Why Do My Armpits Smell So Bad: Causes and Remedies


Are you worried about “why do my armpits smell so bad?”. Stinky armpits generally refer to an unpleasant odor that originates from the armpit area. A combination of sweat and bacteria mainly causes this odor.

When you sweat, especially in areas like your armpits where the skin is so sensitive, the moisture creates an environment where bacteria can grow. These bacteria mix with your sweat and make a stinky smell.

Before getting in-depth to try out methods to eliminate stinky armpits, we first need to know the reason for stinky armpits.

Why Are My Armpits Smelling So Bad Recently?

One of the main causes is the bacteria on the skin break sweat and produce compounds that eliminate bad odor because our body consists mainly of two kinds of sweat glands: “eccrine” and “apocrine.” So when your body heats up, eccrine glands produce sweat to cool down your body, and at that time, sweat is odorless, but when the bacteria on the skin break down, it eliminates odor. 

Why Do Armpits Smell? Know It’s Causes

  • Poor Hygiene: Inadequate washing and infrequent use of excessive products can lead to a stinky armpit.

  • Bad eating habits: Eating junk and oily rich foods, certain foods like overeating onion, garlic, and spices lead to bad sweat odor. 

  • Hormonal changes: Hormonal shifts due to age, like puberty and menstruation, and other hormonal changes due to medications and an impotent lifestyle cause a smelly armpit.

  • Clothing and fabrics: Clothing that is non-breathable and tight fit traps the sweat inside your body, causing bacteria buildup, which contributes to the growth of sweat, making it stinky.

  • Certain medical conditions: Medical conditions like hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) or certain metabolic disorders are major factors in a stinky armpit.

  • But worry less; we can try some amazing hacks and products that help us get rid of stinky armpits:

  • Maintaining good hygiene by regularly washing your armpits with soap and water can reduce bacteria on your skin and reduce odor.

Additionally, antiperspirants and deodorants can help reduce sweating and mask odor. Various home remedies also help reduce sweat odor, such as using apple cider vinegar and mixing baking soda with water and lemon on armpits will neutralize the odor-causing bacteria in that area and give a fresh feel.

How To Get Rid Of Body Odor?

There are so many home remedies you can try to get rid of stinky armpits:

1. Wash Daily and take a shower regularly

Washing is really important because hygiene plays an important role in treating odor. Use mild soaps and water to clean the armpits at least twice daily to keep the bacteria healthy.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is an amazing product to get rid of odor because it provides various benefits to the skin internally and externally. Apply Apple cider vinegar in a diluted form, one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water, and washing the armpit with that diluted solution can help kill odor-causing bacteria. 

3. Tea tree oil   

Tea tree oil contains antibacterial properties; it kills the bacteria produced by excessive sweat and combats the odor-causing bacteria from the armpits. Using tea tree oil in a diluted form, take a few drops of tea tree oil with some water to dilute and apply to the armpit twice daily. 

Tea tree oil is one of the best answers for “how to get rid of armpit smell”. 

4. Lemon Water

Lemon water contains acidic properties, which help neutralize the odor by killing the bacteria generated on the skin by its acidic properties. You can apply it directly to oily skin or dilute it with water. 

5. Baking Soda Paste

Baking soda helps neutralize the armpit odor by balancing the pH levels and suppressing bacterial growth, absorbing the excessive sweat. Add a paste with baking soda and water to the armpits, and leave for a few minutes; it can be 2-3 minutes, then wash it after a few minutes. 

6. Baking Soda as Powder 

Baking soda is a skin-friendly ingredient that is used in several home remedies. You can use it at home by putting it under your arms, leaving it for a few minutes, and then brushing it off. It helps your skin feel nice and fresh.

7. Baking soda with lemon and coconut oil

Baking soda with lemon and coconut water helps kill the odor-causing bacteria and reduces excessive sweat. Make a paste of a tablespoon of baking soda with a few drops of lemon and coconut oil, rub it on the armpit for a few minutes, and then wash it gently to exfoliate the armpit area and give you cleaner effects. 

