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."
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?
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.
Also see: What is the cause of ITP and is there anything that can prevent it from recurring?
Can a pediatrician comfortably prescribe and manage ADHD medication or is it better suited to a psychiatrist?
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.