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You've noticed something strange in your baby's scalp - what is it? At the next visit from the health visitor, you ask and get the answer "it's a scar". She gives you some good advice. But what is scab and why does it happen?
You sit with your little wonder. To think that you now have something so amazing in your life - the love for this little creature is indescribable. But what the heck is in your baby's scalp? It's not exactly pretty. Arp isn't pretty, but luckily you can do something about it - you can even prevent it. We're here to help you find out more about scabies, what is scabies, how do you treat it and can it be prevented?
Facts about arp
- Arp is in Latin called Seborrheic Dermatitis. It is a condition that typically infants get that causes a layer of greasy yellow-brown dandruff on the scalp. The color is somewhat similar to the color of earwax. It is completely harmless and will disappear again.
- Scarring is normal and harmless for your baby, but it can cause discomfort for your baby. Arp holds on to body heat and can even cause itching. What's more, most mothers find it unattractive.
- It is not yet known what directly causes the scar, but it is an overproduction of skin cells and skin fat that builds up instead of being shed.
- The scar will not go away on its own and cannot be washed away, as the scar is water-repellent. If the scab is not removed, it may form a thick crust. It can also develop to cover your baby's scalp, forehead and eyebrows.
- In some cases, the arm can spread to other places such as the face or even further on the body. If this is the case, or if you can't get to the bottom of your child's scar, it may be a good idea to see a doctor. From there, you may be referred to a dermatologist.
- Severe scarring is seen more often in children who also suffer from childhood eczema.
- Scars can form on children as young as 3 years old.
Scabies can be seen as a mild form of eczema and many babies develop scabies in their first weeks of life.
Can I prevent arp?
By increasing blood circulation in your child's scalp, you can help prevent the formation of scars. You can do this by massaging your baby's scalp daily with a towel, baby brush or comb. Don't be afraid to touch your baby's soft spot - the fontanelle - as it is covered with thick connective tissue.
So make it a daily routine to groom or massage those cute little baby dolls.
If you use a dentist's comb, be careful not to scratch your child's scalp, as the dentist's comb can be sharp.
How to remove arp?
Avoid removing the scar with a nail or comb without softening the scar first. You risk scratching off too many layers of skin and leaving your child's scalp red and sore.
So the first step in removing the scar is to soften the scar. You do this by smearing the affected area with baby oil and letting it sit. Some recommendations are to leave it on overnight, but here you will find that the oil and the scab are dried up the next morning, and thus have not helped. Instead, let the oil sit for a few hours. Once the scar is loosened (this is seen when you start rubbing), rub the scar with a baby toothbrush or a tooth comb. A baby toothbrush will gently make circular motions in your baby's scalp and the dentist's comb will flake the scalp more.
You may not be able to remove all scars on the first treatment. If more treatments are needed, we recommend that you only rinse your baby's hair with water and avoid soap. However, if you have completed the treatment, you can use a little baby shampoo to get the oil out of your hair as much as possible.
You can also wipe off the oil with a towel, leaving the excess oil on the scalp to penetrate. This way you avoid the drying shampoo. Shampoo is not usually necessary for babies, but can be used in this case).
How to remove a thick layer of scab?
If your baby is plagued by a thick layer of scab, a rich baby cream may give better results than the oil.
Apply the cream to the affected areas in a thick layer so that it looks like your baby has worn a hat. Leave the cream on for 2-4 hours, then rub it off with a baby toothbrush or toothcomb.