Cradle cap mainly affects the head and face, but sometimes it can appear in other places like the nappy area.
Enid English / Alamy Stock Photo https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-a-three-week-old-bay-with-cradle-cap-on-the-eye-brows-uk-72546963.html?pv=1&stamp=2&imageid=746A9B75-BE6E-4761-B017-402502B1F105&p=84355&n=0&orientation=0&pn=1&searchtype=0&IsFromSearch=1&srch=foo%3dbar%26st%3d0%26pn%3d1%26ps%3d100%26sortby%3d2%26resultview%3dsortbyPopular%26npgs%3d0%26qt%3dE60PAY%26qt_raw%3dE60PAY%26lic%3d3%26mr%3d0%26pr%3d0%26ot%3d0%26creative%3d%26ag%3d0%26hc%3d0%26pc%3d%26blackwhite%3d%26cutout%3d%26tbar%3d1%26et%3d0x000000000000000000000%26vp%3d0%26loc%3d0%26imgt%3d0%26dtfr%3d%26dtto%3d%26size%3d0xFF%26archive%3d1%26groupid%3d%26pseudoid%3d32846%26a%3d%26cdid%3d%26cdsrt%3d%26name%3d%26qn%3d%26apalib%3d%26apalic%3d%26lightbox%3d%26gname%3d%26gtype%3d%26xstx%3d0%26simid%3d%26saveQry%3d%26editorial%3d1%26nu%3d%26t%3d%26edoptin%3d%26customgeoip%3d%26cap%3d1%26cbstore%3d1%26vd%3d0%26lb%3d%26fi%3d2%26edrf%3d1%26ispremium%3d1%26flip%3d0%26pl%3d
Cradle cap is not itchy or painful and does not bother your baby.
The cause of cradle cap is not clear, but it cannot be caught from other babies.
Things you can do to help with cradle cap
do not use olive oil – it may not be suitable for use on skin
do not use peanut oil (because of the allergy risk)
do not use soap or adult shampoos
do not pick crusts – this can increase the risk of infection
Your baby's hair may come away with the scales. Do not worry if this happens as it will soon grow back.
A pharmacist can help with cradle cap
You can ask a pharmacist about:
an emollient you can use on your baby's scalp
unperfumed baby shampoos
barrier creams to use on your baby's nappy area, if needed
Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:
your baby's cradle cap does not get better after a few weeks of treatment
your baby has cradle cap all over their body
the crusts bleed or leak fluid
the affected areas look swollen
Bleeding, leaking fluid and swelling could be signs of an infection or another condition like eczema or scabies.
Page last reviewed: 21 April 2022 Next review due: 21 April 2025
Is this your child's symptom?
A scaly rash on the scalp that starts in newborns
Symptoms of Cradle Cap
Yellow scales and crusts attached to the scalp
Occurs in patches
Scales can be greasy or dry
Not itchy or painful
Begins in the first 2 to 6 weeks of life
Cause of Cradle Cap
Cradle cap is probably caused by hormones from the mother. These hormones cross the placenta before birth. The hormones cause the oil glands in the skin to become overactive. They then release more oil than normal.
Dead skin cells normally fall off. The extra oil causes these cells to "stick" to the skin. These cells form yellow crusts and scales on the scalp.
When to Call for Cradle Cap
Call Doctor or Seek Care Now
Baby less than 1 month old with tiny water blisters or pimples in a cluster
Your child looks or acts very sick
Contact Doctor Within 24 Hours
Baby less than 1 month old with any water blisters or pimples
You think your child needs to be seen
Contact Doctor During Office Hours
Raw rash behind the ears
Rash spreads beyond the scalp
Cradle cap gets worse with treatment
Cradle cap lasts longer than 12 months
You have other questions or concerns
Self Care at Home
Mild cradle cap
Seattle Children's Urgent Care Locations
If your child’s illness or injury is life-threatening, call 911.
Care Advice for Cradle Cap
What You Should Know About Cradle Cap:
Cradle cap is a common skin condition of newborns.
It's caused by overactive oil glands in the scalp.
It's harmless and will go away on its own. But it takes time.
Here is some care advice that should help.
Wash the hair with an anti-dandruff shampoo (such as Head and Shoulders). Do this twice a week. No prescription is needed. Note: The daily use of anti-dandruff shampoo isn't approved until after 2 years old. But, using it twice a week is fine.
