Cradle cap in babies

  • PublishedSeptember 16, 2019

Cradle cap is caused by a condition known as serborrheic dermatitis. In adults it is referred to as dandruff. It  mostly affect infants between 1 and 3 months. Symptoms of cradle cap include; rough, scaly patches and flaky skin on the scalp. While it is mostly harmless, it can be so unsettling to look at.


The condition occurs due to excessive production of oil by skin glands surrounding hair follicles. It appears on areas surrounded by oil glands such as the scalp. It is also believed that cradle cap can be caused by the mother. If during pregnancy, a mother passes certain hormones to the baby, the skin glands end up producing more oil than required.

Prevention measures

Ensure the baby is well rested

This means the baby should be comfortable in their places of sleep. A baby requires at least 14-17 hours of sleep to be well rested.

Ensure the baby isn’t stressed

When infants are stressed they cry a lot, squirm and stretch their arms and legs. Ignoring this kind of actions can lead to a break out as stress is a trigger for cradle cap.


The condition can clear up by itself after a couple of months. For more immediate treatment, do the following;

Use of humidifiers

Humidifiers are generally good for skin. This is because they prevent the skin from complete dehydration. If this is used on the baby it means there will be less need for production of oil by the skin glands as the skin isn’t dry.

Buy specified cradle cap products

Use medicine that is specifically created for babies with cradle cap. Dry skin is sensitive, if you use medicine that isn’t specified they can cause exaggeration of the condition. Some of the medicine include shampoos and creams. There are shampoos intentionally produced for such situations, usually cleanses the baby’s hair and scalp. The shampoo also rinses away the scaly substances caused by the condition.

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