Baby's Dry Scalp | Pediatrics East
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Baby's Scalp

Newborn Baby

Care of Baby's Dry Scalp

It's normal for newborns to have white flakes on their scalps. This is not an indication of a dry scalp condition but instead the remnants of old skin being shed. Do not use oils, lotions, or Vaseline to treat dry scalp for babies, as this will only adhere the flakes to the scalp and make the condition worse.

What Causes Dry Scalp in Babies?

Over-washing is a common culprit of baby dry scalp. Make sure to rinse thoroughly, as residual shampoo can contribute to baby dandruff. Baby dry scalp treatment is fairly simple. Simply wash your baby’s hair 2-3 times per week with a gentle baby shampoo and brush his or her hair with a soft baby brush. A humidifier can also help to prevent dry skin, particularly in the winter.

What is Cradle Cap?

Cradle cap, also known as seborrheic dermatitis, are thick white or yellowish scales, a very common condition in infants. In addition to the scalp, it can also occur on the back of the neck, diaper area, armpits, eyelids, and more. Cradle cap is only made worse by oils and lotions. While your baby’s scalp may look dry, it actually isn’t. An underlying issue with cradle cap is the overproduction of sebum, an oily substance naturally occurring on the skin that keeps the skin moisturized.

How Do You Treat Cradle Cap?

You can treat cradle cap by removing scales with a soft brush and washing with a dandruff shampoo like Sebulex daily for one to two weeks. In many cases, cradle cap will go away on its own. If the condition persists, gets red and irritated, or if it spreads, see your physician.


Why Does My Baby's Head Have Soft Spots?

A newborn baby’s head appears large in proportion to the rest of his body. The suture lines or spaces between the skull bones may feel very wide, or they may override, causing ridges. There are two soft spots—one on the top of the head near the forehead, and one near the back and middle of the skull. These allow for brain growth. Don’t be afraid of the soft spots. You can touch, comb, and shampoo these areas with no danger to the baby.