Why does my infant have cradle cap?
Cradle cap is a common condition that occurs on the scalp and behind the ears of infants in the first few months of life. It is scaly, red and greasy, and usually does not cause the infant any pain or distress. It is not contagious and we do not know the exact cause but it could be due to a superficial fungus or due to maternal hormones affecting the child during pregnancy. It can also happen in the diaper area, armpits, and in the folds of the elbows and knees.
How do I get rid of it?
The good news is that it goes away on its own most of the time so in those cases nothing needs to be done. Gently washing the scalp with mild baby shampoo every few days helps dislodge the scales. Applying olive oil and leaving on for fifteen minutes before washing off may help. Do not try to tear off the scales as this may damage the skin and cause areas of hair loss.
I did what you told me but it is still there.
If cradle cap starts to become more irritated, spread to other areas, start to weep, or start to cause pain or discomfort then you should see Dr. Al Dabagh or your pediatrician. In some cases cradle cap may become severe or a bacterial infection may take hold. Stronger creams or shampoos may be necessary and your child should be evaluated by a qualified professional.