Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Seborrhea Capitis Overview

Another name for Seborrhea Capitis is Cradle Cap.

What is cradle cap?
An infant with cradle cap has inflammation of the skin on the scalp that results in a scalp rash and scaly skin. Cradle cap is common and usually resolves without treatment within 8 months. Cradle cap rash is caused by increased sebaceous gland activity in the scalp. This is usually due to maternal hormones that are passed to the baby at the time of birth.

What are the symptoms of cradle cap?
Symptoms of cradle cap include a scalp rash that may range from mild skin redness to oily yellow scales. Crusty scabs may form on the rash that can involve the scalp, eyelids, ears, and nose.

How does the doctor treat cradle cap?
Treatment of cradle cap includes routine scalp cleansing and regular use of a medicated shampoo. Cleansing can be accomplished by applying baby oil to the scalp to soften and loosen the scales, and then brush them away with a soft dry towel.

Continue to Seborrhea Capitis Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 7, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Seborrhea Capitis References
  1. Cohen S. Should we treat infantile seborrhoeic dermatitis with topical antifungals or topical steroids? Arch Dis Child. 2004 Mar;89(3):288-9. [14977719]
  2. Janniger CK. Infantile seborrheic dermatitis: an approach to cradle cap. Cutis. 1993 Apr;51(4):233-5. [8477601]
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