Cradle Cap (Seborrheic Dermatitis) in Infants

Cradle cap usually clears by itself after a few months, but many parents prefer to remove it because they do not like the look of it. If scaly patches are severe or appear on the face or other parts of the body, you may wish to seek help from your doctor . Cradle cap is not contagious and it is not caused by poor hygiene or bad parenting.

Babies can develop seborrheic dermatitis when they’re between 2 weeks and 12 months old. It usually starts with cradle cap. A baby with cradle cap will have slightly red scaly or crusty yellow patches on the scalp. It may also start on the face or diaper area and spread to other parts of the body.

Once the cradle cap is under control, you can keep it at bay by washing your baby’s hair often with baby shampoo and brushing their scalp with a soft brush. Ask your pediatrician how often to wash your baby’s hair after the cradle cap goes away.

Cradle Cap

Cradle cap

Once you have a diagnosis, you should be able to treat your baby’s cradle cap at home.

The cradle cap can come back, even when treated properly, because the glands continue to produce sebum for several months after birth.

Cradle cap is the common term for seborrheic dermatitis (seb-eh-REE-ik dur-muh-TYE-tis) of the scalp in infants.

Cradle Cap (Seborrheic Dermatitis) in Infants

Your baby won’t need to take any tests for the doctor to diagnose cradle cap. Your doctor will only have to see their skin.

Mild cradle cap usually gets better without treatment after a few weeks. It may help if you:

Seborrheic dermatitis, also called seborrhea (seb-eh-REE-uh), can show up:

Cradle cap

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It usually develops when a baby is 1 to 3 months old. About 70% of 3-month-old babies have cradle cap. Most of the time, it goes away within 1 year. But some babies develop it around 1 or 2 years old

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What Else Should I Know?

Cradle cap on the scalp of a baby with medium brown skin and black hair.

When you see these rough patches on your baby’s head, you might worry that it’s something serious. Cradle cap is common and harmless. It’s the baby form of dandruff.

The scales look similar on all skin tones. But the skin under the scales may look pink or red if your baby has white skin, or lighter or darker than the surrounding skin if your baby has brown or black skin.

Cradle Cap

Pictures of Baby Cradle Cap

Cradle cap is an inflammatory skin condition that affects babies. It causes yellow crusts on the scalp. It is commonly present in the first three months of life, and is rare after the age of one year. It is a form of seborrhoeic dermatitis.

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Symptoms of cradle cap

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The symptoms of cradle cap usually clear up on their own. But if they get worse with treatment or last longer than a year, you should check with your doctor.

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