What is cradle cap?

Cradle cap is a type of skin rash which develops on the scalp of babies. This rash develops as white or yellow patches of skin on the scalp which range from mild through to extensive coverage. Cradle cap is a form of seborrhoeic dermatitis: this common skin rash affects many adults as well as babies and whilst harmless, often causes a great deal of embarrassment.

It usually develops in the first three months after birth and lasts for a few weeks. In some cases it can persist for several months. 

How common is cradle cap?

The answer to that is more common than you think. Around half of all babies are affected by cradle cap although this tends to be mild. Cradle cap is not contagious: if you have other children you will not have to keep them away as this rash cannot be passed from one child to another.

Mild or severe cradle cap

Some babies are affected to a greater extent than others. Some babies experience a mild flaking on the surface of their scalp whereas others have noticeable crusting.

If your baby appears to have the noticeable form then try not to worry. It may look unsightly but it won’t cause any harm or distress to your baby and is easily treatable. Most children outgrow this condition by the time they have their first birthday. If an older child develops this rash then it is likely to be dandruff or seborrhoeic dermatitis rather than cradle cap. Severe cases of cradle cap are rare.

Cradle cap primarily affects babies. Older children and adults do not contract this but can develop seborrhoeic dermatitis instead which has similar symptoms.

© Medic8® | All Rights Reserved