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Health Tip: Understanding Cradle Cap

A head rash with hormonal origins

(HealthDay News) -- Your baby has developed scaliness and redness on his or her scalp; you're concerned and think maybe you shouldn't shampoo as usual.

When this rash occurs on the scalp alone, it's known as cradle cap.

No one knows the exact cause of this rash. However, it is influenced by the hormonal changes of pregnancy, which stimulate the oil glands. This overproduction of oil may have some relationship to the scales and redness of the skin.

If frequent shampooing doesn't improve the rash, or if it spreads to your baby's face, neck and crease areas, the American Academy of Pediatrics urges you to call your pediatrician. The doctor will probably suggest a stronger scale-dissolving shampoo and also might prescribe a cortisone cream or lotion.

Once the condition has improved, how can you prevent cradle cap from recurring? Frequent hair washing with a mild baby shampoo should do the trick. Occasionally, you may need a stronger medicated shampoo, which your doctor can recommend.

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