Cradle cap - Signs 

Signs of cradle cap 

The signs of cradle cap are greasy, yellow or brown patches on top of a baby's head.

If you notice your child is itching or there is swelling, speak to your GP because it may be another condition, such as atopic eczema.

The signs of cradle cap are:

  • greasy yellow or brown patches on the scalp
  • the affected area of skin appears red
  • scales and flakes on the scalp
  • yellow crusts on the scalp

It's possible that your baby's hair may also come away when the flakes fall off or are removed. However, it will grow back.

Cradle cap is not a serious condition and should not cause your child any problems or irritation. However, it is important not to scratch or pick at cradle cap, in case an infection develops.

As well as appearing on the scalp, cradle cap can sometimes spread behind the ears. The patches may also appear in other areas, such as the groin (nappy area), the nose, armpits and the backs of the knees.

When cradle cap appears on a part of the body other than the scalp, it is known as seborrhoeic dermatitis.

Page last reviewed: 24/04/2013

Next review due: 24/04/2015

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