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Scalp Problems in Children

A child's scalp problems can give their parents, especially mothers, lot of worry and sleepless nights. What are these problems and can you handle them? To know more about them, read on...
Scalp problems can happen anytime to your child, so you need to be vigilant in noticing them and take adequate measures to control them. Be ready to go looking for the trouble, in order to help your child get rid of it. You have to persist in your efforts and rest only when you have successfully located and handled the problem relating to scalp. It is because the scalp is covered by hair, which may hide the problem from you, as well as hinder its solution by getting in your way.

Common Scalp Problems in Kids

Lice
Head lice are gray or black colored tiny insects, which invade and infest the scalp. These parasites sucks blood from the scalp. Once they get settled on the scalp, they lay their eggs (nits) at the base of hair follicles and multiply very fast. Your child's head scratching should warn you of the lice infestation that is causing an itchy scalp. Your child may receive his or her dose from the lice networking, when playing with their playmates. At home, lice may get transmitted from the child to you and other adults. There are products available in the market, such as shampoos, which you can be used to solve this problem in children.

Cradle Cap
There are other problems which may have to be taken care of. These include cradle cap, also referred to as infantile seborrheic dermatitis, which is seen in newborns. This is a form of eczema. This scalp condition in children is the cause of your infant's scalp getting covered in brownish or yellowish scaly patches or crust. Rest assured, cradle cap is not the indication of illness or neglect on your part, and there are remedies for seborrheic dermatitis. Applying or rubbing olive or baby oil and leaving it overnight, can help get rid of cradle cap. Next morning, use fine toothed comb to get rid of the loose scales.

Atopic Eczema
Atopic eczema or atopic dermatitis may give very itchy skin to your child. The symptoms of this type of eczema in children, can be seen from the age of 3 months, and in few cases, as early as few weeks after the birth of the infant. Red boils appear on the skin of the baby. The baby, once it can co-ordinate movements, scratches almost continuously, in order to get relief from the itching, leaving scratching marks. Scratching may lead to a staph infection. The baby's neck and scalp etc. get involved. You can try some natural cures for eczema. It is better to consult a dermatologist, who is fully qualified to handle the situation and offer your baby relief. If treatment is not given, atopic eczema may progress into a chronic condition.

Other Children's Scalp Problems
These include dandruff, which can be cured using anti-dandruff shampoos etc. Hair loss in your child may warn you of the iron deficiency anemia, which can be cured by supplementing iron. However, if the hair loss is causing smooth patches on the scalp, then it may be because of alopecia areata. But, if your son starts losing hair in his teens, then it can also be the case of male pattern baldness. One of the common scalp infections in children is tinea capitis, a type of fungal infection, also known as scalp ringworm. It is mostly observed in the children between age of 3-7 years. This problem can be overcome by using treatment for scalp ringworm. If your child is facing any of these scalp problems, it is better to take medical advice.

Whatever the age of your child, be sure that at one stage or another, he or she is going to have one or other sort of the commonly seen problems. Like I said earlier, if you observe your child has a scalp problem, take adequate measures as early as possible.
By Shrinivas Kanade
Last Updated: 10/18/2011
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