Has your baby’s beautiful little head started to develop some yellowish, oily, scaly crusts? It’s called cradle cap, and there’s no need for concern because it:
The cause of cradle cap isn’t entirely clear, but it’s thought that it happens when a baby’s skin makes too much oil called ‘sebum’, probably due to mum’s hormones still circulating around in the baby’s system.
The extra oil that’s produced interferes with the natural shedding of skin on the scalp, so a build up of dead skin occurs.
Cradle cap may also happen when a baby’s immature immune system overreacts to the yeast on the scalp, which then causes inflammation.
Cradle cap can spread to your baby’s eyebrows and behind their ears. The scaly patches can sometimes be found on other parts of the body too, such as up their nose, in their nappy region, armpits, and backs of their knees.
You may have tried peeling off the crust but found it doesn’t come off very easily, or you might find it looks inflamed or irritated under the scales. A little hair may also come out with it.
It’s important not to pick or scratch at the cradle cap as it can get infected.
It will clear up on its own with time, but you can help it along by getting rid of the crusts. Just follow these two simple steps each day:
Your baby most likely won’t need to see a doctor about their cradle cap, except for the following reasons.
If it comes back again after treatment, there’s no need to worry. It just means that your baby is still making extra oil. Simply go through the treatment steps again to nip it in the bud. It usually completely clears up between 6-12 months.