Cradle Cap

What is cradle cap?

Cradle cap is a scalp condition that is often seen in infants. It can occur from a few weeks to several months of age, and there is no known cause. It should be treated to avoid spreading and to prevent a possible infection.

What are the possible symptoms?

Your child may have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Scalp redness
  • Greasy, white or yellow scales over the scalp

What is the treatment?

Your child's doctor will talk with you about specific care for your child. Some general guidelines to follow include:

  • Brush your baby's scalp lightly with a soft brush once a day
  • Use shampoo on your baby's head as advised by your child's doctor
  • Use baby oil to help remove the crusts as advised by your child's doctor

When should I call the doctor?

Call your child's doctor:

  • If the cradle cap is not better after two weeks
  • When you see signs of infection:
    • Swelling, redness, and pain
    • Drainage from affected area
    • Bad smell from affected area
    • Fever

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Atlanta Children's Clinical Center

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