Does Cradle Cap Stink? If Yes, Then How To Deal With It

Published February 21, 2024


Does cradle cap stink? Does cradle cap have any odor? Well, It is not just about smell. It’s all about what it can cause. 

It may or may not lead to a bad odor but it can lead to other severe symptoms like inflammation, redness, and itching (and it can lead to temporary hair loss as well).

So, how you can protect your loved one from this condition? 

This article deals with the effects of cradle cap, does it smell, and what to avoid when dealing with this skin condition. So, let’s get started with a little introduction to those crusty flakes that you see on your baby’s scalp!

What is cradle cap?

It is a condition that leads to the formation of crusty flakes on a baby’s scalp and other body parts. It also causes the formation of scaly patches on the skin. 

Most of the time, the scalp gets affected. However, it can spread to other body parts like diaper areas, skin foldings, eyebrows, face, and forehead. 

In general cases, it doesn’t flare up and fades out within a few weeks. However, if the symptoms are severe and the flakes start spreading to other body parts, you must look for treatment.

It can lead to inflammation, itching, and redness in the affected area. But does it smell?

Does cradle cap stink?

In short, Yes! The odor may depend on the severity of its symptoms. A mild condition usually smells less or not at all. However, excessive oily flakes can lead to the occurrence of unpleasant odors. 

No matter whether your child gets cradle cap, if the condition is severe then it will smell. It usually smells oily and bearable. The smell can be removed using medicated products from reputable brands like Happy Cappy Shampoo

Why does cradle cap smell bad?

The exact cause cannot be confirmed because various situations can lead to a bad odor of cradle cap. The self-odor of oily flakes is negligible and smells oily. However, some other conditions can cause a bad smell on scalp and other affected areas which people might confuse it with the smell of cradle cap. These conditions are:


  • Sweating on the affected area
  • Fungal infection 
  • Bacterial infection


The bacteria near the affected area can cause a foul smell.

How to treat cradle cap smell?

The smell can also be caused by sweating and infection. So, make sure to check the reason for the smell. If it smells oily, then it is due to cradle cap. If it smells like sweating or bad, it may be due to sweating or infection.

To remove the smell and treat oily flakes use a cradle cap shampoo. A medicated shampoo for children doesn’t contain fragrance but it can fight against cradle cap and remove the smell as well. 

To do so, use a medicated shampoo in a bath. Apply shampoo directly on the affected area and rub for a while. Rinse with water and pat dry. Use the shampoo twice a week to get better results.

Should you use scent on cradle cap?

Never ever use fragrance on cradle cap! Fragrance can cause allergic reactions which can worsen the condition. Never use shampoos, soaps, and perfumes on your infants because your baby needs fragrance-free products due to sensitivity. 

It might sound like a good idea to kill a foul smell with perfumes or soaps with fragrance but it can cause more harm.

What to avoid?

Preventive measures are as important as treatment itself. This is because it avoids the spread of any disease and avoids triggers that can worsen the condition. The rest is the problem which can be treated with medicated shampoo. 

By following the preventive measures below, you can save your baby from getting flakes in multiple areas and speed up the natural healing procedure if not use any product. 

If you are using one, you still need to follow preventive measures because cradle cap can affect your baby again.


  • Avoid picking or manually removing flakes. 
  • Don’t use your fingers to scratch. Instead, use a gentle comb to loosen flakes. 
  • Don’t use harsh products and ones that contain fragrance.
  • Regularly clean the scalp and affected area to remove bacteria and avoid infection.
  • Don’t scratch if it itch! It can weaken hair follicles and lead to temporary hair loss. 
  • Clean your baby’s scalp whenever he sweats to avoid smell and infection.
  • Don’t use treatment from the first day. Cradle cap usually fades out. Wait for a few weeks and see if it fades out naturally.


In general scenarios, the cradle cap doesn’t smell as much so it can be easily identified. In mild cases, the smell will be negligible. However, severe symptoms and other conditions like infection and sweating can lead to unpleasant smells. 

It is always recommended to keep your baby clean and avoid using harsh products. Avoid using scents on your baby in order to remove the smell because it can trigger allergies; worsening the situation.

CDN Newswire