8. Cornstarch Paste 

Cornstarch is an excellent treatment for skin irritation; it soothes various skin allergies. Make the paste of half a teaspoon of cornstarch with a few drops of lemon juice, or you can also make the paste of half a teaspoon of cornstarch with half a teaspoon of baking soda and water, apply it on the armpit for a few minutes, and then wash it off with water. 

9. Arrowroot Powder 

Arrowroot Powder is a natural option for the skin that is also used to treat body odor; it is also safe for babies. You can use arrowroot powder as talcum powder as it absorbs moisture and protects the skin from infections.

You can use arrowroot powder paste as a natural deodorant. Mix one teaspoon of arrowroot powder and a few drops of coconut or other essential oils, Use a little bit of this paste as a cream after the shower on your armpit area. This paste can be stored for up to two weeks. 

10. Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is extremely effective in controlling odor and fights the impurities from underarms. You can use a charcoal bar on your armpit during a shower to get rid of smelly armpits. Or you can make a paste with a teaspoon of charcoal powder with a few drops of honey and apply this paste to your underarms keep it for 15-20 minutes and later wash it. 

11. Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel contains natural astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. This removes excess moisture from the skin, kills bacteria, and reduces skin pores. You can use witch hazel on the skin by dabbing it onto the armpits as a toner.

12. Aloe vera gel after Epsom Salt bath

Epsom salt baths provide terrific benefits; soaking your body with Epsom salt gives a calming effect and kills the bacteria causing excessive sweat and smell. Apply aloe vera gel onto your armpits after an Epsom salt bath. 

13. Tomato juice and potato juice

Tomato juice contains acidic properties, and potatoes contain starch, which even tones the skin; applying the potato juice with tomato helps you get rid of the odor by killing the bacteria, and this paste gives you a fresh feeling and even tones skin.

How To Get Rid Of Armpit Odor – Try These Products

You can try these products to solve the problem of “why do my armpits smell so bad“. Here are some fabulous products that work wonders on your skin. These brands have products used nationally and even internationally.

I. Body Mists

Body mists are body sprays that are lightly scented, which you can apply on your armpit as well as various parts of the body. Body mists are similar to perfumes, but these are reliable sources invented to directly apply to your body. Body mists have a lower percentage of aromatic oils than perfume, making them less intrusive and more suitable for everyday use.

Body mists are applied to the skin after a shower and a little moisturizers on that area or when you want to feel more relaxed and less weightage of perfume.

Many body mists are available in the market, from floral to fresh to woody and aqua; we have many options. 

The best brands to buy body mists are:

1. “Plum”

Plum has huge options, like “plum Bodylovin’ Vanilla Vibes,” for light, warm, sweet fragrance. “Plum Bodylovin’ Hawaiian Rumba” for aqua and refreshing feel, and many other options to choose from according to which suits the best to your taste.

However, many people reported, “why do my armpits sweat so much even with deodorant”. This is due to hyperhidrosis which causes uncontrollable sweating. The sweat released from hands, armpits, and feet. Then the sweat mixes with deodorant which leads to a smelly odor.

2. “Pilgrim”

Pilgrim offers various options like “Pilgrim French Kiss Body Mist,” which gives a warm vanilla vibe with a tint of starfruit fragrance. “Pilgrim Summer Escape” feels like sunny summer with the fragrance of white lily and yuzu lemon. There are other options to explore, too. 

Also Read: 15 Best Perfumes For Women That You Would Just Fall in Love With

3. “Moi by Nykaa”

Moi by Nykaa has crafted a very good collection; choose the “Joie De Vivre” shade if you want something with the aroma of citrus and fruit woods; you can opt for other options like “Amour,” which settles into to body so warmly with the fragrance of jasmine and lily of the valley. 

