Table of Contents
- Reasons for Underarm Odor
- How to Prevent Underarm Odor
- Potential Problems Underarm Odor Can Lead to
- When to Consult a Physician
- Effective Home Remedies
- Do’s and Don’ts
Having body odor is a highly disfavored and very unpleasant hygiene condition, which we have all experienced at some point in our lives.
And although it is an extremely taboo subject, it is a natural part of being a human being.
Of the different types of odors that your body can produce, underarm odor tends to be the most pungent, and it typically occurs when we sweat due to the exertion of physical activities, such as sports and exercising.
Certainly, for some, the underarm odor may be a temporary issue that can be easily remedied via the quick fix of a shower.
But for others, knowing how to get rid of armpit odor remains a rather embarrassing and persistent problem, which attracts the scathing judgments of anyone in the presence of it.
As with any chronic condition that people suffer from, analyzing the cause of the problem has proven to be most beneficial when determining the solution.
Therefore, it is critical for everyone to be knowledgeable about their bodily functions and understand the physiological effects of their own body chemistry, especially those plagued by foul underarm odor.
In addition, in order to determine how and why your body produces underarm odor, it’s incredibly relevant to discover the science behind the uniqueness of your own body chemistry, and learn how it specifically interacts with your body type.
Therefore, informing yourself about the following causes, preventions, and remedies for eliminating smelly armpits can substantially validate you, and it can be life-changing to either helping you (or someone else) go about living with social confidence.
Reasons for Underarm Odor
Contrary to popular belief, the underarm odor is not caused by sweat.
Therefore, you must ask yourself, “Why do armpits smell?”
Well, sweat predominantly consists of salt and water, so strictly speaking, it does not produce a smell.
Yet sweat is generally associated with body odor because it’s generated by areas of the body that are simultaneously favorable for bacterial growth.
So yes, bacteria that rapidly grow on areas of the body are highly prone to accumulating moisture (such as the feet, groin, and armpits).
They break down the protein in your sweat into acids (such as propionic acid and isovaleric acid).
They are responsible for causing foul odors.
To further understand the science behind how your body sweats, you must be aware of the two types of sweat glands that your body has: eccrine glands and apocrine glands.
The average human body has anywhere from 3 to 4 million sweat glands, which are divided into these two types.
Eccrine glands (glands that directly secret onto the skin) are the simpler of the two glands, and they’re found on the majority of the skin.
They are also responsible for regulating your body’s temperature.
However, since eccrine glands secrete sweat that is highly concentrated in salt, it makes it that much harder for bacteria to break down the protein in sweat.
Therefore, eccrine glands are deemed the least responsible for body odor.
On the other hand, apocrine glands (glands that secrete into your hair follicles) are primarily located within areas of the body that generate and retain the most amount of heat and moisture (such as the chest, groin, and armpits).
In contrast to eccrine glands, apocrine glands (which are also known “scent glands”) are highly concentrated in protein, which is easily broken down by bacteria.
Thus, apocrine glands are considerably more responsible for generating unpleasant body odors.
In addition to understanding body chemistry, there are also very specific causes for chronic underarm odor.
The most typical reasons relate to physical activity.
For some people, persistent underarm odor develops as a result of always eating certain foods (such as onions, garlic, and spicy foods), obesity (having extra folds of skin that prohibit it from getting proper ventilation), and certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and hyperhidrosis (a condition that causes people to sweat profusely).
How to Prevent Underarm Odor
Indeed, body odor is recognized as being a very serious subject.
It’s an intolerable condition that affects those who have it, as well as those who are nearby.
Fortunately, if you or someone you know is one of the many people suffering due to body odor, you may lack knowledge about how to get rid of it.
If so, here are some useful tips for you to consider implementing during the treatment and prevention of it.
Therefore, heed the following:
- Wash Your Body Daily
Certainly, of all applicable preventative measures, this method is perhaps the most effective at eliminating body and underarm odor.
Wash your body with warm water, and use antibacterial soap.
This tactic enables you to control body odor by ridding odor-causing bacteria on the skin.
- Minimal Hair
Growing excessive amounts of hair underneath the arms prohibits the evaporation of sweat that is produced on the surface of the skin.
Hence, by shaving your armpits (an area that is highly concentrated with apocrine glands), you should allow the skin underneath your arms to breathe, which will probably reduce smelly armpits.
