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Infant and Child Health

Cradle Cap

Home Treatment

Cradle cap is an oily, yellow scaling or crusting on an infant's scalp. It is caused by a build-up of normal oils on the skin.

Home Treatment

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  • Wash your baby's head with baby shampoo once a day. Gently scrub the scalp with a soft-bristled brush (a soft toothbrush works well) for a few minutes to remove the scales. Don't worry about hurting your baby's skull; it is sturdier than you think. Rinse well.

  • You can also rub mineral oil on your baby's scalp 1 hour before shampooing to loosen the scales.

  • If scrubbing with baby shampoo doesn't work, try using a dandruff shampoo, such as Selsun Blue, Head & Shoulders, or Sebulex. Use these products carefully because they can irritate your baby's eyes.

  • If the rash looks irritated and red, applying a mild hydrocortisone cream (such as Cortate 0.5 percent) may help.

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