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What Can I Do About Cradle Cap?

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Question: What Can I Do About Cradle Cap?
Answer: If you have noticed yellow, oily patches of scaling on your infant's scalp, your baby has a form of seborrheic dermatitis, also known as cradle cap. There is no cause for alarm as the condition is not painful or irritating to your child. It is also very common, affecting many infants from about two weeks to six months of age.

The best course of treatment is simply to use a mild baby shampoo regularly. Afterwards, you can very gently remove any loose scales with your fingertip or with a soft baby brush. Do not scrub the area vigorously or try to remove any resistant scales. This can cause irritation and lead to infection. If the scales do not seem to loosen after shampooing, you can apply olive oil or baby oil and allow to soak into the scalp before shampooing.

If the scaling is severe, very red, or has spread to the face or diaper area, contact your health care provider. You will likely be given a recommendation for a special shampoo, cream or ointment to eliminate infection and help speed healing.

After the condition is under control, just continue keeping your baby's scalp clean with frequent and gentle washing with your normal baby shampoo.

Do you have a question you'd like to see answered? You can send your questions to me at babyparenting@aboutguide.com and I will answer them here on the site.

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