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Cradle cap

Cradle cap is a common and harmless condition that causes greasy, flaky crusts on a baby's scalp.

Symptoms of cradle cap include greasy, flaky crusts on a baby's scalp.

Cradle cap usually clears up on its own. You can loosen and remove the flakes with baby shampoo or baby oil and a soft brush.

Read more on the NHS website.

Symptoms of cradle cap include greasy, flaky crusts on a baby's scalp.

Check if your baby has cradle cap

Image of cradle cap crusts on a baby's head.Cradle cap can look like patches of greasy and yellow crusts.

Image of cradle cap with red skin on a baby's head.The crusts can flake and make the skin look red.

Image of cradle cap on a baby's eyebrows and around nose.It can appear on other parts of the body, like the eyebrows, nose and nappy area.

Cradle cap is not itchy or painful and does not bother your baby.

It's not clear what causes cradle cap. It cannot be caught from another baby.

Read more on the NHS website.

Cradle cap usually clears up on its own. You can loosen and remove the flakes with baby shampoo or baby oil and a soft brush.

Self-care


Do

  • wash your baby's hair regularly with baby shampoo and gently loosen flakes with a soft brush
  • gently rub on baby oil or a vegetable oil (such as olive oil) to soften the crusts
  • use baby oil, vegetable oil or petroleum jelly overnight and wash with baby shampoo in the morning

Don't

  • do not use peanut oil (because of the allergy risk)
  • do not use soap
  • do not use adult shampoos
  • do not pick crusts – this can cause an infection

Hair may come away with the flakes, but do not worry, your baby's hair will soon grow back.

Medical treatments

You can ask a pharmacist:

  • about cradle cap treatments

Read more on the NHS website.