Cradle Cap

infantile Seborrhoeic dermititis

Cradle cap is a harmless skin condition that is prominent on the heads of newborns 3 months until 3 years of age.  It is characterized by rough, scaly patches, oily skin (which is often covered with white or yellow scales) on the head or face of babies.

Cradle Cap is diagnosed by a doctor by examining the child's head. The condition is quite characteristic. Doctors usually suggest olive oil to be applied to the scalp of the baby before bed and to comb hair in the morning. And after the scales have been removed by following the regimen, the child's head is to be washed with mild shampoo. If the child has a severe case, the doctor can prescribe a weak hydrocortosine cream.

The condition usually foes away on it's own but some of it's long term effects are that it can spread to other parts of the body as eczema or dermatitis and children who had it can be more prone to dandruff when they're older.


Prevention measures include:  brushing  the baby's head everyday then wash, and try applying mineral oil to baby's before washing.

The cause is unknown. Some believe it can be due to the overproduction of sebum in the baby's oil glands and a type of yeast (malassesia)can grow in the glands along with bacteria. Extreme weather, oily skin, problems with their immune systems, and stress are also believed to be linked.

I was  not able to find the first case of Seborrheic dermatitis, or the infantile version, or who first diagnosed it.

Most children will get cradle cap and it doesn't cause discomfort, as unsightly as it might be.

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