SEBORRHEIC DERMATITIS IN INFANTS (CRADLE CAP)
Infantile SD presents primarily with cradle cap and/or napkin dermatitis.
The condition is most common between the ages of 4 and 16 weeks and is estimated to affect up to 41.7%(3)
Infantile SD is also known as cradle cap or crusta lactea, crusty yellow or brown scales on their scalp, with the prevalence dropping quickly after the first birthday.
Cradle cap starts with the scalp becoming thickly coated with greasy, yellowish, waxy scales that stick to the head, making it look crusted.
Additional involvement of the eyebrows, paranasal areas, forehead, temples, neck fold and behind the ears is often present and this distribution has been considered helpful in distinguish infantile SD from atopic eczema.
Cradle cap is not usually itchy and causes no discomfort to babies. (4)
If the cradle cap does not clear by itself within a few months, the following suggestions may be helpful(5):
- Soften the scales prior to washing with emollient (medical moisturizer).
- Frequent, gentle shampooing of the scalp will remove crusts and excess scales.
- Gentle brushing with a soft brush will help to loosen the scales.
- If the baby is itchy or the cradle cap persists, or any symptoms other than those due to seborrheic dermatitis appear, consult your paediatrician.
(1) Rook's Textbook of Dermatology
(2) The Role of Moisturizers in Addressing Various Kinds of Dermatitis: A Review Schandra Purnamawati, MD, *† Niken Indrastuti, Dr,* Retno Danarti, Dr,* and Tatan Saefudin, MD‡
(3) Bernard Cohen. Differential Diagnosis of Diaper Dermatitis. Clinical Pediatrics 2017, Vol. 56
(4) Christopher Griffiths, Jonathan Barker, Tanya Bleiker, Robert Chalmers, Daniel Creamer, Rook's Textbook of Dermatology, 2016
(5) Seborrhoeic dermatitis and cradle cap in infants factsheet, National Eczema Society