Got Cradle Cap?


Got Cradle Cap?


Cradle cap can be one of those common and frustrating conditions that parents deal with. Yellow scales on a baby’s head is something no one looks forward to. Fortunately, it can be treated.

What is Cradle Cap?

Otherwise known as baby dandruff, dermatitis or seborrheic, cradle cap is a condition characterized by greasy or dry scales most commonly affecting the scalp of children up to age 3 however can sometimes be present in older children. It can be a chronic, recurring condition caused by inflammation of skin glands or birthing hormones and is a result of too much oil on the scalp. It is not contagious, not dangerous, not an allergy and not caused by poor hygiene. Cradle cap may be itchy and if scratched, may cause additional inflammation. If the skin is broken, it may bleed and cause mild infections.


Here are some suggestions to help treat cradle cap:

  1. Massage baby’s scalp with fingers or a soft brush to loosen the scales which improves scalp circulation.
  2. Shampoo your child’s head daily using a mild soap like Beaners Renu 1 Cradle Cap Shampoo when scales are present. After scales have disappeared, you may reduce shampoos to twice weekly.
  3. As you shampoo, use a baby comb to gently lift the scales out of the hair.
  4. Rinse off all soap using clean water from the tap, not the bath water.
  5. For more severe cases of cradle cap, or if scales do not easily loosen and wash away, apply a small amount of some light weight oil such as coconut oil to the baby’s scalp prior to shampooing. Wrap warm, wet cloths around their head for up to an hour prior to shampooing. Then shampoo as above. Be reminded to check the temperature of the cloths prior to wrapping the head in case it is hot. As well, monitor the cloth as it cools as it could reduce your baby’s core temperature and replace with warm cloths as needed.

If scales persist or if your child develops an infection, please contact your heath care provider. The information provided herein should not be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.

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