My baby’s scalp is flaky. Is it dandruff?

My baby’s scalp is flaky. Is it dandruff?

It is most likely a cradle cap (also called seborrheic dermatitis) or eczema (also called atopic dermatitis). Both disorders are common in babies in African America.

Cradle cap tends to be crusty, brown, or yellowish spots on the skin in the first three months of childhood. It’s not nice, but it’s harmless.

Cradle cap will usually go away on its own after a few months, so if it bothers you, try shampooing more regularly and softly rubbing your baby’s scalp with a gentle brush or massaging it with a terry cloth towel.

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For persistent situations, add a small amount of coconut or olive oil and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes, then gently use a gentle brush to clean the scales before shampooing. It is necessary not to scrape, comb or aggressively brush the scalp to remove dust, as this can cause more irritation.

When the cradle cap may not help or extends to other places, speak to your baby’s doctor who can prescribe a medicated shampoo.


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