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Health Tips / Cradle Cap

Diagnosis and Symptons

Cradle cap is characterised by thick, flaking, scaly yellow patches on the top of the infant s scalp and also behind the ears. Also known as seborrheic dermatitis, in some cases red marks can appear on the baby s face and there can be a stubborn nappy rash associated with the problem. The condition is often thought to be due to excess oil production in the scalp. For some infants, cradle cap is associated with eczema. In some severe cases, where the condition spreads to other areas such as the face, neck or body, or the scales are excessively thick, the baby s doctor should be consulted.

Preventative measures 

Most babies are affected by this problem, which although looks unsightly is usually harmless and disappears of its own accord after a few months. The problem cannot be prevented but can be controlled by number of treatments.

Non-prescription treatments 

The scales can be softened by applying vegetable oils such as olive oil or peanut oil (also known as arachis oil) and gently massaging the oil into scales. Remember, if there is a possibility of peanut allergy, peanut or arachis oil should not be used. The oils should be combed through in the morning with a fine comb to remove the scales followed by shampooing with a gentle shampoo such as DENTINOX CRADLE CAP TREATMENT SHAMPOO.

is often used in more persistent cases. With salicylic acid and coal tar to remove scales and prevent itching and coconut oil to soften the scales, the shampoo should only be used when necessary. A small amount of CAPASAL is added after thoroughly wetting the hair, massaging into the scalp and leaving for a few minutes before washing out. The application is then repeated to form a rich lather. Make sure to rinse the hair completely.

PICKLES SCR FOR CRADLE CAP contains salicylic acid to remove scales. Applied sparingly to the scalp, the cream is washed off after 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the severity of the condition and age of the child.  

With all of these products, if there is a possibility of skin allergy, patch test the product on a very small section of skin. Use only a tiny amount, according the manufacturers instructions on a very small section of the skin. If the rash or irritation develops the product should not be used. If you are unsure about the possibility of allergy or any aspect on the use of these products your doctor or pharmacist will be able to advise you.

Further Information on medicines including dosage is available at

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Last update: 16/05/2013 12:38 • Previous update: 30/11/-0001 00:00