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What is cradle cap - baby head skin rash


What is cradle cap?

Cradle cap is newborns’ dermatitis when new skin grows faster than old one can fall off. All people shed and it is completely normal. Since it happens often normally healthy adults don’t even notice much of such process.


You can see on top of your baby’s head or other parts of the body some yellowish, greasy, scaly, and crusty stuff. It can cover small area or whole top of the head. Usually your pediatrician will explain you that newborns that were born two weeks later than the due date have larger affected areas than those who were born on due date or few weeks earlier. Your baby might lose hair on the scaly skin surface, but do not worry it will regrow.

Is cradle cap dangerous?

Many newborns have cradle cap and it is normally not affect them anyhow. Pediatricians will say you that in most cases it not hurts or itchy to your baby. Therefore, mostly the skin condition is not that parents should worry about as long as it not bothers them, their child, or not get worse. It should go away by itself in a few months of life. In some babies it stays up until first birthday and then resolves itself which it is still normal. In very rare cases cradle cap/eczema can stay on skin even later in life.
When you see that the skin condition gets worse than you need to show your child once again to your health care provider. If your pediatrician’s advices do not seem to help the matter, then you should make sure to mention it at your next doctor appointment or make a new one much earlier because it may be a sign that something else is going on. Always remember that it is better to prevent any disease than to deal with that later on when sometimes it might be too late to do anything about that.

What causes cradle cap to occur?

Many pediatricians might say you that cradle cap can appear because of hormones passed from mother to the child. They referring many babies skin rashes, not only cradle cap, to children’s reactions on mothers’ hormones. However, it is not only one possible reason of that happening.

What to do about cradle cap?

Normally any treatment is really that necessary. Parents should just gently wash their newborn’s head daily with mild shampoo for babies the usual way. They may want to use a hair brush for babies to stimulate the scalp right after each washing. Pediatricians might suggest applying some olive or baby oil on the skin surface; however, it won’t help much matter anyway. Parents have to be just patient and time should cure their children. In case cradle cap persists or seems severe, your doctor might suggest some special treatments, such as a medicated shampoo, lotion, oil or something else if necessary.

What you shouldn’t do?

You shouldn’t try to wash your child’s head better, longer, nor harder because you may just do more harm to it than any good. Cradle cap doesn’t occur from poor hygiene. In addition, it doesn’t really do much of a difference how to clean the newborns’ skin area and it won’t keep that from reappearing.

Medical Disclaimer

The author is not a doctor and the information in the article is general in nature with no medical advises given or imply. Talk to your doctor, nurse or medical advisor how to treat health related problems.