nutrition. The treatment of cradle cap is always individually adapted to the child.