The reason why babys and toddlers can develop cradle cap plus information on how it can sometimes be cured with special treatment shampoos.
Cradle cap (infantile seborrhoeic dermatitis) is a crusting and yellow scaling rash found on the scalp of a baby. The scalp can also appear red in patches.
It is thought that cradle cap occurs as a result of sebaceous glands in the skin becoming hyperactive due to hormones being passed across the placenta during pregnancy. This results in the skin cells on the baby's scalp growing faster than they can fall off, resulting in additional, 'crusty' skin. It is not caused by an infection, allergy or poor hygiene, so it is not contagious in any way.
Cradle cap is a very common condition that can occur in any baby. It is most common in infants up to 3 months, although it can occur any time up to about 12 months.
The most gentle method of treating cradle cap is to rub a little baby oil onto your baby's scalp. Wait a few minutes for the oil to soften and loosen the scales, then brush them away with a soft brush.
Alternatively, you can try washing your baby's scalp regularly using a mild baby shampoo.
If the symptoms don't improve over time by using the above treatments, your doctor can prescribe a medicated shampoo or cradle cap cream.
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