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Cradle Cap

Cradle Cap

Cradle Cap is a harmless skin condition that is common in babies. It's not itchy or painful and it doesn't bother your baby. It's not currently clear what causes cradle cap, but there are some things you can do to ease the symptoms.


  • Greasy yellow or brown scales on the baby’s scalp
  • Scales then flake off leaving the skin looking red

What causes Cradle Cap?

Cradle cap isn’t caused by poor health or a lack of hygiene nor is it contagious. Most likely it is linked to overactive sebaceous glands - the glands in the skin that produces sebum (our skin’s natural oil).

How to treat Cradle Cap

  • Cradle cap usually clears on its own but to help prevent it building up gently wash the baby’s head daily with baby shampoo or a special cradle cap shampoo designed to loosen the scales.
  • Scaly patches can also be softened by gently massaging olive oil, petroleum jelly or baby oil into the scalp at night. Alternatively a cradle cap cream can be used which will be less greasy.
  • Comb your baby’s hair in the morning with a soft baby brush to remove flaky bits.
  • Don’t pick at the scales or you risk causing an infection.
  • If the cradle cap becomes inflamed or infected consult your doctor. A course of antibiotic or antifungal cream may be prescribed.