1.  Cradle cap is the layman’s term for seborrheic dermatitis.  (Cradle cap sounds so cute; seborrheic dermatitis, on the other hand…)

2.  So what is it?  Basically, it’s scaly little (or sometimes not so little) patches on a baby’s head.

3.  Serious?  No, but it can be uncomfortable – and no one wants an uncomfortable baby.  (Trust me on this.)

4.  It doesn’t always stay on the scalp.  Sometimes it can be found on the eyelids, the nose, the ears, the fingers, the groin –  you just don’t want it to travel, so stop it on the scalp when you can.

5.  Most of the time, cradle cap goes away on its own.  You can treat it by washing the scalp with a mild shampoo every day and then combing/brushing to get the flakes off.  (Insert your favorite “flake off” joke here.)

6.  If it doesn’t go away or if it spreads, talk to your doc.

7.  It tends to run in families (but not always), and it’s not contagious.  Lots of things can cause it, including genetic factors, stress (yes, babies get stressed), allergic reactions, fatigue, etc.

8.  About half of all babies get some form of cradle cap at some time.

9.  An overactive sebaceous gland is thought to be the culprit behind cradle cap.  (Hey, baby glands get bored; they got to do something for fun!)

10.  Very occasionally, cradle cap can be linked to some immune disorders.  As with most things, when in doubt about cradle cap, consult a doctor.

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