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Did you also forget that your baby's scalp is actually skin too - and now it's dry and flacky?


Cradle cap is a common skin condition in babies that causes scaly, crusty patches on the scalp and can also be found around the eyebrows. It is not serious and usually goes away on its own within a few weeks or months. The exact cause of cradle cap is unknown, but it is thought to be caused by overproduction of oil in the scalp, a yeast called Malassezia and a reaction to certain soaps or shampoos.


Cradle cap is not contagious but it can be very daunting to new parents and cause babies discomfort. It is usually a bit swollen, red and quite itchy. To prevent cradle cap you should keep your baby's scalp clean and dry; use gentle soaps or shampoos on your baby's scalp; keep your baby's hair short.


There are a few things you can do to help treat cradle cap:

  • Wash your baby's scalp with a mild, fragrance-free shampoo every day or every other day.

  • Gently massage the shampoo into the scalp and rinse it thoroughly.

  • You can also use a dandruff shampoo for babies.

  • Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly or coconut oil to the scalp before shampooing. This will help soften the scales and make them easier to remove.

  • Do not pick or scratch the scales, as this can irritate the scalp and lead to infection.


If cradle cap is severe or does not respond to home treatment, you should see a doctor. They may prescribe a medicated shampoo or ointment.


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