Seborrheic dermatitis, also known as cradle cap, is characterized by fine white scales on the head and scalp. However, seborrheic dermatitis can also occur in the diaper area or on the face, neck, and trunk. Seborrheic dermatitis is most common in infants, but usually clears within the first year.
The exact cause of this skin condition is not known.
Each child may experience symptoms differently, but the main symptoms include dry or greasy scales on the scalp.
Cradle cap is usually diagnosed based on physical examination of the child. The rash involved with cradle cap is unique, and can usually be diagnosed using a physical examination.
The specific treatment for cradle cap will be determined based on:
Although the condition responds to treatment, it may recur. Treatment is usually effective in helping symptoms and may include:
The Division of Dermatology at Children's National Health System continues to expand services as more families seek our expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the skin, hair, and nails.
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Sometimes a mom’s intuition is all it takes to get her child to the right physician. When 8-year-old Xavion Chisley developed a fungal infection on his toe, his mother, Nikki, immediately took him to see a dermatologist who removed his toenail to treat the infection. However, when Xavion’s toenail grew back, the infection had not diminished but actually appeared to be spreading to his foot.
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