Cradle cap is actually a form of dry skin. It looks like white to yellow flaking skin on the scalp and sometimes appears to be yellow plaques on the scalp. This is not an infection and is not contagious. The treatment is very simple. First, apply MINERAL OIL to the affected areas and leave it on about 6 to 8 hours. Second, wash the hair with a dandruff shampoo and brush the flakes off with a sponge or gentle brush. Mineral oil simply dissolves the dry skin plaques, it does not cure the cradle cap. If cradle cap is hard to remove, then try a tar based shampoo like T-gel. Follow the steps in the dry skin section to try to prevent the cradle cap from returning. The mineral oil is found in the laxative section at your local food store and is much better than other oils.
Copyright 2006, Joe Matusic, MD, FAAP, AME