- Breathable Clothing
Wear clothing made of natural fibers, such as cotton, wool, or silk. This tactic effectively allows sweat to evaporate through the fibers, which further reduces strong odors.
- Avoid Spicy Foods
Although the consumption of very rich, flavorful foods and spices (such as garlic and red-hot chili peppers) may be pleasant and appetizing to many, they are also attributed to the increased pungency of sweat.
Instead, opt for herbs and vitamin-rich foods, such as kale and spinach, that aid in neutralizing other foods that cause B.O.
- Use Antiperspirant
Deodorants contain aluminum chloride, which makes the skin more acidic when applied.
Acidic surfaces prohibit the growth of bacteria, which is why deodorant is used to prevent odor throughout the day.
- Weight Loss
If you are obese, losing weight will definitely help you sweat less.
It lessens the physical stress of heavy weight on your body, which is causing you to sweat more.
- Botulinum Toxin Injections
Considered the last resort, receiving botulinum toxin injections (consisting of a highly poisonous, biological substance) in the armpits helps block the signal from the brain that triggers profuse sweating.
Potential Problems Underarm Odor Can Lead to
Quite a few problems typically tend to arise for those who suffer the dilemma of not knowing how to get rid of underarm odor.
The most obvious problem is isolation.
People who unknowingly possess persistent underarm odor are usually the least regarded for accompanying friends and family to social activities — because of the distractive and offensive nature of their foul condition.
Nevertheless, if you are someone who knowingly suffers from B.O., you are most likely stricken by the thought of being embarrassed around those you know.
And as a result of this, you lack the confidence to be able to comfortably social interactions with friends and family.
In either case, odorous people become isolated, and life becomes an unenjoyable experience.
Furthermore, having B.O. paints you as a target for the overly critical judgments of other people.
And they tend to overlook your true character and mistake you for being an unhygienic individual — because they fail to realize that you have a biological condition.
When to Consult a Physician
Even though extreme sweating and body odor are presumed to not be life-threatening conditions, there are some issues that could occur, which would require you to see a doctor.
If for any reason you begin to sweat more than you normally do, start having cold or night sweats, or (most importantly) recognize that your body smells different than usual, you should immediately consult a physician and be evaluated.
(For instance, fruity smells indicate the onset of diabetes, and bleach-like smells indicate the presence of toxins within the body.)
Effective Home Remedies
For the majority of people, deodorant is regarded as the cure-all for armpit stench.
However, deodorant does not work well for everyone.
When it comes to knowing how to stop sweaty armpits, most people are novices, due to the fact that they are unaware of other existing, effective alternatives that can extinguish underarm odor.
Luckily, the following list of home remedies is proven to be most helpful at teaching you how to get rid of armpit odor:
Baking soda is a multipurpose ingredient that is commonly used to neutralize odor.
Therefore, it is very effective in treating underarm odor.
For this remedy, all you have to do is mix one tablespoon of baking soda with one tablespoon of lemon juice, cornstarch, or water.
Once mixed, apply it to your underarms.
Both the cornstarch and water mixture should remain on the skin once applied, but the lemon-juice mixture has to be rinsed off once it becomes absorbed into the skin.
No matter which solution you decide to use, all three are equally effective at eliminating odor.
Lemon is a very powerful health agent that has been used by people for many years — for its range of benefits as a cleanser, deodorizer, and method for maintaining biological homeostasis.
Although lemon is usually combined with other ingredients, it’s also quite effective when it’s used alone.
When used as a deodorizer, the acidic properties of lemon help prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria when applied to the underarm.
To benefit from its effectiveness, you can slice a lemon and rub it directly on the armpit, squeeze some fresh lemon juice on a towel, and dab it on the skin.
Or you can add some lemon juice to a cup of water, pour it in a spray bottle, and spray it underneath your arms as a daily deodorizer.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Just like lemon, the acidic properties of apple cider vinegar that stunt bacterial growth make it an excellent alternative to deodorants.
Compared to the application of lemon, apple cider vinegar can be used the same way — by either rubbing it directly underneath your arms to reduce the pH of the skin or mixing it half-and-half with water (which can be applied as a spray to eliminate B.O.).
To make the smell of ACV more appealing to be used as a daily deodorant, you can add a few drops of fragrant essential oil to the solution.
Relevant for its usage in aromatherapy and medicinal recipes rose water is considered to be one of the first ingredients to be used as a natural deodorant.
