Cradle Cap

Cradle Cap is the greasy, yellow scaly patches that sometimes appear on the scalps of young babies.

It is common, harmless and doesn’t usually itch or cause discomfort. We advise not to pick at the scales as this can cause an infection. It is not contagious and is not caused by poor hygiene or an allergy.


We advise the following to try reduce the build-up of scales on the scalp:

  • Regular washing of the scalp with a baby shampoo, followed by gentle brushing with a soft brush to loosen the scales.
  • Soften the scales with baby oil first, followed by gentle brushing, and then wash off with baby shampoo.
  • Soak the crusts overnight with white petroleum jelly, or vegetable or olive oil and shampoo in the morning.

When to visit a GP:

Speak to your GP if your baby’s cradle cap:

  • Itches.
  • Swells.
  • Bleeds.
  • Spreads to the face or body.