What is cradle cap?

Many babies develop red, scaly patches of skin on their scalps. This is a harmless skin condition called cradle cap (seborrheic dermatitis). Cradle cap is very common in infants. It usually disappears over a period of weeks or months.

Cradle cap does not spread from person to person. It is rarely itchy and uncomfortable for your baby. It is not due to an allergy or poor hygiene, and will not leave scars.

What causes cradle cap (seborrheic dermatitis)?

The exact cause of cradle cap is unknown. Overproduction of skin oil or a type of yeast in the oil may contribute to the condition.

What are the symptoms of cradle cap (seborrheic dermatitis)?

  • Redness and crusty yellow or brown scales on the scalp
  • Redness and scaling on eyelids, in the creases of the neck and armpits, and behind the ears
  • Spreading to the face and diaper area