In many cases, plagiocephaly and brachycephaly are visible to the naked eye. In some cases, however, the conditions may not be obvious and are only indicated by measurement.

Diagnosis of the severity of the condition must be made by a qualified specialist, and treatment will be recommended based on the findings. The US classifications for plagiocephaly, which, it should be noted, are more rigorous than UK guidelines, state that a baby with less than 6mm deformity is unlikely to need treatment as the misalignment will usually grow out with age and repositioning, and be imperceptible once a covering of hair is achieved.

Asymmetry of 6 to 12mm is regarded as moderate and should be treated if the baby is not responding to repositioning. A 12mm+ deformity is classed as severe and treatment will invariably be recommended. There are many cases of a ‘combination’ deformity of plagiocephaly with brachycephaly. These should certainly be treated, with a view to reducing the overall problem.

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