Cradle Cap

This is common in small babies, especially under 3 months of age. It is called Seborrheic Dermatitis (Seborrheic Capitis). It may or may not be associated with a separate skin condition called Eczema.

It is NOT a dangerous condition. It is NOT contagious. And it is NOT because of poor hygiene. It doesn’t hurt or harm the baby.

It is caused by over production of natural, water-proofing scalp oil from oil producing (sebaceous) glands of the hair follicle. The excessive oil forms a layer on the scalp and scales off in a yellowish/white waxy crust. The same condition can occur on other hairy parts of the body, eg. Eyebrow.

Home care for Cradle Cap.

  1. Don’t worry. It doesn’t hurt or harm your baby.
  2. Gently massage scalp using a thin baby oil. Using the soft tips of the fingers, massage the scalp with a good amount of oil for about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Then wet the scalp with a little bit of water and apply a baby shampoo. Using a soft tooth brush, massage the scalp to create a good lather. Massage for about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Rinse well and dry.
  5. Apply a small amount of a moisturizing lotion to the scalp.

Repeat steps 2-5 daily for about 2 weeks.

If Seborrheic dermatitis occurs on eyebrow:

  1. Gently massage the eyebrow with a cotton bud soaked in baby oil
  2. Wet the eyebrow with a bit of water and then massage with another cotton bud soaked in baby shampoo.
  3. Rinse well
  4. Apply a moisturizing lotion

Repeat steps 1 to 4 daily for a few days until resolved.

When to see a doctor

Sometimes the crusted skin can get infected causing an oozing secretion and redness. This is a condition that will need medical care.

Occasionally, along with crusting, the scalp can become dry and crack up. This may cause intense itching that may need medical care as well.