What is milk crust? What are the natural causes and remedies to prevent and counteract it? Here's what it is and how to treat it
What is a milk crust? It is a type of infantile dermatitis that is caused by an increase in the secretions of the sebaceous glands. In fact, these glands have the function of producing sebum, which is a fatty substance that protects the skin and scalp. Normally, the milk crust manifests itself through greasy scales during the first weeks of the baby's life. The color is a pale yellow and the areas affected are the forehead, the head, the eyebrows or other parts of the body.
This dermatitis tends to pass by itself in 4/5 months, but at the same time it can cause itching, flaking and aesthetic problems. Its nature is benign and it is not absolutely contagious nor does it cause scars. To ensure that the situation is not complicated further, it is essential to avoid scratching the crusts in order to remove them: it would only cause more irritation on the baby's skin. According to some ancient beliefs, the milk crust is caused by an intolerance to milk-based nourishment which therefore causes a sort of allergic reaction of the skin.
The real causes of the formation of this dermatitis, today, are still unknown. The first symptoms occur during the first months of life when the baby feeds exclusively on milk. Precisely for this reason it is called "milky" crust. A further cause attributable to its formation is the presence of a fungus on the skin or it could derive from a passage of hormones from the mother to the newborn that leads to an alteration of the organism through a skin reaction.
To prevent and combat milk crust it is possible to use natural remedies: vegetable oils are an effective solution for the treatment of milk crusts. Simply apply them using a cotton pad on the affected area in order to soften it and relieve any discomfort. In the area of the eyebrows, on the other hand, just moisten a cotton swab with vegetable oil. Aleppo soap (100% vegetable) and salicylic vaseline can also be a great help to hydrate the skin and remove any crusts from the milk crust.