Adult Cradle Cap

Cradle cap
Photo: Ken Stocker/Shutterstock
Hair loss can be attributed to many reasons, but few people think of Adult Cradle Cap. We think of cradle cap on infants and have learned how to gently wash the scalp once a day and apply mineral oil, massaging carefully to continue its loosening effects, and the cradle cap eventually leaves.
Adult cradle cap is a form of seborrheic dermatitis, which can cause dandruff. The symptoms can appear as red, flaky, oily, scaly, greasy, and itchy or non-itchy, and then scaling over, causing a suffocation of the hair follicles that stops hair growth. Just when the crusty area is once again clear, by the morning it has scabbed over again.
The stress can be overwhelming for those who have this problem. Besides the scalp, this culprit can appear on the face, nose, chest, groin, eyelids, eyebrows, arm creases, behind the ears, and mid-body skin folds.
Although the crusty appearance may be scary, it is not due to allergies or uncleanliness, and it is not contagious. It can, however, be due to unexplainable neurological disorders. It is always best to check it out with your family physician if adult cradle cap persists. In the meantime, your hairdresser can get you started and begin treating your scalp with shampoos containing salicylic acid, selenium sulfide, zinc, pyrithione, and tar.
Your hair would need to be shampooed daily in the beginning. The best option would be for you to purchase the necessary items for your shampoos so you can do this daily task yourself. When the adult cradle cap is under control, you can cut back to about two or three times a week. Everyone is different, and the frequency of treatment depends on the severity of the case. When treating yourself with this specialized medicated shampoo, it is vital that you follow the directions and leave it on your hair for at least five minutes, giving the ingredients the time they need to do their job.
Scalp with cradle cap
Photo: Russaquarius/Getty Images Signature via Canva
Your hairdresser may have a few ideas up her sleeve to help you heal and might start by treating your scalp with things like vinegar, tea tree oil, aloe vera lotion, olive leaf extract, and zinc oxide lotion. When you cannot make it to the salon, those items are easily purchasable at a drug store, health food store, grocery store, or online.
I would suggest rotating the treatments; for example, one day use the vinegar, another day use the olive leaf, and write down what happens afterwards. Make a journal for each treatment you use, noting how your scalp reacts an hour afterwards and what it looks like the next morning. Or use one of the items per month, then try something different to compare them; but be sure to write it all down so you know which one responds best to your scalp. Make sure you tell all of this to your doctor and hairdresser, as the information will be quite valuable for you in the future.
There are suggestions of cutting back on your yeasty breads and simple sugars that may help in combating this disease, and replacing them with vegetables will help clean up your system and could speed up the healing process. Other factors for you to consider are the everyday circumstances that could cause your adult cradle cap to flare up, and to try to avoid these things, such as:
1. Stress
2. Obesity
3. Fatigue
4. Oily skin
5. Weather extremes
6. Skin disorders, such as acne
7. Lotions containing alcohol
8. Infrequent shampoos or skin cleaning
Let's just touch on these things a little bit.
Stress: We are stressed every day in our lives, but it is the way we respond to it that will help us combat it and learn to cope with it effectively. Some use exercise, meditation, deep breathing, easy-listening music, and training themselves to think of positive things instead of negative ones.
Obesity: If it is within your power to lose weight, sacrifice the chocolates and potato chips once and for all and start treating yourself better by losing what you don't need. Be honest with yourself once and for all; you will love yourself for it.
Fatigue: Make time to get the proper rest you need. Famous people in high positions have taken 15-minute naps and perked themselves up to make those important decisions that affect all of us. You are just as important; start being good to yourself; you deserve it.
Oily skin: Use astringents on your scalp and face if you are too oily, and use non-oily soaps and lotions.
Weather extremes: We all have them; protect yourself against the extreme cold that makes you shudder angrily while catching the train. Put on skin and hair protection when the sun is too hot in the summertime. Take time to plan and always remember: "This too shall pass."
Skin disorders such as acne: Today, there is no reason why anyone should suffer with acne. Besides avoiding greasy foods, a doctor can give you a specialized prescription that will give you a new lease on life and the acne will be gone practically overnight. Do not ignore this condition; it is your body's way of saying, "I need some help."
Lotions that contain alcohol: Start reading labels. There are several good products without alcohol out there that will not dry out your skin, and you will be happier for it.
Infrequent shampoos and skin cleaning: Wash your hair before it gets dirty. The same rule applies to our bodies.
See also:
Scalp problems
Hair diseases