Cradle cap is an oily, yellow
scaling or crusting on a baby's scalp. It is common in babies and is easily
treated. Cradle cap is not a part of any illness and does not imply that a baby
is not being well cared for.
What causes cradle cap?
Cradle cap is the normal
buildup of sticky skin oils, scales, and sloughed skin cells.
How is it treated?
Cradle cap is not harmful to your baby. It usually
goes away by a baby's first birthday.
Home treatment is usually all
that is needed for cradle cap.
An hour before shampooing, rub your baby's
scalp with baby oil, mineral oil, or petroleum jelly to help lift the crusts
and loosen scales.
When ready to shampoo, first get the scalp wet,
then gently scrub the scalp with a soft-bristle brush (a soft toothbrush works
well) for a few minutes to remove the scales. You can also try gently removing
the scales with a fine-tooth comb.
Then wash the scalp with baby
shampoo, rinse well, and gently towel dry.
When should I call the doctor?
above measures do not work, talk to your doctor before using a
dandruff shampoo. If these
products get in your baby's eyes, they can cause irritation. Your doctor may prescribe other medicines.
Other Places To Get Help
American Academy of Family
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.