Cradle cap is one of those frustrating and sometimes gross things that new Moms have to deal with. No one enjoys seeing yellow scales on their beautiful, perfect child’s head. The good news is that Cradle Cap, otherwise known as baby dandruff, dermatitis or seborrheic, is actually quite common and simple to treat

What is Cradle Cap?

Cradle Cap is a skin condition characterized by greasy or dry scales most commonly affecting the scalp of children up to age 0-3, but can sometimes appear on older children if not cared for in early stages. It usually makes its unwelcome appearance during the newborn stage when thick, crusty, yellow scales start to take over the child's scalp. Similar scales may also be found on the eyelids, ear, around the nose, and in the groin.  It can be a chronic, recurring condition caused by inflammation of skin glands or birthing hormones. It is similar to dandruff in adults. (However, dandruff can also be caused by other scalp conditions).  But the good news is with proper treatment you can rid your child of this condition forever.

Cradle Cap is a result of too much oil on the scalp. Cradle cap is not contagious, it is not caused by poor hygiene, it is not an allergy, and it is not dangerous. Cradle cap may or may not itch. If itching is present, excessive scratching of the area may cause additional inflammation and breaks in skin may cause mild infections or bleeding.


How to Treat Cradle Cap

  1. Massage your baby's scalp gently with your fingers or a soft brush to loosen the scales and improve scalp circulation.
  2. Give your child daily gentle shampoos with a mild soap like Beaners Renu1 Cradle Cap Shampoo while scales are present. After scales have disappeared, you may reduce shampoos to twice weekly.
  3. As you shampoo, use a baby comb to gently lifts the scales out of the hair.
  4. Be sure to rinse off all soap using clean water from the tap, not the bath.
  5. For really bad cases of Cradle Cap, or if scales do not easily loosen and wash away, apply a small amount of some light weight oil such as coconut oil to the baby's scalp prior to shampooing. Wrap warm, wet cloths around their head for up to an hour before shampooing. Then shampoo as directed above. Remember that your baby loses a lot of heat through his scalp. If you use warm, wet cloths, check frequently to be sure that the cloths have not become cold. Cold, wet cloths could drastically reduce your baby's temperature.
  6. If the scales continue to be a problem or concern, or if your child seems uncomfortable or scratches their scalp, contact your physician.

When to Call Your Health Care Provider

If the scales continue to be a problem or concern, or if you child develops an infection, seems uncomfortable or scratches his scalp excessively, contact your physician.


The information provided herein should not be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.