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Cradle Cap

Cradle Cap

Cradle cap (seborrheic dermatitis) is a very common scalp condition that affects many babies. It causes yellow-toned, greasy, scaly patches on the scalp and sometimes around the eyebrows and in folds of the skin elsewhere on the body. It is usually a harmless condition that doesn’t cause discomfort, and will clear up by itself in time. Any hair-loss caused by cradle cap will be temporary, and the hair should grow back well after the condition clears.

Cradle Cap Causes & Triggers

It is not altogether clear why babies suffer from cradle cap, but it is thought to be linked to residual hormones left in the body from birth. A surge of hormones can cause an imbalance in the sebaceous glands, which causes an overproduction of sebum and oil and can lead to a build of skin cells on the surface of the scalp.

Cradle cap is more common in families who have a history of hayfever, eczema and asthma, and may be the result of an inherited intolerance to allergens.

Cradle Cap Treatments

Medical treatment for cradle cap is not normally necessary, but if the skin becomes itchy, red, sore or inflamed, check with your GP or healthcare advisor.

Home remedies are the usual course of action, and you might like to try:

  • Washing your baby’s hair with a gentle baby shampoo to loosen the skin flakes.
  • Gently drying and brushing the hair to remove further ‘flakes’ of skin.
  • Rubbing the scalp with a baby oil or olive oil to soften the flakes.
  • Moisturising the area regularly to keep the area nourished and to prevent dryness.

As precautionary action:

  • Treat the scalp area gently, and try not to pick the flakes of skin as this can cause soreness.
  • Ensure that bath water is tepid and not too hot, as heat can further dry out the skin.
  • Try not to shampoo your baby’s hair too often as this can also have a drying effect.


Download Cradle Cap PDF


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