On the other days, wash the hair with baby shampoo.
While the hair is lathered, massage the scalp with a soft brush. You can also use a rough washcloth or your fingers for 5 minutes. Don't worry about hurting the soft spot.
If the scalp has thick crusts (scales), put some baby oil on the scalp. Do this for 15 minutes before shampooing to soften the crusts.
Wash all the oil off, however, or it may worsen the cradle cap. (Reason: The oil blocks the oil glands on the baby's scalp.)
Do not use olive oil. (Reason: may increase the growth of yeast)
Cradle cap lotions for loosening up the scales are also available without a prescription. Apply the lotion 15 minutes before shampooing.
If the rash on the scalp is red and irritated, use 1% hydrocortisone cream. An example is Cortaid. No prescription is needed.
Put this on once a day.
After 1 hour, wash it off with soap and water.
Do this for 7 days or less.
Cradle cap will eventually go away on its own between 6 and 12 months of age. Usually, it doesn't cause any symptoms (such as pain or itching).
Therefore, treatment is optional. It is mainly done for cosmetic reasons.
Shampoos, lotions and brushing will reduce the thickness of the scales. They will usually make them go away sooner.
Return to Child Care:
Cradle cap cannot be spread to others.
Your child does not need to miss any child care.
Call Your Doctor If:
Gets worse with treatment
Lasts over 12 months of age
You think your child needs to be seen
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.
Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.
UZBEKISTAN: THE CRADLE IS crippling children | Institute for War and Peace Reporting
The traditional children's cradle - beshik, in which almost every Uzbek child spends the first year of life for many centuries, is dangerous for the baby's health.
Uzbek doctors came to this conclusion, however, they are in no hurry to make their discovery public, fearing to offend people's national feelings.
The results of studies conducted by Uzbek and foreign medical experts show that when babies are placed in beshik, the risk of brain damage and skull deformity increases.
Beshik is a narrow and cramped traditional oriental cradle where a child has nowhere to turn around. A special hole has been made in the beshik, where a pot is installed, to which a special tube is connected from the child. This device replaces the toilet for the baby, as a result, it remains dry, and the mother is freed from the need to change diapers. According to many parents, beshik is an ideal bed for a child.
The legs of the beshik, arranged like a rocking chair, allow the mother to quickly calm the child. Rhythmic rocking from side to side allows you to quickly put him to sleep and again leave him to lie in the cradle.
According to doctors, it is these so-called "conveniences" that make beshik dangerous for a child's health.
“The development of a child is in his movement, movement is life. A person who loves his child will never put him in a beshik,” says the head of the Department of Pediatric Traumatology, Orthopedics and Neurosurgery of the Andijan State Medical Institute, Professor Rishat Osmonov.
His colleague, Professor Mamazoir Khodjamberdiev, writes in his article about the beshik that intensive motion sickness of a child can cause serious changes in the body, which can cause a brain hemorrhage, a malignant brain tumor, a fracture or damage to the bones of the baby's still fragile skull.
His conclusions are confirmed by the results of studies conducted by Scottish pediatricians in the Ferghana Valley more than 10 years ago. They found that as a result of intense motion sickness in a beshik, which parents resort to to calm the child, about 25 out of 100,000 babies receive serious brain damage or skull deformity.
However, Uzbek women appreciate the benefits of a traditional cradle and are not convinced by medical advice.
“Why is a child put in a beshik?” - asks 62-year-old Munavvar Akhmedova with surprise, - Yes, because, taking advantage of the time that the child is there, the mother manages to do a lot of housework.
The younger generation is of the same opinion. "Beshik is an attribute of an Uzbek family," said Aziz Maksudov, 21, from Tashkent. “There were six of us in the family, and we all grew up in beshik. I can't even imagine a family without beshik. I myself am not married yet, but when I get married, there will definitely be a beshik in the house. ”
Beshik appeared so long ago that no one knows when, where and by whom it was invented.
The mention of it can be found in the earliest monument of Turkic dialectology - the treatise "Devonu lugatit Turk" ("Dictionary of Turkic dialects") by the Central Asian philologist of the 11th century Mahmud Kashgari. Some scientists believe that the beshik was brought by the invaders to the countries they conquered, as it helped to attract parents who had babies to work.
As a historian from Andijan, who requested anonymity, points out, in Soviet times the beshik became in the hands of local officials an instrument of exploitation of women who, despite having babies, were forced to work in the cotton fields from early morning until late at night. And the children, meanwhile, lay for days in the beshiks lined up in rows on the field camps.
