Cradle Cap

Bacterial co-infection could be a possible, but rarely seen complication, likely due to repeated scratching if irritated.

All babies can be affected by cradle cap. It is a very common condition which usually appears in the first 6 weeks of life.

However if there is concern that the condition could have another cause or is causing discomfort, then an examination by a paediatric dermatologist may be necessary to rule out other possibilities.

All You Need to Know About Cradle Cap in Babies

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It can disappear within a few weeks, months or in some cases up to a year.

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If these home treatments don’t lead to any improvement, your doctor may recommend an antifungal cream.

Currently, there is no known cause for cradle crap. However, there are many factors that have been hypothesized to influence the condition. One hypothesis is the secondary influence of maternal circulating hormones resulting in overactive sebaceous gland activity.[2] Sebaceous glands produce sebum, which is an oil-like substance. Overproduction of sebum causes the dead corneocytes (scale) to remain adherant instead of undergoing normal desquamation. Furthermore, the increase in frequency of seborrheic dermatitis during infancy and adolescence supports a hormonal influence on the condition. Malassezia, a yeast, has been implicated in many cases of cradle cap. The yeast breaks down sebum, consuming the saturated fatty acids, and subsequently leaves the unsaturated fatty acids behind. M. globosa and M. restricta have been found in over 80% of all age cases in an outpatient dermatology setting.[3] The response from anti-fungals further strengthens this causal relationship. However, the yeast is also seen in a large quantity of normal patients, suggesting an independent susceptibility to the yeast.

Cradle Cap

Cradle Cap

Symptoms of cradle cap are likely to appear within two months of birth, and include; a yellow, or brownish greasy scale which can cover the entire scalp. Over time this scale becomes more flaky and begins to peel off.

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Avoid getting the shampoo in your baby’s eyes. If you’re unsure about using it, speak to a pharmacist for advice.

Cradle cap, or pityriasis capitis, is a subset of infantile seborrheic dermatitis (ISD). It is a very common, mostly self-limiting, chronic non-inflammatory scaling skin condition that presents between the third week and first couple months of life. The peak incidence is at 3 months of life.[1] The skin manifestations are marked by erythematous plaques with greasy-appearing yellowish scale. Cradle cap’s name is analogous to its anatomical location. It can be found in areas dense in sebaceous gland activity, such as the scalp, T line of the face and external ears. Parents should be educated properly on the management and benign nature of this condition.

How to treat cradle cap

What is Cradle Cap | LloydsPharmacy

It usually occurs on the scalp but can also affect the face, ears, neck, nappy area and armpits, and behind the knees.

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Your new baby has the softest skin — however, maybe you’ve noticed scaly, greasy patches develop on their scalp. These patches are a type of seborrheic dermatitis called cradle cap.

Cradle Cap is the term given to seborrheic dermatitis affecting the scalp of infants. Cradle cap is a harmless condition that is characterised by scaly, greasy patches that form on the baby’s scalp usually within a few months after birth.

Cradle cap is harmless and goes away on its own after a few months. Although treatment is not necessary, there are steps you can take at home to help loosen and remove the scale. To treat cradle cap at home, board-certified dermatologists recommend following these tips.

Cradle cap

Cradle cap

Cradle cap classically presents as greasy, non-inflammatory plaques with overlying yellowish scale, on the vertex and frontal regions of the scalp. Cradle cap is usually asymptomatic; neither painful nor pruritic. Most infants generally have no side effects from the condition with feeding and sleep not being interrupted.[5] Studies have shown that infants with cradle crap commonly have a family member with either atopic dermatitis and/or asthma.[6]

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Continuing Education Activity

Cradle cap is seborrheic dermatitis affecting the scalp of infants

Symptoms of all forms of sebhorrheic dermatitis in babies usually disappear between 6 months and 1 year of age.

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