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April 15, 2014

Cradle cap: A simple case of too much oil

Cradle cap is a common problem among babies during their first weeks of life. Providing the right care delivers excellent results.

Recognizing cradle cap

Cradle cap – also known as milk crust – is a yellow, patchy, crusty skin rash that develops on the head of an infant, especially on the fontanel, that area of the scalp moms usually like to avoid. In certain cases, cradle cap reaches the upper forehead. It can also be found in the eyebrows and behind the ears.


Cradle cap is not due to poor hygiene and has nothing to do with cradles.

In reality, cradle cap occurs as a result of the mother’s hormones being passed on to the baby during birth, which leads to an overproduction of sebum that can cause the crusty rash. This transfer of hormones is normal and, again, the problem is quite common! Did you know that 2 out of 3 infants get it?


  • Brush baby’s hair every day using a brush with soft bristles.
  • When washing baby’s hair, use a gentle shampoo or a shampoo specially made to prevent cradle cap. Delicately massage and lather the scalp.
  • Be sure to always rinse baby’s head thoroughlyto eliminate all soapy residue from the scalp.
  • Wash baby’s hair every two to three days if he or she does not have a problem with cradle cap. Like adults, babies’ hair does not need to be washed every day.


  • It is very important to avoid picking at the scaly rash with your nails or a comb. Massage the scalp with soft almond oil or olive oil. Leave in for one to two hours.
  • With a comb, gently scrape the scales, which have been softened by the oil. Don’t forget the fontanel.
  • Give baby a bath and wash his or her hair with a gentle shampoo or a special cradle cap shampoo.
  • You may have to leave the oil inovernight and repeat the procedure more than once to remove all the crusty skin. 

When to see a doctor

  • If you note inflammation, spots or redness.
  • If there is no noticeable improvement after 15 days.
  • If the rash seems to cause itchiness and discomfort for your baby.

Visit your nearest Uniprix store today! Your pharmacist is there to help you find the right products.

In-store health services

Do you have questions about cradle cap and its treatment? Talk to your pharmacist. He’s there to help!  


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The Website deals with health-related topics. The information presented has been validated by experts and is accurate at the time of posting. In no way does it replace the opinion of a health care professional. Uniprix Inc. and its affiliated pharmacists accept no liability whatsoever in connection with the information provided on this Website.