A common scalp condition, seborrheic dermatitis, turns skin greasy, scaly, itchy and flaky. The scales are often white to yellowish and appear on the scalp or inside the ear. It can also affect the face, chest, back and other oily areas. When it affects infants, the condition is called cradle cap. While not harmful, seborrheic dermatitis can feel uncomfortable and affect self-esteem. The condition often affects babies 3 months or younger and adults 30 to 60 years of age, with males more likely to get it.
Things You'll Need
- Anti-dandruff shampoo
- Mild baby shampoo
- Soft brush
- Mineral oil
Adolescents and Adults
Get an anti-dandruff shampoo. Medline Plus recommends shampoos with active ingredients such as salicylic acid, selenium, coal tar, zinc, resorcin, ketoconazole or selenium
Use the shampoo daily until you get the flakes under control, and then use it two to three times a week. According to FamilyDoctor.Org, you should massage it thoroughly into the hair and leave it for at least five minutes before rinsing.
Visit a doctor for a consultation if the shampoo proves to be ineffective. According to FamilyDoctor.Org, you might get a prescription steroid lotion for use once or twice daily.
Use a mild baby shampoo that contains no medication every day. According to Medline Plus, a baby's scalp is sensitive and should not be treated with harsh chemicals.
Use your fingers or a brush with soft bristles such as a toothbrush to massage the baby's scalp and loosen the flakes after the shampoo and several times throughout the day.
Apply mild mineral oil on the baby's scalp and wrap the head with a warm, wet cloth for up to one hour before shampooing if the flakes don't come off easily. Change the cloth when it turns cold.
Visit a doctor if the condition persists. According to Medline Plus, the doctor might prescribe a cream or lotion for the baby's scalp.