Plagiocephaly in adults: How to treat it?
Plagiocephaly in adults is a very common problem that many people suffer from. In this post we explain some important information.
Nowadays it is common to see some babies with a slightly flat head, and you may even have seen a baby with a funny looking helmet to correct the cranial deformity. That’s a special helmet for plagiocephaly in babies. But what if you’ve reached adulthood and you have a flat spot on your head, because you were born at a time when awareness of the condition was limited? Can plagiocephaly be treated in adults or older children?
The rise of plagiocephaly
Plagiocephaly has gained a lot of media attention in recent years. While the Back to Sleep campaign of the 1990s may have successfully reduced the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome, it did leave many children with misshapen heads.
According to Aliyah Mawji, RN, of the Canadian Pediatric Society, in her article “The incidence of positional plagiocephaly: a cohort study.”
published in the American Academy of Pediatrics. “The incidence of plagiocephaly in infants aged 7 to 12 weeks has been estimated at 46.6%. Of the total number of infants with plagiocephaly, 63.2 % were affected on the right side and 78.3 % had a mild form. “
Today, awareness of plagiocephaly is beginning to rise, as doctors and health visitors give advice to parents and private clinics offer helmet therapy to correct severe cases of plagiocephaly in children.
But what about the adolescents and adults who were born before the information and treatment options that we now have came to light? Is there an age limit to treat plagiocephaly?
Treatment of plagiocephaly in adults
Unfortunately, the only known treatment for plagiocephaly in adults is surgery, and few surgeons are willing to perform the procedure. Since it is largely believed to be a cosmetic issue and the risks and costs associated with surgery outweigh the benefits.
Today, parents are often advised to reposition their babies from an early age. This involves varying the position in which the child plays, sits, and sleeps to relieve pressure on the back of the skull. Repositioning is usually successful in treating mild cases of plagiocephaly, but when it fails, a helmet can be used to correct the deformity.
As babies become toddlers and begin to move more independently, the head often snaps into place, eliminating any minor deformities. The helmet can be used to treat moderate and severe plagiocephaly in babies before 14 months, as the skull bones begin to harden and this method becomes ineffective.
Outlook for adults with plagiocephaly
If you are an adult who has recently realized that you suffer from plagiocephaly , there is probably no easy solution. However, you can take comfort in the fact that the condition is relatively benign and is not known to be associated with any health risks later in life.
While the awareness of plagiocephaly is on the rise, the advice health professionals give to parents remains insufficient and there are still babies left with easily avoidable head shape deformities to this day.
So if a friend’s child or family member has a deformed head, suggest they get it checked out and take action. It can save them a lot of pain in the future. It may be helpful to show them this short presentation on plagiocephaly, which explains how to spot the signs and briefly explains the treatment options available.
For more information, we recommend this article: How to correct a flat head in a baby .