Monday, August 4, 2008

Hair horror

When babies are born, they are pretty things. Their skin is smooth, their digits so small yet so perfectly formed, their hair downy and soft.

Pity it doesn't last. Sonny's prettiness, after just 15 weeks, has been eroded. He already sports pimples, while nappy rash has had to be beaten back a few times. Most distressing at all has been his hair: Strange lumpy chunks of scalp have bubbled up, and little tufts of his hair have flaked off.

Pa's immediate reaction, as the overreacting fear-mongerer he is, was to start pawing about looking for fleas while plotting the mother of all disinfecting campaigns. But we learned after a quick Internet trawl that Sonny was afflicted with something called 'cradle cap', which is believed to be brought on by hormonal changes and is easily treated with baby oil (among other remedies). It was nothing serious and a visit to the herbalist yielded a bottle of rub-on olive oil.

We've been lucky, actually. According to some sites (such as Baby Centre's), cradle cap can spread to occupy the entire scalp, then make forays to the baby's face, nappy area and even armpit and nose! We wouldn't have liked that: At least Sonny's present patch is in an area seldom noticed by others (though this might change if any more hair detaches itself).

Of course, if and when chicken pox strikes, or pustules and boils brought on by other microscopic nasties pop up, we can do little more than blast away with whatever creams science can provide. But in a way, we wouldn't want Sonny to grow up with too perfect a complexion anyway. He might spend too much time admiring himself in the mirror, or grow too big an ego over something as idiotic as his prettiness. So bring on more pimples - in moderation, of course!


AudreyO said...

Do I dare tell you that cradle cap can last a while too? One of my daughters had cradle cap and it lasted for a while.

Cloudsters said...

All right, Audrey, we'll hunker down for the long haul, maybe lay in extra supplies of baby oil.