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What can you do about cradle cap?

Cradle cap or seborrheic dermatitis is a harmless skin condition that’s very commonly found on babies’ heads as well as around their eyebrows, ears, nose, or even nappy area. Cradle cap looks like little patches of greasy, yellow scales and is basically your baby's version of adult dandruff.

Cradle cap usually clears up in its own time, but if it’s making your skin crawl (understandable), there are a few basic things you can try:⁠

  • Wash your baby’s hair regularly using baby shampoo. Do not use soap or adult shampoo.
  • Rub on baby oil, petroleum jelly, or organic vegetable oil (such as olive oil) to soften things up.⁠
  • Gently brush your baby’s head with a soft brush to loosen the flakes. A bit of hair might come away too but don’t worry, it’ll soon grow back.⁠
  • If you’re worried, you can visit your GP. You should see a doctor if the seborrheic dermatitis is extensive, looks infected, or is bleeding. If you're concerned in any way, definitely seek professional advice.

Cradle cap usually develops when your baby is between two weeks and one year old. Big range, we know.⁠ The main thing to remember when it comes to cradle cap is that it won’t be bothering your baby as it’s not painful, itchy, or uncomfortable. So, the main thing is to try not to let it bother you, and to resist the urge to pick! This is not a good idea, as it can lead to infection.⁠