My baby seems to have developed a rash on the scalp with thick scaly skin and I am not sure what to do?

(Last Updated: Jul 29, 2009)

It is most likely that what your son is suffering is simply what most people refer to as cradle cap. While it is only natural to be alarmed at such a development, this is not something that you really need to be worried about. If you wish to however you can get a doctor to examine your son. If you’re not familiar with, or are wondering, what exactly cradle cap is, it is a type of seborrheic dermatitis that afflicts infants within the age of three months.

Apart from the scaly and crusty appearance the condition also produces a patchy, greasy rash that would often be most prominent in the region of the ears and eyebrows. In almost all cases the condition does not cause any irritation or itchiness and will go away naturally. Although the cause of cradle cap is not clearly understood, it is generally accepted and believed to be caused due to hyperactive sebaceous glands in the skin. This would be easily explained because of the presence of the mother’s hormones that would still be in the child’s circulation. This hyperactivity causes old skin cells to remain trapped or attached to the scalp, even as they try to dry and fall off, as would be natural.

To speed up and ensure the natural process you can turn to some popular and effective home remedies. Most natural home treatments are very effective in mild cases. Medical intervention however may only be necessary in severe cases, as when there is a thickening or redness and irritation. If it starts spreading or appearing on other areas of the body too there would be a need for medical treatment. At times a fungal infection like tinea capitis may affect the scalp, mimicking symptoms of cradle rash, so if persistent an accurate diagnosis and treatment would be needed.

In mild cases remedies that can help would include:
  • Massaging gentle oils like olive oil, baby oil, or even petroleum jelly into the scalp can help to get rid of the scales by loosening them. Do this at night and gently massage with a soft brush the following morning.  Apply gentle pressure, but do not attempt to pick at or pull of the scaly skin.
  • After the above procedure cleanse with a mild shampoo.
  • If the child is being breast fed the mother’s diet does have a big influence, and increasing your intake of biotin rich foods is believed to help.

answered by a


Warning: home-remedies-for-you.com does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. see additional information
Read more questions in Childrens Issues