It is the perfect remedy for soothing and deodorizing odor generated by the hyperactivity of sweat glands.
To prepare rose water, drop a handful of fresh, organic rose petals in a pot of water, and let it simmer on low heat.
Once cooled, it can be applied directly to the armpits.
Or you can even add a few drops of it to your bathwater, in order to eliminate odor and add freshness.
Alcohol is a very common household item, which is generally used as an antiseptic and disinfectant.
Yet because of its numerous purposes, it is not frequently recognized for its potency as an antiperspirant.
Even though alcohol is already used as an ingredient within most hygiene products, its effectiveness gets overlooked when its potency gets reduced by combining it with other ingredients.
However, when used by itself, alcohol is understood to be a very logical solution for excessive sweating and underarm odor.
Since alcohol easily evaporates it’s when applied to the skin, it helps close the pores to reduce sweating and armpit odor.
In addition to alcohol, hydrogen peroxide is another common household item that has many useful benefits, other than its primary use as an antiseptic.
Nevertheless, just like its household counterpart, hydrogen peroxide is highly resourceful at being applicable to body odor.
To remedy your underarm issue, simply mix one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide with one cup of water, and create a dipping solution.
Then using a washcloth, dab the solution underneath your arms.
If you would rather rub hydrogen peroxide directly onto your armpits, this option would be fine as well.
Either way, using hydrogen peroxide significantly reduces unpleasant odors.
As a natural sterilizer, witch hazel is most frequently used for cosmetic purposes.
Specifically, it treats a variety of skin conditions, such as inflammation, itching, bruises, and burns.
Indeed, witch hazel is a wonderful medicinal resource that is mostly beneficial for the power of speed-healing.
Due to its properties for being an anti-inflammatory agent, witch hazel has the ability to draw tissues together and constrict blood vessels.
Nonetheless, as an added benefit of this ingredient, witch hazel triples in purpose for its use in odor prevention.
Unknown to many, the blood-constricting characteristic of witch hazel is unknown to many, but it’s the reason why it’s effective at minimizing extreme sweating when it is applied to the underarm area.
We are all very much aware of how vodka is typically used as a source of social confidence.
However, what many people fail to realize is that vodka can also contribute to social confidence as a remedy for treating armpit stench.
Whether at a party or at home, swiping a bit of vodka underneath your arms is found to be an excellent alternative to deodorant.
Due to its high concentration of alcohol content, it dries out the skin and minimizes pores, which reduce wet armpits and foul odors.
Furthermore, as an added bonus, vodka can be sprayed onto the armpit area of clothing, in order to eliminate stale and musty odors and prolong the life of your garments.
Baby Powder is wonderful for use in absorbing excess moisture.
Thus, it is the reason why it is most commonly used by moms to prevent diaper rash.
The talc mineral that is present in baby powder is primarily attributed to reducing friction, which makes it an excellent alternative to underarm use.
Not only does baby powder have a pleasantly fresh smell when applied to the armpits, its capability for reducing friction slows down the generation of heat.
Therefore, it prohibits sweating, while simultaneously absorbing moisture and blocking odor.
Simply rub some baby powder underneath your arms, and you’re good to go.
Sandalwood Powder carries a soothing aroma, which proves to be most helpful in eradicating armpit smells.
To use sandalwood powder as a remedy, it can be applied in two ways.
The first option is to prepare a paste by mixing sandalwood powder and water.
Once the paste is formed, apply the mixture to your armpits, leave it on until it dries, and rinse it with water.
Prepare the second mixture by adding white vinegar or essential oils to sandalwood powder.
Then immediately apply it to your armpits after taking a bath, which will create a natural deodorant.
Besides being used in skin treatments, lavender oil is one of the many essential oils that can be used in place of chemical deodorants as a natural deodorant.
It contains antibacterial properties that are effective at hindering the growth of odor-producing bacteria.
Just rub a few drops of lavender oil under your arms, or apply it via the use of a lavender oil spray.
To do so, pour some water in a spray bottle, and add a few drops of lavender to it.
Shake the mixture, and spray your underarms for desired freshness.
As a critical mental note, take heed of the fact that some people tend to be allergic to lavender oil.
Therefore, it is important to test a small area of skin underneath your arms prior to use.
Lemongrass is another aromatherapy and essential oil that is used for an immense number of health benefits, including stress reducer, muscle relaxer, detoxifier, and skin healer.
