Smelly armpits. The scent can be embarrassing, frustrating, sometimes even nerve-wracking. At times, armpit odor can be a sign of a medical condition. But most of the time, sweat, the necessary bodily function stopping your body from overheating, is responsible for smelly armpits.
What causes a sudden increase of body odor in females?
Females can suffer from a sudden increase in body odor – also known as ozochrotia, B.O., bromhidrosis, or osmidrosis – for a variety of reasons. Increased body odor could be a reflection of the changing environment around you. The medications you take, the foods you eat, your stress level, shifts in hormone levels, or underlying health issues may all be behind an increase in body odor.
Changes in body odor can be normal. For example, going through adolescence could increase body odor. In addition, the increased hormonal activity during puberty can cause B.O.
Excessive sweat as a result of the changing seasons or an intensive workout routine may be the culprit. If you practice poor personal hygiene or don’t wear antiperspirant, sweat can mix with bacteria, causing an increase in body odor. If smelly armpits continue to be a problem and are accompanied by other symptoms, the cause of an increase in body odor maybe something else.
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Is there a medical condition that causes body odor?
There are several medical conditions that can cause increased body odor:
- Metabolic disorder
- Overactive thyroid
- Athlete’s foot
- Diabetes (Diabetic ketoacidosis)
- Skin infections
- Kidney failure
- Dietary supplements or vitamins
What diseases can cause bad body odor?
Metabolic disorder – According to one study, about thirty percent of the population may have a rare genetic disorder – “the fishy-smelling syndrome” or, more scientifically, trimethylaminuria – which results in body odor. People with trimethylaminuria lack the enzyme responsible for breaking down a compound called trimethylamine, notable for its unpleasant smell.
Overactive thyroid – People with Grave’s disease are prone to excessive sweating. Consequently, if you have an overactive thyroid, you might smell more due to excessive sweating.
Athlete’s foot – A fungal infection such as athlete’s foot could be the cause of a bad case of B.O. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), blisters, redness, dry and scaly skin around your toes could be a sign of athlete’s foot. In addition, foul foot odor is fairly common with athlete’s foot. The unpleasant odor is caused by a combination of fungus eroding into your skin and bacteria.
Menopause – Leakage of urine during menopause or a change of pH in the private area could be the cause of B.O. Also, as estrogen falls during menopause, it affects the mucus in the private area. The decline in estrogen levels has a direct effect on the level of friendly bacteria that live there.
Diabetic ketoacidosis – Out-of-control blood sugar could result in ketoacidosis – a build-up of acidic chemicals like acetone in your blood – which could result in an unpleasant body odor and bad breath. This happens when your body runs on low insulin and your blood sugar spikes. This is more likely to happen to someone with type 1 diabetes than those with type 2.
Cancer – Lung cancer may cause a distinct breath odor. Therefore, breath is also used for the early detection of lung cancer. It is called Breath Biopsy technology.
Skin infections – Skins infections can be the cause of putrid body odor. The odor is a result of bacterial growth. Gangrene can produce some of the most offensive body odors.
Kidney failure – Your sweat will contain urea if you suffer from kidney failure. A healthy kidney would dispel urea from your body in the form of urine. As a result, your sweat becomes the vehicle to disperse the ammonia your body produces.
Private area infections – Overgrowth of overproduction of normally occurring bacteria could cause a bad smell.
Dietary supplements or vitamins – Dietary supplements and vitamins may cause unpleasant body odor. For example, the B vitamin thiamine is known to cause B.O., and Carnitine can cause fishy body odor if consumed in high quantities.
Why do I smell bad so quickly?
It isn’t sweating that makes you smell bad. In fact, sweat is odorless. However, when bacteria are mixed with your sweat, body odor becomes an issue. To be exact, the unpleasant smell is the result of bacteria breaking down protein into certain acids.
Can hormones affect body odor?
Hormonal fluctuations can certainly cause body odor. For example, estrogen levels drop during menopause, which could result in excessive sweating, which could lead to B.O.
Is a strong body odor a sign of pregnancy?
During pregnancy, you could experience waves of sweatiness. Sweatiness is the body’s response to the massive hormonal changes during pregnancy.
How to cure body odor permanently?
Although there is no way to cure body odor permanently, you can take steps to minimize body odor:
- Practice impeccable personal hygiene – Shower twice a day, and you’ll wash the bacteria and B.O. away. If you keep yourself squeaky clean, you wash away the sweat, preventing it from mixing with bacteria.
- Wash with antibacterial soap. Reducing the bacteria with soap will help get rid of the smell.
