Symptoms of cradle cap include:
- Mild cases: flaky, dry scales of skin on the scalp that look like dandruff.
- More severe cases usually involve greasy yellow or reddish plaques or patches or crusting. In some cases, the areas involved may include the eyelids and eyebrows, the ears, skin creases, the forehead and in the nappy area.
- Generally the rash of seborrhoeic dermatitis does not itch, but, rarely, a yeast infection may cause this rash to itch. This occurs more commonly in the crease areas rather than on the scalp.
- In seborrhoeic dermatitis, the affected skin can become red and sometimes crack. Fortunately this is rare.
When to call a doctor
Call your doctor if:
There is no improvement with frequent shampooing after a week.
- You notice any redness or irritation and itching.
- The rash spreads to the baby's face, neck and crease areas.
- The scalp becomes painful and there is evidence of infection (fever, swelling, scales drain fluid or pus).
What is cradle cap?
How to treat cradle cap
How cradle cap is diagnosed
Reviewed by Dr Rowan Dunkley, Paediatrician, Red Cross Children’s Hospital, Cape Town February 2015.
Previously reviewed by Prof Eugene Weinberg, Paediatrician, February 2011