When a child began to cry, a woman who remained on duty at the field camp often gave him milk formula infused with dried pods of opium poppy, which contained a small dose of the drug. The child fell asleep and did not bother anyone for a long time.
As a result of prolonged restraint and early drug use, most Uzbek children grew up frail and sickly.
According to the medical expert, who also asked not to be identified, the health of children has not improved since Soviet times, but it is not only the beshik that is to blame.
According to him, today 8 out of 10 newborns are born frail and sickly, or have abnormalities.
“Besides, how can an unhealthy mother give birth to a healthy child? After all, most women in labor suffer from anemia and other diseases. In addition, the poor child, swaddled like a mummy, is laid for long hours in a beshik.
According to Professor Osmonov, the main danger of beshik is the complete immobilization of the child in one position for 10-15 hours a day. A strong contraction of the child with tissue in the area of the shoulders, abdomen and legs disrupts blood circulation, hinders healthy growth, and becomes one of the causes of bone curvature.
“In beshik, a child is deprived of the slightest opportunity to move, which leads to insufficient development of muscles and metabolic disorders in the body. In addition, cases of abnormal development of the hip bones and sacrum are more common in children who grew up in beshik,” says the professor.
No less dangerous for infants in beshiks are rodents that have bred heavily in the Ferghana Valley. Many still remember the tragic incident that occurred in 2000 in the Uchkurgan district of the Namangan region. Then the rats gnawed the face of a child left by his mother in a beshik unattended. The child, tightly tied with swaddling clothes around the arms and legs, unable to show the slightest resistance, became an easy prey for rats.
But, according to scientists, beshik has entered people's consciousness so deeply that it never occurs to them to replace it with something else. All accidents and injuries associated with beshik, they explain the inability to properly handle it.
“You can't always leave a baby in a beshik, you need to change his position while feeding,” explains Marufjon Rakhmatov, 31, from Tashkent. "My child had a bowed leg, but it's not because of the beshik."
Zokirjon Ibragimov – IWPR contributor in Uzbekistan
Beshchik - is it time to say NO?
Anhor.uz publishes a material, rather an appeal from a radiologist Alisher Umarov. We found the article to be very relevant and useful. Not being specialists in pediatrics, nevertheless, we found the words and arguments of A. Umarov very convincing, especially since they are backed by many years of observation by a practicing doctor.
I am a radiologist and a staunch opponent of beschik. During the years of practice, many children passed through my hands, whose destinies were crippled because their parents stubbornly raised them in beshchiks, adhering to outdated ancient customs.
The oval-shaped “beshchik” design, with a strong and elastic frame, created about 1500-2000 years ago, was intended to transport and protect children from external aggressive factors when the tribe moved from pasture to pasture or in the event of an attack by enemies on the village or caravans. Beshchik was tied to an animal or put on a cart. Mother's hands were free, she could help her husband, fellow tribesmen, drive a wagon, drive cattle, etc. In cases of a fall of a beschik or during a race, its design saved the life of a child tied to it tightly with lassoes. The child could not fall out of it and remained safe and sound.
After arriving at the new camp, the child was taken out of the bag and laid on the carpet. With the development of a settled way of life, the beschik began to perform a slightly different function, which has survived to this day. In those days, women did not have any electronic and other auxiliary devices, tap water, gas and other amenities. Everything had to be done by myself. The women had no choice. Therefore, they were forced to leave their babies at home for a long time, tied in beshchiks.
Today, the state provides a woman with 2 years of maternity leave, provides a child care allowance to low-income families so that the mother has the opportunity to take care of the child. But in fact, parents, especially in villages, still stubbornly continue to use beshchik, not wanting to understand that they are harming the health of their baby.
The child lies tightly tied in the harness. The baby is completely immobilized and remains in this position for 10-12 hours. Quite often, children spend most of the day in a beshchik.
As a result of mechanical compression by the belts, the child's blood vessels are blocked. The blood supply and nutrition of the hip joints are disturbed. Their supply with essential microelements is disrupted: calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, cobalt, etc.
Nature has thought of everything - the baby moves and pulls his arms and legs. This is a kind of a set of physical exercises or gymnastics for an infant, necessary to strengthen the muscular-articular frame, the growth of bones and ligaments, the development of the vascular network around the joint, which nature itself has incorporated into its genetic program.