International brands for body mists are: 

“Victoria’s Secret,” “Marks & Spencer,” “Miniso Fantasy Body Mists,” and so on.

II. Armpit Roll-on

Armpit roll-ons are applied directly on the underarm area in back and forth motion twice or thrice, and wait for a few minutes to completely dry on that sensitive area before you get dressed or do any activity that may cause sweat. Some roll-on even helps to fade underarm pigmentation, giving you even-toned and brighter skin. Armpit Roll-ons are very easy to use and are a travel-friendly product. Armpit roll-ons are applied to your body after taking a shower. All products are dermatologically tested before launching.

Various brands are producing underarm roll-on nationally and internationally:

1. “Be Bodywise”

Be Body Wise is one of the best brands providing services to treat underarm pigmentation and dark patches. This brand consists of salicylic acid, which masks lactic acid’s odor and naturally hydrates the skin, and mandelic acid, which helps brighten the skin. Their products are available in three fragrances, no, mild, and strong fragrance. 

2. “Nivea”

Nivea ensures that their product provides gentle care with many benefits like the commitment to long-lasting freshness that is 48hr odor protection; it helps minimize various negative effects you face in day-to-day life due to sweat on the armpit area. Nivea gives a wide variety to choose from according to your skin.

3. “Rexona”

Rexona is one of the brands which have launched their product at the very first. They provide numerous options according to the skin type. Options like “Rexona underarm roll-on ‘aloe vera,’ ‘Shower Fresh,’ ‘Powder dry,’ and other ranges.  

An international brand for Armpit Roll-on is:

“Marks & Spencer Underarm Roll-on”, “Davidoff Coolwater Deodorant”, Caudalie Vinofresh”, “Dove” , etc.

III. Underarm Creams

Underarm Creams are like natural creams, but apply to your underarms after showering. Underarm Creams also help in whitening that area as well as in the reduction of sweat. It makes the armpit odorless, and these creams are safe to use like any other moisturizer. Various brands provide products like Underarm Creams, which are easy to use and clinically tested.

The best brands to buy Underarm Creams are:

1. “Bare Body Plus Underarm Cream”

Bare Body Plus underarm cream is dermatologically tested and highly approved for dark underarms. The creamy texture blends the skin very well and provides a shuttle fragrance. This cream consists of AHA, which helps exfoliate dead skin cells and remove dirt. This cream is enriched with niacinamide lactic acid and has a stain-free formula.

2. “Sanctus Underarm Whitening and Sweat Reduction Cream”

This brand provides unique skin care products which ensure no side effects on the skin. This cream yields a lot of features, such as lightning and evens out the skin tone, preventing bad odor from underarms, keeping the skin nourished and soft, and removing black spots and rashes. This cream is beautifully crafted with compositions of various ingredients like licorice extracts and alpha Arbutin, aimed at removing any dead cells and providing a healthy and odorless armpit with a warm, natural fragrance. You can easily find this brand on online platforms like Nykaa and Amazon.

So, a wide range of products are available on the internet and online platforms, which helps ease the stress of getting the information and buying the product, which helps get rid of stinky armpits.

Always Remember that everyone’s body is different and what works for one person may not work for another person. So, finding the best approach to effectively combat body odor may require some trial and error, but always do the patch test first on your hand before applying any product directly on sensitive areas. 

What Diseases Can Cause Bad Body Odor?

Some disease conditions may cause bad body odor. Many people are unaware of and this is crucial to know because this can be a sign of starting of the disease condition. We have listed some disease conditions in the following list.

  1. Diabetes
  2. Overactive Thyroid
  3. Hyperhidrosis
  4. Kidney Disease
  5. Liver Disease
  6. Metabolic Disorders
  7. Menopause
  8. Breast Cancer
  9. Skin Infections
  10. Gout

Many people reported, “why does my sweat smell like vinegar?” This is because a person may suffer from diabetes, trichomycosis, and kidney damage because of hormone imbalance and lifestyle changes.

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