Does Cradle Cap Itch?

“Cradle cap” generally isn’t itchy or irritating at all, but there are some cases in which it can itch, depending on who is affected and the condition’s severity.

“Cradle cap” is a colloquial name for infant seborrheic dermatitis. This condition is common in newborns and children up to three years old and causes white or yellow scales to form on the scalp, eyebrows, forehead, diaper area, armpits, and ears. In rare cases, baby cradle cap can cause cracked, irritated skin the oozes and itches.

Luckily, this skin condition isn’t contagious nor an indicator of poor care or hygiene. Most of the time, it just goes away all by itself, though your pediatrician may recommend using a cradle cap shampoo to help loosen and clear away the scales.

The most important thing to remember about cradle cap is that, even though it looks painful or irritating, it generally doesn’t bother children at all.

How Do I Know If My Child Has Cradle Cap?

Cradle cap usually pops up when a child is between three weeks and 12 months old. The most common sign of cradle cap is a white, yellow, or light brown layer of oily, scaly skin, but it can also manifest as widespread patches of thick, scaly skin, or red skin surrounded by pink patches. While it usually occurs on the scalp or forehead, it can also show up on other parts of the body that have a high density of sebum glands, such as the:

  • Nose
  • Behind the ears
  • Skin folds, like in the armpits and groin folds
  • In patches on the chest abdomen and back

When to See a Doctor About Cradle Cap

In most cases, cradle cap isn’t uncomfortable and will go away on its own. However, you should see your pediatrician if:

  • This is your child’s first cradle cap flare-up
  • You’ve had little or no success with home remedies
  • Your child is missing hair in the flare-up areas
  • The rash gets worse and covers a large part of the body
  • The affected areas become red, inflamed, hot, or start to weep fluid

How to Soothe Cradle Cap at Home

Though there is not a permanent cure for cradle cap, known to doctors as “seborrheic dermatitis,” you can help loosen scales, soothe skin, and prevent future flare-ups by using a gentle, shampoo for cradle cap.

Happy Cappy Medicated Shampoo and Body Wash helps eliminate recurrence of scalp and skin flaking, scaling, itching and redness associated with seborrheic dermatitis.  Happy Cappy utilizes an active ingredient called  Pyrithione Zinc which targets the yeasts that may contribute to the flaking. Made with 95% natural ingredients, Happy Cappy Medicated Shampoo and Body Wash is also hypoallergenic, dye-free, non-comedogenic, non-irritating, fragrance-free, and paraben-free, making it ideal for use on sensitive young skin.

Apply Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Medicated Shampoo and Body Wash during bath time once per day. Before rinsing, gently massage the affected areas with your fingertips to help loosen scales. Once the scales clear, repeat the process every two to three days to help prevent future build-up.

Follow Me
Dr. Eddie Valenzuela is an award winning pediatrician and the founder and CEO of Pediatric Solutions, LLC.

More about Dr. Eddie.
Follow Me
Latest posts by Dr. Eddie Valenzuela (see all)

How can I stop the cradle cap from itching?

The cradle cap is usually not itchy, but sometimes, the cradle cap may cause a little irritation and itch due to the thick scales. The best way to manage the itch is by cleaning the scalp daily with a medicated cradle cap shampoo. This will help loosen up and remove the scales.

What happens if a baby’s cradle cap is scratched?

It is always advised to avoid scratching or picking at the scales. Scratching can cause other skin issues, such as infection. Wash your baby’s scalp daily with a gentle, medicated shampoo to lose the scales. Use a cradle cap brush to gently comb and loosen the scales during the bath.

Can cradle cap affect baby’s hair growth?

The cradle cap does not affect the baby’s hair growth. But picking or scratching the scales can loosen the hair follicles and lead to temporary hair loss.

What are the common causes of itchy scalp?

Certain conditions may cause your scalp to itch, such as head lice, eczema, dandruff, and hives.

Can petroleum jelly help with cradle caps?

No, petroleum jelly can be harmful for cradle cap or seborrheic dermatitis. It provides an environment for the growth of Malassezia yeast, which can further worsen the condition.

Buy today

Also Available at

Recent Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Get tips, news
and exclusive offers


Your Cart
Check Blazer

Spend $25
Get Free Gift