In newborns, the bony plates of the skull are still thin and plastic. But with a long, motionless lying in one position on a hard and flat pillow, in a child, under the pressure of the own weight of the head on the occipital region, a gradual deformation of the skull occurs in the form of a flattening or beveled occiput. The result is the well-known “Beshchikov's head”.
Deformation of the skull also causes compression of the brain, its structures and blood vessels. The brain presses on the inner walls of the skull, the frontal region protrudes, and parietal tubercles appear. According to the observations of pediatric neuropathologists, by the age of 6-8, when the structures of the brain have already been formed, 15-20% of these children begin to experience unreasonable headaches. Schoolchildren with a "beshchikov's past" do not master the material well, lag behind their peers, and so on. Such children become regular patients of neuropathologists.
Gradual deformation of the child's chest occurs in the beshchik. Its oval shape gradually becomes triangular-wedge-shaped. The sternum takes on a keeled shape. The position of the internal organs in the chest and their functional and anatomical features are changing.
With tight swaddling and strong tightening of the straps, the pelvic bones, especially the iliac and pubic-ischial bones, turn around their axis (rotation) and lag behind in growth and development (hypoplasia), and after them one foot turns inside. Clubfoot appears and rotational dysplasia occurs. There is a beveling of the "roof" of the hip joint and a change in the structure of the articular cartilage, which is one of the reasons for the slipping of the femoral head outward and upward, and the appearance of dislocation with the formation of a new pathological joint - neoarthrosis.
If these changes occur in the body of a girl, then the curvature of her pelvis will lead in the future to a violation of the development of her fetus and, accordingly, to a congenital form of dysplasia of the femoral heads, torticollis and deformation of the skull of her unborn child, the inability to give birth on her own. And this whole vicious circle arises thanks to the beshchik.
Pressure on the femoral heads impairs blood supply and nutrition (growth zones or ossification nuclei), supplying them with essential trace elements, which leads to dysplasia in the first months after birth, i.e. to improper development of tissues in the heads.
The dislocation can still be reduced by a complex of physiotherapy, massage, orthopedic splints and devices. But the deformation (flattening) of the head and the straightening of the cervical-diaphyseal angle can no longer be done conservatively. Parents will have to wait until the child is 18-20 years old and by surgery, and possibly by very expensive prosthetics, correct their irresponsible omission - the use of a beschik.
Beshchik damages the spinal column as well. When the mother pulls the child into the sack, she then leaves him to lie down, and she goes about her own business. The child is experiencing tremendous pressure, physical discomfort and probably unbearable pain throughout the body and joints. He's not a robot or a doll! But it can move only in one - horizontal plane. Hence the appearance of scoliosis in children, which will progress at school. For a girl, scoliosis, which appeared in Beshik, will become a real complication in the future, during pregnancy.
A round hole for a pot is cut into the bottom of the container. The kit includes a set of tubes for urination, depending on whether it is a girl or a boy. It seems to be good ... But the tubes tend to slide off the genitals. After defecation, the ass remains wet and dirty, hence inflammation and sores on the skin. If this is a girl, then the risk of inflammation and the likelihood of E. coli getting into the genital tract.
In diapers, everything is absorbed by a special hygienic layer and gel. Butt stays dry. Also, do not forget that the beshchik is located on the floor, where the air temperature at a height of up to 30 cm is always several degrees lower than at the height of an adult. Hence, frequent colds and pneumonia, especially in the autumn-winter period, when when the doors are opened, cold air immediately bursts into the room and spreads along the floor. In the summer, flies and mosquitoes calmly sit on the child’s face, and he cannot even drive them away, as he is “chained”. There were cases of attacks by mice and rats that gnawed off the noses, ears, lips of babies ...
Parents say that the baby sleeps better in the bed. I think it's just convenient for parents. The baby still cannot speak and complain that it is uncomfortable and unbearably painful for him. He simply develops a protective natural mechanism for any external hostile influence in the form of depression, stupor or sleep. On average, according to my observations, beschik is used for 7-8 months. In a newborn, 1 month of life is equal to 1 year of an adult. During the first year of life, the baby gains weight three times. Never in the future does a person grow so fast. And during this period of rapid growth, his parents themselves immobilize him! Hence, a violation of the ossification of the growth zones of the femoral heads, a violation of the formation of the acetabulum, dysplasia and dislocations.
