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How should I treat my 16-month-old's flaking, itchy scalp?

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How should I treat my 16-month-old's flaking, itchy scalp?


It really depends on the cause. Simple dry skin of the scalp usually causes no itching and does not need to be treated. On the other hand, some common scalp rashes, including seborrheic dermatitis ("cradle cap") and atopic dermatitis ("eczema"), can cause inflammation or itching in addition to the scaling. A useful tip for the flaking is to apply a few drops of baby oil to the scalp and gently massage the area before shampooing daily. If there is significant redness or itch, an anti-inflammatory cream (if she does not have much hair) or solution (if she does) is helpful, and should be discussed with her pediatrician. Finally, avoid over-the-counter shampoos marketed for dandruff or other scalp rashes, as they can be irritating to infant skin and will cause burning if they contact her eyes. Stick with a gentle, "no-tears" product made just for babies.  

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