And in regards to smelly pits, it is an excellent natural deodorizer with antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Like any other essential oil, lemongrass oil can be made into a spray for daily use in odor prevention — by adding a few drops of it to water in a spray bottle and misting it onto your armpits.
Lemongrass has also been found to have the ability to fight off free radicals, and contribute to the prevention of skin cancer.
Tea Tree Oil
Many people seek tea tree oil for its wonderful benefits to the hair, skin, and nails.
However, in addition to its topical application for cleansing and rejuvenating purposes, tea tree (or melaleuca essential oil) is attributed to having antimicrobial, antiviral, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties.
Like lavender oil and lemongrass oil, tea tree oil has the ability to stop odors by prohibiting the growth of odor-causing bacteria.
Yet in contrast to other oils, because it is a sudorific substance, it prohibits bacteria growth by increasing sweat.
Therefore, it promotes the removal of toxins from the body that are responsible for B.O.
To benefit from the effectiveness of tea tree oil as a deodorizer, rub a few drops of tea tree oil under the arms, either before bed or prior to engaging in social activities.
Daily use is proven to rid toxins and improve overall health.
Like many other natural oils that are extremely beneficial as medicinal treatments, peppermint oil has unique antimicrobial properties, which help soothe digestive issues, freshen bad breath, and deodorize armpits.
As an essential oil, peppermint oil (which is a combination of spearmint and water mint) gives off a cooling, calming sensation when applied to the skin.
Therefore, it helps soothe the hyperactivity of sweating armpits.
And because its most active ingredients are menthol and menthone, it also helps in the evaporation of sweat.
Directly apply this oil to the skin, or mix with water to use it as a deodorizing spray on a daily basis.
As a part of the mint family, rosemary is considered to be one of the ancient medicinal herbs.
It is frequently used to improve memory, soothe the digestive system, and relieve muscle aches and pains.
Furthermore, in addition to being used as an antiseptic, rosemary is classified as being a rich antioxidant that’s highly potent at fighting free radicals, since it has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
In order to reap the benefits of rosemary as an underarm bacterial-growth inhibitor, you can rub rosemary oil directly on your armpits.
Or you can put 8-10 drops of rosemary oil in a cup of water, mix it, and dab it underneath the arms for day-long freshness.
Sage is another useful ingredient, which can be used as a remedy to treat underarm odor.
Sage helps prevent excessive sweating by directly targeting the overactive sweat glands present in your armpits.
However, although sage is beneficial at preventing underarm odor, it only lasts temporarily.
Therefore, it has to be repeatedly applied.
For underarm treatment, you must first prepare sage tea, then soak a cotton ball in it.
Use the cotton ball to apply the sage to your armpits, let it dry, repeat, and rinse with clean water.
Many people are familiar with parsley being used to garnish food dishes, but they are usually unfamiliar with its many health benefits.
As an herb, parsley has been used in the treatment of cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and even osteoporosis.
Nevertheless, parsley is also known to have pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and anti-odor properties that help rid underarm odor.
To use it as an odor neutralizer, add one teaspoon of chopped parsley to one cup of boiling water for at least five minutes, and let it sit.
Once cooled, strain the parsley and drink it.
If you prefer to bypass the boiling method, you can also opt to chew fresh parsley.
Walnut leaves are particularly effective at reducing underarm odor.
Unlike the other previously mentioned home remedies (which can be directly rubbed, dabbed, or sprayed onto the skin), walnut leaves have to be combined with eucalyptus, then ground into a paste.
If you are suffering from underarm issues, you will find this remedy to be helpful in resolving your problem.
Simply create the paste, and apply it to your armpits, which will create a pleasant alternative to the use of deodorant.
Rather than using a single herb or essential oil to rectify your odor problem, you can opt to combine several of these ingredients, which will create an herbal mixture that is extremely effective in its potency.
For this specific herbal concoction, you will need oak bark, Tormentil root, witch hazel leaves, eucalyptus leaves, and walnut leaves.
First, mix all of the ingredients.
Second, put 5 tablespoons of the mix in 2 liters of water, and boil.
Lastly, allow the mix to cool, then add 1 liter of water to it.
Once completed, the herbal concoction is ready to bathe in, which will eliminate bad odors.
Tomatoes are good for their practical use in consumption.
They are also revered as being excellent ingredients for odor removal.