Parents sleep on good spacious beds or on 3-4-layer, soft kurpach. Why not create the same conditions for your child?
I suggest that mothers, grandmothers, mothers-in-law, fathers conduct an experiment so that they themselves are tightly tied, and thus lie motionless in one position for a whole week. I'm sure they won't be able to endure this experience even until the morning. Human physiology is designed in such a way that we are forced to roll over from side to side, because. impossible to sleep on one side. There is a violation of blood circulation, numbness and subsequent pain in this side. Therefore, we are forced to turn to one or the other side to redistribute the blood flow in the body. But a newborn child cannot speak, cannot complain, lies immobilized. Can you imagine the unbearable pain all over his body he feels?!
For example, in the elderly, with a fracture of the femoral neck, while lying on the back for a long time, after 2-3 weeks there are skin inflammations, bedsores and later ulcers of the back and gluteal region. Therefore, caregivers should give them frequent massages, rubbing their backs with oils, turning them from side to side, and sitting them on the bed. Even a chicken (from our point of view, a “stupid bird”) instinctively constantly turns its eggs in the nest to maintain the right microclimate in it! Otherwise, the chicken will be born underdeveloped or dead.
there are still, at times, strong old customs and foundations. Many of them keep livestock (cow, sheep, chickens). But after the birth of chickens, lambs, calves, no one bandages their legs. Why? Everyone answers me: “If you bandage their legs, they will never be able to stand on their feet, they will become disabled. Who do we sell them to? On the contrary, we make them run more, jump, so that they become hardy and strong.” Imagine, we pity animals, but we don't pity our own children.
My practice shows that children of other nationalities living in Uzbekistan have hip dysplasia very rare. This begs the question - why? The Uzbek or Tajik parents themselves answer me: “Because they don’t have a beshik. No tight swaddling." Correctly! No beschik and no problems!
In Uzbekistan, according to statistics, children under the age of one year with dysplasia or dislocation of the hip joints are on average - 9.4-10%. This is 94-100 children per 1000 newborns. Of these, only 0.4-0.6% have a congenital character, while the rest (9.2-9.6%) have an acquired character in the 1st year of life! With timely treatment, about 6% of children can be cured. About 4% remain disabled of varying degrees. The results are amazing!
For comparison, in Europe, Canada and the USA, this figure is 0.7-1.2%. Dysplasia is almost never found in South America, Africa, India, Southeast Asia and China. Mothers do not swaddle their children, but from childhood they carry them in special bags on their backs, on their stomachs or on their sides. Thus, the heads of the femurs of the child are always centered at the joints.
Back in 1975, as part of a national project in Japan, they abandoned the tradition of tight swaddling and switched to a free position for babies in cribs. The result was not long in coming. The level of hip dysplasia, including subluxations (dislocations) for 1 year has sharply decreased from 3.5% to 0.2% per 1000 children born. This fact speaks for itself. The Japanese understood the harmfulness of swaddling 40 years ago, but we still don't. Therefore, the World Health Organization (WHO) treats our region delicately with the ethnic and racial characteristics of the culture of this disease.
What prevents us from eliminating this problem in our country? I think these are our customs, our way of life. With us, unfortunately, it is often more important for the mother-in-law that the daughter-in-law sweeps and waters the street or yard from morning to evening, and constantly cleans up the housework. It is more important what the neighbors say, but it does not matter that her grandchildren will grow up sick and lame with disabilities. As a rule, mothers-in-law will never admit their guilt in this and will always blame their daughters-in-law for the fact that the child is sick. Mothers-in-law often force their daughters-in-law to tie their children in a beshchik, but when the first signs of the disease appear - dysplasia, dislocation, and funds are needed for treatment, long massages, paraffin, electrophoresis, UHF, mothers-in-law, as a rule, do not have money for this!
Today, from the screens of TVs, newspapers, radio, the Internet, modern mobile phones, we will not see or hear the call that it is impossible to raise a child swaddled in a robe. Many parents say that no one warned them not to raise a child in a kennel. On the contrary, they say that in maternity hospitals and polyclinics, many pediatricians and even surgeons (!?) turn out to advise parents to keep their children in a closet. How, then, to deal with the diseases mentioned above, if people in white coats themselves push parents to harm their own children.
So far in our country, preventive work to combat beschik is not being carried out.
I address my colleagues: Colleagues! Never advise young mothers to raise their children in a beshchik.