Dandruff in children

Dandruff is a very common condition in adults. It is worth noting that dandruff usually appears at puberty, under the influence of sex hormones, and very rarely affects children. Babies and children can sometimes experience similar symptoms, such as scales in the hair, itching, and even irritation of the scalp, but it is not necessarily dandruff.



Dandruff in infants

What may look like dandruff in babies is usually cradle cap, or infant seborrheic dermatitis.
This is a very common condition. It is not serious but often worries parents because it can be unattractive. This phenomenon is triggered mainly by the hormones passed from the mother to the baby, which cause hyper seborrhoea of the scalp and a desquamation phenomenon. Your baby's scalp is fragile, so it is important you do not try to pull it off with your nails or a brush. There are various products available in pharmacies, in various textures, including shampoos, creams, gels and emulsions, which will help to remove the scales. Bear in mind that most of the time cradle cap is eliminated naturally over time.

Dandruff in children

Dandruff is very rare in young children.
What may look like dandruff in a child's hair is often an infestation of lice in the larval stage, i.e. nits.
Head lice are the bugbear of parents and must be dealt with rapidly in order to be eliminated.
Nits are similar in colour to dandruff, so it is sometimes difficult to tell them apart.
More rarely, what is thought to be dandruff in children may be seborrheic dermatitis, a harmless but sometimes bothersome skin condition. It causes redness, skin desquamation and oily dandruff that can affect the scalp and also spread to other parts of the body, such as the face and eyebrows. Again, this condition is very rare in children.

Finally, do not forgot that use of certain inappropriate products (such as use of an adult shampoo formulated for coloured hair, or products not intended for washing hair) can cause a temporary dandruff condition, as a reaction to applying a particularly strong scalp irritant.
Dandruff is an uncommon condition in children, and is most often temporary. Ask your pharmacist for advice on the most suitable shampoo.  

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