Scab on Infant's Head

Updated on August 11, 2008
S.C. asks from Minneapolis, MN
11 answers

My little girl has a small scab on her head. She's had it for 3 weeks! I'm only worried because it's been there for so long. Is this normal for an infant to take awhile for a wound to heal (she's 12 weeks)? I'm not sure exactly where it came from. One day it looked like she had milk in her hair, so I started to pick it out, and there was the spot. Should I take her to the doctor or just be patient? Thanks. I'm new at this :)

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answers from Milwaukee on

Hi Sara,
My now 8-month old had a large abrasion on his head from going through the birth canal. So, he had a large scab on his head for about 10-12 days. It healed and fell off. We left it alone completely to let it heal. I would get it checked by your Ped to make sure it's not something serious. It could just be the start of an allergy, or a mild skin condition. And is it possible that your baby might be aggravating it by touching/scratching it? Best of luck to your little girl!



answers from Des Moines on

It looks like everyone has told you cradles cap. That was one of my thoughts. My other thought it is where she lays on her back. My two boys never had it but my daugther has a small "scab" on the back of her head. It is right where her head hits the ground. She is always twisting her head back and forth to see what is going on and enjoys laying more than being held. So I figure it will be there until she stops sleeping on her back. It doesn't bother her and it has never bled. So those are my two suggestions.



answers from Eau Claire on

Just be patient, my daughter is 10 weeks and had that too. Earlier then your little one, I picked it off and just keep washing her head and it went away. Don't worry it's probably nothing.



answers from Minneapolis on

I would agree with most of the previous advice. But it could just be a scab from a small scratch or something. My daughter had a scalp monitor on her during devliery and it took about 4 weeks or maybe even more (I can't remember exactly) for it to fall off. I would guess that at her age, she can't reach, you probably are only bathing her a couple times a week at the most, and depending on where it is there may not be much friction on that part of her head so it may just take that long for it to fall off on it's own without being picked at.

That being said, if it's really bothering you, just take her into the pediatrician. Better safe than sorry.



answers from Milwaukee on

It does sound like cradle cap. It is very common. All my kids had it. My youngest, who is two now, has a spot as well. Just leave it alone. My mother-in-law says they used to put baby oil on that. My sister has also used olive oil. Her son is six and has about 2 or 3 spots still. They usually grow out of it. I'm sure it's different for everyone as to how long it takes to grow out of it.

Don't pick at it. Good luck.



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi S.-
Take her in. It's obviously bothering you and a scab probably shouldn't be there 3 weeks unless it's constantly being opened from picking.
Either way - that's a vector for more infection.

If it looked like milk, it might be a yeast infection.. or some type of easily treatable fungus.

The longer you leave it, the greater chance of scarring too.

Do what your gut says-keep it clean and dress it so it can't be picked.

About me:
47 yo perfusionist (open heart bypass), wellness coach on the side and mom to super 7yo twin girls.

B. J
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answers from Cedar Rapids on

I would best guess that it is not a scab, but exema.(ie: cradle cap) My children all had it as infants in varying degrees. My oldest lost all of his "birth" baby hair as the exema was healing/removed. The best way to keep on it is to use cetaphil, or eucerine cream. Cetaphil has a body wash and shampoo as well as the cream.
Ol' timers will tell you to use baby oil. This isn't nearly as effective I think.(I tried it) Keeping the "scab" moist with a cream for exema will help in it's healing/removal.
That is my experience with that, I hope it helps. And as always when in doubt, definately talk to your ped. He/she will know for sure what it is and what to do.



answers from Grand Forks on

I didn't quite understand where the scab is on her head. Is this something she could be picking at and prolonging? Sometimes a scab that won't resolve is a symptom of a skin cancer. Since she is so young, I doubt that she has had the sun exposure necessary, but it might be a good idea to have your pediatrician check it out.

YOu also mentioned milk in hair. Could this be cradle cap? sometimes the skin on a babies head gets flaky and varies in ranges of seriousness.

I would call your ped. Especially since your are going back to work so soon. YOu don't want to leave anything unresolved that might stress you out while your away from your sweet little girl.

Let us know what happens. Babies are incredibly resilient. They are super strong and healthy, until they aren't...then it can get scary fast.

I never wanted to be the hyper helicopter mom that was burdening a pediatricians schedule, but I have always been grateful for following my gut. Better be safe than be sorry.



answers from Minneapolis on

It sounds likes Cradle Cap to me. Alot of infants get it. You can putting baby oil on her hair and gently combing the area alittle everyday. Not to much at once, has her head is sensitive.



answers from Appleton on

S. - my first thought is that of cradle cap. Its from when kids are born and the scalp is growing and 'sheds' skin. Look up on wikipedia - google cradle cap, if this is it. If still worried see you Dr.