You’ve probably heard that the remedy for ridding the horrible stench of being sprayed by a skunk is taking a bath in tomato juice.
By using this concept to treat your stinky armpits, all you have to do is take tomato pulp and apply it directly to your armpits.
Once applied, it is best to leave it on for at least 15 minutes, then clean your underarms.
Repeating this application on a daily basis will exude satisfactory benefits.
Who would have ever thought that the salads we’ve been consuming would be an excellent alternative to deodorant?
Alongside tomatoes, lettuce is considered to be an excellent remedy for preventing underarm odor.
To be amazed by its secondary benefits, just crush some lettuce leaves, and extract the lettuce juice.
Then once obtained, rub the juice on your armpits.
To experience even more effective results, immediately apply the lettuce juice to your underarms after taking a bath.
Due to its chlorophyll content, wheatgrass juice is deemed to be an excellent inhibitor of the foul odor.
Chlorophyll helps reduce odor by absorbing odor-causing compounds and expelling them via bowel movements.
If you have some wheatgrass within your home, soak it in water, and drink it every morning.
Otherwise, you can just purchase wheatgrass juice, add two tablespoons of it to ¾ cup of water, and drink it.
However, if you are taking wheatgrass juice for the first time, be aware that it has a very strong taste that may cause you to feel a bit nauseated.
Turnips are wonderful vegetables, due to their high concentration of vitamin C and other nutrients that help fight diseases associated with liver and bladder problems.
Turnips are also great for controlling body odor.
They remove the toxins that accumulate within our bodies and contribute to B.O.
As an underarm remedy, grate a turnip and squeeze out its juice.
Use the juice to rub underneath your arms, and it will reduce your underarm odor for up to 10 hours.
The odor-blocking power of radishes is found to be just as effective as turnips.
They are already small in size, which means that you will need at least two dozen radishes to create this remedy.
Using your radishes, extract all of the juice out of them, and add some glycerin to it.
Put the solution in a spray bottle, use them for daily purposes, and spray it underneath your arms.
This tactic will serve as a natural replacement for chemical-based deodorant.
Alum is short for “potassium alum.” It’s a crystalline solid that is commonly used as an astringent and styptic.
Its astringent properties give it the ability to temporarily tighten tissue, which is why it helps prevent excessive sweating.
To be used as a natural deodorant, just run some water over a piece of alum, and apply it underneath your arms.
Be sure to rub gently, because you don’t want it to be too abrasive on your skin.
The skin underneath the arms is very sensitive, and it will easily bruise.
Allow your armpits to dry, and you’re ready to go.
Indeed, a crystal rock isn’t just an ordinary rock.
Crystal rocks are made from mineral salts, and they are incredibly impressive in their level of effectiveness at eradicating underarm odor.
They serve as excellent alternatives to traditional deodorants since they are natural antiperspirants.
Therefore, they block the sweat glands that are responsible for contributing to the growth of odor-causing bacteria.
For everyday use and long-term freshness, gently rub the crystal rock across your armpits. Then you’ll experience the effects.
Do’s and Don’ts
When it comes to knowing how to stop sweaty armpits, there are plenty of do’s and a few don’ts to follow as guidelines for freshness assurance.
- Bathe on a regular basis, and use antibacterial soap.
- Be sure to drink plenty of water, in order to flush out toxins.
- Maintain a healthy diet, in order to promote internal homeostasis.
- Always wear natural-fiber clothing, and change clothes out daily (or as often as needed).
- Keep your armpits shaven, in order to prohibit odor.
- Seek well-ventilated and air-conditioned environments.
- To prevent underarm hyperactivity, remember to remain calm and relaxed.
- Avoid eating foods that contribute to body odor.
- Stop drinking alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
- Quit smoking.
- Refrain from becoming overly stressed.
Although underarm odor is a naturally occurring condition that is occasionally experienced by us all, it is not treated in the same way for every individual.
The uniqueness of everyone’s body chemistry responds differently to the effectiveness of the ingredients that we use on our skin.
In addition, we must remember that malodor isn’t always an indication of a lack of cleanliness.
There are indeed a variety of both internal and external factors that can have an impact on the way we smell.
Yet there are also so many useful, natural alternatives to deodorant, so we shouldn’t feel confined to one type of product.
If you are one of the many people who suffer from odorous issues, you have the ability to reclaim your confidence by becoming an expert in knowing how to get rid of body odor via the application of these remedies.
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.
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