How is cradle cap (seborrheic dermatitis) treated?

If your baby’s seborrheic dermatitis is confined to the scalp, you can treat it yourself:

  • Wash daily with mild baby shampoo
  • Softly brush hair to help remove the scales
  • If your pediatrician approves, you may use stronger medicated shampoo (antiseborrhea shampoo with sulfur and 2 percent salicylic acid)
  • After scales disappear, cut shampoos to twice weekly

For stubborn scaling and redness, your pediatrician may also recommend drugs such as cortisone lotions or creams. Call your pediatrician if the scaling and redness gets worse after home care, forms crusts, drains liquid, or becomes very red and painful.

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