Body odor is an unpleasant and frustrating condition. It has affected enough people to make way for a large market for perfumes, deodorants, and antiperspirants. And, armpit odor is something that most of us go through.
Although it might seem like something you’ve been cursed with, a few simple steps can help you eliminate armpit odor. But, before we get to the ways by which you can do that, it’s important to shed light on what causes it in the first place.
What Causes Armpit Odor?
Armpit odor is caused when bacteria on the skin break down the acids in your sweat. This condition is common after puberty because it leads to the development of the apocrine sweat glands.
Women have 75% more aprocine glands in their armpits than men. However, the latter are more likely to have body odor since they have larger and more active aprocrine glands. They also sweat more, hence promoting bacterial growth.1 Causes of armpit odor include
- Food habits: Studies link the consumption of garlic, onion, spicy foods, red meat, curry, and alcohol to body odor.2
- Excessive sweating: This condition is called hyperhidrosis and occurs when a person sweats excessively, more than what’s required to regulate body temperature.3
- Trimethylaminuria: This disorder is caused when the body is unable to break down trimethylamine, a chemical compound that has a pungent odor. This leads to a strong odor during sweating, breathing, or urinating.4
- Diabetes: This condition causes a fruity smell during sweating.
- Liver or kidney disease: This condition causes a bleach-like smell.
Ways To Eliminate Armpit Odor
1. Bathe Regularly
Although this might seem like generic advice, bathing with warm water and an antibacterial soap can eliminate bacteria on the skin. On hot days, you might need to shower twice a day to keep armpit odor at bay.7
2. Try An Antiperspirant
The easiest and quickest way to eliminate armpit odor is with an antiperspirant. Studies state that when applied regularly, they lead to a significant decline in bacterial density. Furthermore, they contain aluminum chloride, which reduces the amount of sweat produced by the body.8
If you tend to sweat a lot, opt for roll-on antiperspirants. While you could apply an antiperspirant right after you take a bath, if you have a stubborn underarm odor, you could also try using an aluminum chloride solution separately.
Apply this solution in the night and wash it off in the morning. Since one doesn’t sweat at night, the solution has ample time to seep in and block sweating the following morning. However, be sure to consult a medical professional before you try this remedy.9
3. Change Your Diet
Since the consumption of garlic, onion, spicy foods, red meat, curry, and alcohol is linked to body odor, eliminating them from your diet should help reduce body odor. Furthermore, studies show that switching to a plant-based diet leads to
4. Wear Loose Clothes
Eliminating armpit odor might require a slight wardrobe change. Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes and synthetic fabrics. They don’t let the skin breathe and lead to excessive sweating. Opt for natural fibers such as wool, silk, or cotton instead. They let your skin breathe, and help sweat evaporate quickly.12
5. Shave Your Underarms