Dandruff In Toddlers And Remedies

The delicacy of the baby's skin that covers the scalp remains the same for the first year of the baby. Therefore, just like the baby is prone to skin issues like eczema and fungal infections, the baby is more likely contracts dandruff during this period of time.

Are cradle cap and dandruff the same?

Craddle cap


Cradle cap also is known as "infantile seborrheic dermatitis". This kind of infant dandruff is most often distinguished by thick, yellowish or white scales on the scalp. It is quite common among infants 0 to 3 months old and clears up on its own by 1 year old. However,  dandruff, also known as "seborrheic dermatitis", on the other hand, will appear in the toddlers  (above 1 years old) and is visible in the form of white tiny flakes that are mainly deposited in the scalp, just like the miniature of adult dandruff. Unlike cradle cap that resolves its own, you have to take some steps to get rid of dandruff of the toddlers.

What causes dandruff in toddlers?

Here are some of the reasons that pave the way to dandruff in toddlers:

Thriving of fungus:

A fungus called Malassezia that found naturally on the scalps that thrive on the oils produced by the skin responsible for triggering dandruff.  These fungi produce an acidic by-product which reacts with the scalp skin bringing about the excessive shedding of the dead cells of the scalp. The dead cells, when mixed with the sebum produced by the sebaceous gland of the skin can bring about dandruff in toddlers

Excessive shampooing:

Using too much shampoo more frequently on the scalp washes off the natural oil from the scalp and make it dry. Dry skin flakes fast creating dandruff. Using excess shampoo and not rinsing well during a wash makes the shampoo remain in the scalp increasing the chances of contracting a condition called contact dermatitis (especially if the shampoo is chemical based) that triggers the formation of dandruff.

Insufficient shampooing:

Just like excessive shampooing, shampooing less often results in building up of sweat, oils, dirt and dead skin cells on the scalp, affecting the hygiene of the scalp skin. This can lead to dandruff formation

Skin issues:

Skin disorders like eczema, ringworm, psoriasis, etc can cause scaly, dry, and cracked scalp skin leading to dandruff formation

Overexposure to sunlight:

Overexposure of the baby to the sunlight without properly covering the head with a cap or hat can badly affect the skin on the scalp. This can set off dandruff

Environmental  issues:

Climate and environmental issues also play an important role in the setting of dandruff in toddlers. Too cold and too hot climate triggers dandruff formation. Likewise, studies have proven pollution can make dandruff worse.

Overactive oil glands in scalp skin:

The overactive sebaceous gland delivers more skin oil or sebum, that and brings about dandruff formation

How to get rid of dandruff in toddlers?

Maintaining the scalp hygiene is very important to get rid of dandruff in toddlers. Once you are sure your toddler is having dandruff issue, the following measures will help you to get rid of it.

  • Use a normal, unscented, and mild baby shampoo to wash the baby's hair every day. Easily going dandruff can be fully removed by this step.
  • Before shampooing, brush the child's dry hair to take out large and visible flakes of dandruff. This will enhance the result of shampooing

  • In case of severe dandruff issue, use a medicated dandruff shampoo that is recommended by a pediatrician. Never go for over the counter medicines for dandruff in adults or adult antidandruff shampoo on the scalp of the baby. Use the pediatric medicated shampoo once or twice a week depending on the severity of dandruff and doctor's prescription.

Never Use adult's Shampoo

  • While washing the child's hair with shampoo, gently use your fingers to massage the scalp and create a good lather. Wash thoroughly with plenty of water. Never use conditioners on baby's hair.

  • After washing properly, pat-dry the baby's head carefully with a towel. Make sure the head is properly dried. Avoid vigorously rubbing the scalp with the towel. This can aggravate skin irritation.
  • If the baby is prone to dandruff, then you must maintain the normal pH of the scalp. The doctor may prescribe anti-fungal scalp lotion or cream for the baby if the dandruff is too stern to go.