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Cradle Cap

Cradle cap, that yellow or brown, crusty stuff that forms on your baby’s scalp is totally normal and isn’t contagious, an allergy, dangerous or caused by poor hygiene

Cradle cap1 - cradle cap

Why is my baby scaly?

Cradle cap, also known as infantile seborrheic dermatitis, is caused by an excess of oil in a baby’s scalp caused by hormones from the mother. According to the Clinical Dermatology journal it can also be caused by irritation from a yeast called malessizia.

Cradle cap may be itchy, but scratching the area can cause skin breaks and possible infection.

How to clean it

  1. About an hour before washing your baby’s hair, rub some mineral oil on the affected areas.
  2. Wet the scalp and gently work to remove the scales by using a soft-bristled brush. Do not scrape at them.  
  3. Wash with infant’s shampoo, rinse very well and towel dry.

When to call the doctor

It usually clears up by a baby’s first birthday but if the condition does not clear up by then or with home treatment call the doctor. Your doctor might suggest some medicated shampoos and occasionally a corticosteroid cream is prescribed.

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