Cradle cap, also known as infantile or neonatal seborrhoeic dermatitis, crusta lactea, milk crust, honeycomb disease, is a yellowish, patchy, greasy, scaly and crusty skin rash that occurs on the scalp of recently born babies. It is usually not itchy and does not bother the baby. Cradle cap most commonly begins sometime in the first 3 months. Similar symptoms in older children are more likely to be dandruff than cradle cap. The rash is often prominent around the ear, the eyebrows or the eyelids. It may appear in other locations as well, where it is called seborrhoeic dermatitis rather than cradle cap. Some countries use the term pityriasis capitis for cradle cap. It is extremely common, with about half of all babies affected. Most of them have a mild version of the disorder. Severe cradle cap is rare. Cradle cap is a chronic relapsing erythematous scaly skin disease, the prevalence of which is around 1 to 3% of the general population in Canada and is more common in males than females.
A treatment with a mild dandruff shampoo such as Selsun Blue or Neutrogena T-gel, even though the treatment may cause initial additional scalp irritation. A doctor may instead prescribe an antifungal soap such as ketoconazole (2%) shampoo, which can work in a single treatment and shows significantly less irritation than over-the-counter shampoos such as selenium disulfide shampoos. In cases that are related to fungal infection, such as Tinea capitis, doctors may recommend a treatment application of clotrimazole or miconazole.
The ongoing researches in Canada on cradle cap include: Oral treatments for seborrheic dermatitis, Etiology and treatment of Cradle cap, Role of antifungal agents in the treatment of Cradle cap.