SymptomsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Common signs of cradle cap include:
- Patchy scaling or thick crusts on the scalp
- Greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales
- Skin flakes
- Possibly mild redness
Similar scales may also be present on the ears, eyelids, nose and groin.
Cradle cap is most common in newborns. It isn't contagious and probably won't bother your baby. Cradle cap generally isn't itchy for infants.
Cradle cap is sometimes confused with another skin condition, infantile eczema. One major difference between these conditions, however, is that eczema usually causes significant itching.
When to see a doctor
See your baby's doctor if:
- You've tried self-care steps without success
- The patches spread to your baby's face or body
- Sasseville D. Cradle cap and seborrheic dermatitis in infants. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Sept. 21, 2012.
- South-Paul JE, et al.. Current Diagnosis & Treatment in Family Medicine. 3rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=52. Accessed Sept. 21, 2012.
- Sheffield RC, et al. Clinical inquiries. What's the best treatment for cradle cap? Journal of Family Practice. 2007;56:232.
- O'Connor N, et al. Newborn skin: Part I. Common rashes. American Family Physician 2008;77:4.