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Cradle Cap in Children

What is cradle cap?

According to Wikipedia, “Cradle cap is a yellowish, patchy, greasy, scaly and crusty skin rash that occurs on the scalp of recently born babies. Cradle cap is usually not itchy, and does not bother the baby. Cradle cap most commonly begins sometime in the first 3 months. Similar symptoms in older children are more likely to be dandruff than cradle cap. The rash is often prominent around the ear, the eyebrows or the eyelids. It may appear in other locations as well, where it is called seborrhoeic dermatitis rather than cradle cap. Severe cradle cap is rare. Below are questions about cradle cap in children that are answered by an Expert.

If a two year old has severe cradle cap was given a special shampoo from the doctor that causes scabs, should the parent discontinue the shampoo and let the scabs and sores heal before using again?

In most cases, when a parent washes the child’s hair with the shampoo, the parent will need to try and be careful not to scrub the scabs off since they are attached and could cause infection. If there is infection, then the parent may need to also use a type of antifungal medication to help to clear up the cradle cap.

If a ten month old has cradle cap and swollen lymph nodes and all the tests came back normal on the lymph nodes, could these be cause by the cradle cap?

In most cases, when the child is suffering from swollen lymph nodes, then this can be caused by the inflammation of the cradle cap and will generally go away or get smaller as the inflammation goes away. The inflammation from the cradle cap could have caused the lymph nodes to swell.

If a parent was told by a doctor to use an over the counter dandruff shampoo to help clear up cradle cap, can that cause the baby problems?

In most cases, when a child has cradle cap, then the parent generally does not need to use a specific kind of shampoo, due to the fact that the parent would need to scrub the scales of the cradle cap off while the hair and area is damp, making the use of any type of baby shampoo okay to use.

Will a swollen lymph node in a child go away after a period of time and can this be caused by cradle cap?

When a child has swollen lymph nodes, then they generally will not go away, but they may shrink as the inflammation that is causing the swelling is treated and goes away. When a baby has cradle cap, then they generally will have inflammation where the cradle cap is, causing the lymph nodes to swell. The parent would want to make sure to watch the cradle cap as well as the lymph nodes and take the child to their doctor if there is any concern.

When a baby or child has cradle cap, then the parents may have questions on what causes it, how to treat it, or even what other issues can be caused from inflammation of the cradle cap. When the parents have these kinds of questions, then they may want to seek the answers from an Expert.

Ask a Pediatrician

Dr. Yogindra Vasavada
Dr. Yogindra Vasavada, Pediatrician
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 2670
Experience:  M.D.(ped) passed at first attempt, in practice continuously for last 37 years. Certi. in Comp
16481530
Type Your Pediatrics Question Here...
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2 Pediatricians are Online Now

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Pediatricians are online & ready to help you now

Dr. Yogindra Vasavada
Pediatrician
Satisfied Customers: 2507
M.D.(ped) passed at first attempt, in practice continuously for last 37 years. Certi. in Comp
Dr. Gupta
Pediatrician
Satisfied Customers: 1442
MD, practicing Pediatrician with 19 years of experience. Member American Academy of Pediatrics.
Dr. K.
Board Certified Pediatrician
Satisfied Customers: 819
Board Certified, Ivy League educated Pediatrician.

Recent Cradle Cap Questions

  • My daughter has had enlarged lymph nodes- one behind each ear,

    My daughter has had enlarged lymph nodes- one behind each ear, and two towards back of head since last October. Did a CBC back in January and blood work came back normal. Fast forward to present date- Last week after strep infection, I noticed that her posterior cervical nodes were enlarged on both sides, two on each side. I then started looking for other nodes and found that she also has enlarged nodes in the groin area, one or two on each side can be felt. I cannot feel any above her clavicle or armpit areas. Of course, I am very worried and thinking worse case scenarios. What is your opinion on take on this? Is it normal to be able to feel all of these, in these areas, on a toddler?
  • my 3 year old son has a very dry and flaky scalp with built

    my 3 year old son has a very dry and flaky scalp with built up 'cradle cap' what is the best thing to do to relieve this condition-which products? We were told additional scrubbing and baby oil but this doesn't seem to have done the job
  • My 1 month old has cradle cap how can i get rid of it it seems

    My 1 month old has cradle cap how can i get rid of it it seems to be spreading a bit to the front hairline just as well as on the tip of his ears and back of neck. help i dont want it to get any worse than it is
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