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Cradle cap

What is Cradle Cap?

Cradle cap is a form of the skin condition seborrheic dermatitis. It is quite common in infants and toddlers. Cradle cap is not contagious. Cradle cap is fairly harmless to a baby’s health. However, cradle cap can be stubborn to treat.

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What Causes Cradle Cap?

The exact cause of cradle cap is unknown. However, many health professionals think cradle cap may be caused by an overproduction of oil from a child’s oil glands. If oil glands are producing oil in abundance in response to a baby’s rapid growth, this could cause dead skin and oil to accumulate and stick to the scalp.

What Are the Symptoms of Cradle Cap?

Cradle cap usually appears within the first few months of life. The most common symptom of cradle cap is the appearance of dry scales on a baby’s scalp. These scales will become greasy and may turn red, brown or yellow. Patches of scales can cover a child’s entire head, and they can take on a crusty appearance. Cradle cap is not painful, but it can become irritating or itchy to a child.

Can Cradle Cap be Treated?

Cradle cap can be treated. Your child's pediatrician will prescribe medicine and/or ointments to treat cradle cap.

When to Notify the Doctor

If you believe your child has cradle cap, contact your doctor. You should also notify your baby’s pediatrician if the scales spread to other regions of the body, including the face. Contact your child's pediatrician if the scales appear to be inflamed.

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