Doctor Betti
Dr. Betti Hertzberg Ressler is a Board Certified Pediatrician on staff at Miami Children's Hospital. Dr. Hertzberg developed the toilet training video "Let's Go Potty." She is the co-author of "The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies for Children."

Cradle Cap

Question: I'm a new father, and my four month old has cradle cap. my wife and I have tried almost everything but have had no success. Is there a secret cure to this problem? - Brian

Answer: Dear Brian,
Cradle cap occurs on the scalp of babies as well as older children. In adults, we call it "bad dandruff."

It is usually treatable with special shampoo and gentle removal of the scales that tend to adhere to the scalp. The medical term used to describe this scalp condition is seborrhea.

The cause of cradle cap is many times unknown, however it does tend to occur more frequently in babies who have other signs of allergy. This includes eczema or other types of dermatitis. Milk protein allergy and family history of eczema or other skin or respiratory allergies can frequently in infants with cradle cap.

Once it's treated, it usually remains clear. If the cradle cap is severe or left untreated, it may cause further irritation of the scalp.

You haven't said what you have already tried. Your pediatrician can be of help, since this is a fairly common thing that we see in practice. It is not contagious and responds nicely to shampoo (Nisoral, Sebulex, Selsun are just a few). Check first with your baby's pediatrician.

Dr. Betti

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  • Ask Dr. Betti your questions

    This information is not intended to be a substitute for visiting your pediatrician. If you or your child has specific concerns, you should see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.