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Does a craddle cap from a babys head harmful or normal ?

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  • Dr. Alison September 20, 2010

    Cradle cap is the yellowish, greasy, scaly patches that are often seen on a baby’s scalp. It usually starts on the scalp and can spread behind the ears. It commonly starts in the first 3 months of a baby’s life and normally disappears by 6 to 12 months.

    Only in rare cases does it continue for a longer period. Overactive sebaceous glands producing excess of an oily substance (sebum), which mixed with scales and dead, sloughed-off skin may produce these patches. The exact cause is not known but a fungal infection of the scalp caused by Pityrosporum ovale may be involved.

    Cradle cap (Seborrheic dermatitis) is a non-infectious skin condition. It is not caused by poor hygiene. The rash is usually not itchy and except for looking unsightly, it does not harm the baby.

    Home treatment with gentle shampooing and using a soft brush on the scalp may be all that will be needed to take care of it.

    A doctor may be consulted if the rash becomes too severe or if it spreads beyond the scalp to involve the eyebrows, armpits or groin.

    For more information, refer to this article on Causes of Skin Rashes in Newborn Babies, Infants.

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