Plagiocephaly is a variant of cephalic disorder which is described in clinical terminologies as a physical condition in which the skull of the victim is distorted asymmetrically. In this ailment, one side of the victim’s skull is flattened. It is seen at birth quite often and can stem from a restraining intrauterine environment. The shape of victim’s head becomes asymmetrical due to the pressure it gets in the womb. When seen from above it appears like a diamond. Some of the patients of this ailment also get one side of their chest flattened. Even though the average human skull can not be perfectly smooth in many cases, the patients of plagiocephaly have a big area of their brain flattened
Depending on the root cause, the symptoms of this disease may appear at different ages in different people. There are some babies who are born with an unusually flat head. On the other hand, some babies tend to develop the disease later when their skull bones join prematurely. The most prominent sign of plagiocephaly is a Parallelogram-shaped skull from top view. In some babies, one side of the head can be flattened while a bulge can develop in the forehead. Their eyes are also positioned in an uneven position. For proper diagnosis of the disorder, CT scans, X-rays and some other tests are required. On an average, 1 in every 60 child in UK acquires this disease.
As a matter of fact, the skull of a baby is very tender and soft. Therefore, it can be made to grow into various shapes easily. If the baby is put into a specific position for prolonged duration or the muscles linked with the skull develop spasm, some regions of the skull may be pulled flat or may get squashed. This is called deformation plagiocephaly in clinical terms. Plagiocephaly can also be triggered by the skull bones fusing together in an abnormal manner prematurely. Usually these bones grow together at a defined pace to let the skull expand in all directions uniformly. But if some bones join too early they might make the skull distorted. This ailment can also be caused if there is more than one baby in the womb of the mother. In this case, the babies squash together inside. Babies that are bon before the time can also develop this disease.
As the child's head grows rapidly after birth, this visible inequality nearly always gets much less marked as the first year progresses.
To treat the babies that are born with a noticeably flattened head, a doctor might advise using a skull-molding band or helmet to be worn by him. The parents should be patient to see the improvements taking place. Generally, a baby with a flattened head shows signs of improvement after some time of the commencement of treatment. The average time can vary from six to 8 weeks in most instances.