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Treating Cradle Cap in Children

Cradle cap is a crusty, scaly rash on a baby's scalp. It's common and harmless, and not a sign of allergy, infection, or hygiene problems.

Call Doctor If:

  • Your baby's cradle cap seems scaly or itchy.

1. Wash the Scalp

  • Use a gentle shampoo to wash your baby's scalp daily until the cradle cap clears up.
  • Don't use a medicated shampoo on a baby unless a pediatrician recommends it.

2. Remove Scales

  • Brushing the hair with a soft-bristled brush will help remove some of the scales.
  • Gently massaging your baby's scalp will remove scales, too.
  • Using baby oil may help remove scales when combing the scalp.

3. Be Patient

  • Cradle cap usually goes away on its own. Most children outgrow it before age 3.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD on September 11, 2015

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