Cradle Cap

Information on the causes of cradle cap symptoms, such as patchy, scaly and crusty skin rashes on newborn babies.

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  1. What is Cradle Cap?
  2. Diagnosing Cradle Cap
  3. What causes Cradle Cap?
  4. More Information on Cradle Cap

What is Cradle Cap?

Cradle cap is a common and harmless skin condition that usually affects babies between two and six months. Appearing as flaky skin or yellow, oily and crusted patches on baby’s scalp, cradle cap can be an unsightly condition – although this is bound to concern mothers more than their babies!

The good news is that the condition does not seem to be painful and generally does not cause too much discomfort to your little one. In severe cases however, cradle cap may become itchy and even spread to other areas such as the face, armpits and diaper area and it is therefore a good idea to address cradle cap as a preventative measure.

Diagnosing Cradle Cap

Cradle cap is a condition that is controllable with treatment and often goes through cycles of inactivity followed by flare-ups. Diagnosing cradle cap will involve a visual examination and inspection of the area.

What causes Cradle Cap?

As common as cradle cap is, the exact cause remains unclear. A commonly held explanation is that the hormones released by the mother during the final stages of pregnancy affects the unborn baby and causes excessive stimulation of the oil-producing glands.

This excess oil then dies into crusty patches on the scalp and flakes off. Another possible explanation is that cradle cap is caused by a fungal over-growth on the scalp. Either way, mothers should rest assured that cradle cap is NOT a sign of poor hygiene or underlying illness!

More Information on Cradle Cap

Tips for treating cradle cap:
  • While mild cradle cap generally goes away by itself without any intervention, there are a few tricks in tackling this bothersome condition:
  • Do not use adult shampoos on your little one’s scalp – rather stick to a mild no-tears baby shampoo.
  • Try using natural pure grade oil such as almond or olive oil on your babies scalp prior to normal shampoo washes. Massage the oil onto the scalp, leave for an hour or two and then loosen the flakes gently with a baby brush or soft baby towel.
  • Do not pick the flakes off or vigorously or try to remove stubborn crusty patches. This will further irritate your baby’s skin and may cause pain, discomfort or infection.