Peds

Cradle Cap

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Cradle Cap, Pediatric Seborrheic Dermatitis, Seborrheic Dermatitis in the Infant, Pityriasis Capitis

  • Epidemiology
  1. Begins in first month of life
  • Pathophysiology
  1. Idiopathic (Malassezia furfur Skin Infection, and hormonal changes have been considered)
  • Symptoms
  1. No Pruritus (unlike in adults)
  • Signs
  1. Scalp (Cradle Cap)
    1. Diffuse or focal thick greasy Scaling and crusting dermatitis
    2. No weeping or oozing
  2. Face, Eyebrows, Neck, Retro-auricular, Axillae (flexural folds and intertriginous areas)
    1. Dry, scaly, erythematous Papules
    2. Non-pruritic
  3. Diaper involvement
    1. See Diaper Rash for differential diagnosis
  • Associated Conditions
  • Differential Diagnosis
  1. Atopic Dermatitis (contrast with onset in first month of a non-pruritic rash in Seborrhea)
  2. Langerhans Cell histiocytosis
  3. Scabies
  4. Vitamin Deficiency
    1. Riboflavin deficiency
    2. Biotin Deficiency
    3. Pyridoxine Deficiency
  • Management
  • General Measures
  1. Be conservative as this is a benign condition that resolves spontaneously
    1. Measures listed below are purely cosmetic
  2. Wet Compresses (Saline) to affected area
  3. Soft brush (e.g. ToothBrush) with Mineral Oil to remove scales from scalp
  4. Anti-seborrheic Shampoo
    1. Selenium Sulfide 1-2.5%
      1. Safety presumed but not established in infants
    2. Ketoconazole 2%
      1. Cream: apply to scalp 3 times weekly
      2. Shampoo: lather and rinse after 3 minutes, repeating 3 times weekly
      3. Brodell (1998) Pediatr Dermatol 15(5):406-7 +PMID:9796598 [PubMed]
  5. Other measures for inflammatory lesions
    1. Hydrocortisone 0.5 - 1%
  • Course
  1. Self limited and resolves within first few months of life
  2. May persist in up to 8% of cases
    1. Mimouni (1995) J Pediatr 127: 744-6 [PubMed]
  • References