- Dry your skin thoroughly after a shower or bath. Bacteria grow much slower on dry skin.
- Use a strong antiperspirant on your underarms. Try an antiperspirant with aluminum chloride. This chemical is known to keep sweat at bay.
- Only wear fresh, clean clothes to cut down on B.O. That’s also true for socks.
- Cut down on odor-causing food. For example, garlic, onions, and spicy foods can give you a bad case of B.O. because they are carried in your sweat.
What causes sour body odor?
Ammonia and fatty acids are the products of bacterial breakdown. Therefore, the odor they cause can be described as “sour and sweet.”
Is a strange body odor associated with cancer?
University of Pennsylvania researchers have identified an odor associated with basal cell carcinoma, a form of cancer. The researchers are also working on identifying the odor of skin cancer. However, this is early research, and more work needs to be done.
What causes strong female body odor?
Strong female body odor is generally caused by sweating. Sweat – an odorless fluid – combined with bacteria on the skin causes strong female body odor.
What is a “sickly sweet” body odor?
Sometimes a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) could cause a “sickly sweet” body odor.
Can digestive problems cause body odor?
A leaky gut may result in systemic inflammation. It may cause autoimmune disorders, and various other health issues—one of the signs of digestive problems is unpleasant body odor and bad breath.
What causes body odor even after bathing?
You sweat what you eat, and your diet could cause body odor even after bathing. For example, some spicy foods, garlic, and onions can cause B.O. no matter how clean you are. Also, certain beverages like coffee and alcohol will cause you to sweat more, resulting in a bad smell.
Maintain a healthy diet if you want to minimize body odor.
What causes body odor to smell like onions?
Consuming dishes made with garlic and onions can cause body odor to smell like onions. Body odor that smells like onion could also be the result of infection or poor personal hygiene.
What causes body odor from hemorrhoids?
The discharge from hemorrhoids is most likely causing a foul odor. It is a discharge from the colon. The mucus membrane produces the discharge. It is not fecal matter, which a loss of sphincter control would cause.
What causes increased underarm odor?
Increased underarm odor is caused by bacteria breaking down your own sweat.
Are there non-medical reasons why someone might smell a little?
The most common non-medical reason for body odor is poor personal hygiene. Many different types of foods, as flushed through your skin, can also cause body odor. Onions, garlic and spices are the usual offenders. Hormonal changes can result in bad body odor. And if you are under a lot of stress, the result could be a bad base of body odor.
What if I have smelly armpits even with deodorant?
If you have smelly armpits even with deodorant, dead skin cells may be adding to your B.O. issue. However, there is an easy fix for getting rid of dead skin cells from your armpits—all you need to do is exfoliate your pit once a week.
The process is quite simple. You can use a loofah. Alternatively, you can apply a scrub on your armpits. For best results, make sure your pits are clean-shaven before you exfoliate.
What is the best deodorant for smelly armpits?
Finding the best deodorant for smelly armpits isn’t as easy as it seems. Sometimes the best deodorant is a natural deodorant. At times, a prescription-strength deodorant is the best.
Home Remedies for Smelly Armpits
Luckily there are natural cures for smelly armpits. In addition, the right home remedies will keep your armpits fresh-smelling.
- Apply Aloe Vera gel on your pits. Wash it off after half an hour.
- Mix two tablespoons of water with two tablespoons of Tea Tree Oil. Apply it on your armpits for 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water.
- Take a warm bath with Epsom salt in your bathwater. Add a few drops of lavender oil and one cup of Epsom salt to your bathwater before you get in. Shower after your Epsom salt bath to rinse the salt from your skin.
- Extract the juice from one small to medium size tomato. Add a few drops of lemon juice, then massage the mixture on your underarm. Rinse it off with lukewarm water after 15 minutes.
- Rub then place thin slices of potato on your armpits. After half an hour, remove the potato slices and rinse with water.
- Spray a mixture (1 cup vinegar + 1/2 cup water) of water and apple cider vinegar under your arms. Rinse off with your morning shower.
- Squeeze a small lemon and mix the juice with half a cup of water. Apply the solution to your underarm and rinse it off with lukewarm water after 15 minutes.
- Massage coconut oil on your underarm. Rinse it with water after about 30 minutes.
- Mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with two tablespoons of baking soda. In a circular motion, massage the paste on your armpits. Rinse the paste after about 30 minutes.
- Spray a mixture of lavender oil on your armpits. The ratio is ten drops of lavender essential oil and one cup of water. Leave the mixture on your armpits overnight, then rinse in the morning.