A young mum came in this week with a 4 month old baby boy, cute as a button. He kept looking at me and of course, I had to look back and talk to him – I love that about my job.
The baby had developed cradle cap, a common form of seborrheic dermatitis in babies that can present in symptoms ranging from mild (a buildup of scaly skin on the top of the head) through to more severe (thick, yellow, crusty scalp lesions).
The mum came into the store for advice on whether her son’s cradle cap was infected and whether there was anything further she could do to promote healing. As he was discovering his hands, he’d started to scratch his head. It wasn’t the scratching that had caused the cradle cap, but the skin was broken and there was a small amount of ‘exudate’, or pus, on the top of his head.
On closer inspection of the area, it was clear that the skin wasn’t infected – the skin was simply broken from where the scaly skin was peeling off the scalp.
When it comes to providing advice on these types of conditions, I always like to recommend products that can go in the first aid cupboard for other conditions.
In this particular case, as the cradle cap symptoms were mild and the mum had done a great job of keeping it under control, I recommended the following products:
Avene Cicalfate Cream
A product containing an active ingredient – sulcralfate – used, medicinally, in the healing of ulcers. This product is great for minor open wounds or surfaces that are wet. In the past, I have used it on mosquito bites that are inflamed and swollen and eczema on humans (and dogs!), with a lot of success in a short space of time. The Avene range is formulated with thermal water, obtained from thermal springs in France where the mineral content is particularly high. The high concentration of minerals like magnesium means it has healing properties.
Fun fact: France has thermal spring water clinics where patients can come for 2-3 weeks and are bathed in this water a few times a day to treat eczema and psoriasis!
A super soft baby brush
This is the softest thing I have ever felt! Once you feel it, you want your baby to have it.
A common treatment of cradle cap is frequently brushing the scaly skin with a soft brush and cream/oil to gently soften and loosen the dry skin. Often if the brush is too harsh or the cream/oil isn’t softening the skin adequately, it can cause the skin to break further.
The baby brush we have in store is an extremely gentle bristle brush and is always our go-to for stimulating skin cell turnover. It also makes for a beautiful baby massage.
MooGoo Scalp Treatment
We have had extremely positive feedback regarding the MooGoo range which has a strong following of advocates who predominantly use it for eczema and psoriasis due to calming ingredients and the absence of common ‘nasties’, which minimise the risk of further irritation and reaction. It is also an important consideration for new mums when choosing products for their children. This scalp treatment contains active ingredients of Olive Oil (0.045%) and Coconut Oil (0.040%). It is also formulated with a combination of other oils including almond, melaleuca, lavender and rosemary. In addition to the oils, the formulation combines aloe vera juice concentrate and Squalene and doesn’t contain paraffin, parabens or phenoxyethanol.
Fun Fact: You can get a rough idea of the concentration/amount of a particular ingredient in a product by its place in the ingredients list. Ingredients down the bottom of the list will only typically be used in small or trace amounts.
I love MooGoo as the ingredients are mild enough to use on any area where the skin is dry such as behind the ears or anywhere on the face. I did notice that the baby had dry eczema type build up on the cheeks (we see this a lot with babies when they dribble and when they are starting to teeth). The scalp treatment is also a great all-round moisturiser.
With these products I suggested the following twice daily treatment:
- Apply the MooGoo scalp cream
- Add a small amount of water to let it soak in
- Brush and lightly massage scalp with the soft brush *adding more water if needed to brush off dead skin, then rinse off
- Dry the skin
- Apply Avene Cicalfate cream
In between these treatments and as often as practical, the use of 100% olive oil can also be massaged into the scalp and gently brushed to keep the skin softened.
Providing support and advice is a huge part of our job and we see all manner of injuries and ailments in store. Sometimes further investigation or treatment is required and we will always point people in the direction of the best health professional to assist in those instances. Often, however, we are able to assess, provide recommendations and talk people through the treatment of minor injuries and health concerns in store – saving them the visit to the doctor, helping them to understand their situation and their options better – no appointment needed.
- Yen, Founder + Pharmacist