Remove underarm odor
For many people, constant underarm odor is an annoying and frustrating problem that is hard to get rid of.
Whether due to a stressful lifestyle, inadequate diet, illness or hormonal problems, the smell of heavy sweat can even be traumatic in some cases.
If you want to completely eliminate the underarm odor and get rid of this problem definitively, this article is ideal for you.
Everything you need to know about the reasons why this smell occurs and we teach you how to remove the bad smell from underarms with home remedies and practical solutions once and for all.
Axillary bromhidrosis: very strong sweaty odor
Underarm odor has a well known scientific name: axillary bromhidrosis. This disease is characterized by bad body odour even at times when there is no clear reason. Although bromhidrosis usually occurs in the armpit area, it can also occur in other warm, moist areas such as the feet or genitals.
When we do sport, when we are very nervous or when we have excessive heat, our body produces sweat to stabilize our body temperature. However, what happens when the smell of heavy sweat appears at seemingly normal times when sweating is unusual?
Why armpits smell
The bad smell of armpits is generally explained by the sweat produced by the sweat glands that we have on our skin. There are two types of sweat glands: eccrine glands and apocrine glands.
As we said in the previous section, our skin is intelligent and sweaty, mainly so that we can maintain an optimal body temperature and not suffer an excess of heat. For this reason, it is essential to hydrate a lot throughout the day but, above all, in summer and when we do sport.
Eccrine and apocrine glands
We have already mentioned the existence of two types of sweat glands, so we will now see what the function of these glands is and how they differ:
- The eccrine glands, on the one hand, are the most common and are found in most areas of our body. The sweat produced by these glands is usually odorless.
- However, the apocrine glands, which are found in areas such as the armpits, groin or around the genitals, produce a thicker sweat, which consequently does not evaporate easily. To this we must add the fact that the areas in which the apocrine glands are found are parts of the body with bacteria that, when united with the sweat that these glands release in the dermis, unleash a strong and annoying odor.
Although, as we will see below, the smell each person gives off will depend on their diet, lifestyle and medical history, it is often an uncontrollable problem. There are people who despite taking care of their personal hygiene optimally, have more apocrine glands than other people or simply have larger ones, something that can produce a stronger odor.
Why do my armpits smell bad?
If you ask yourself this question, you should know that there are different reasons that come into play and that you should consider:
- Personal hygiene: While many people cannot do anything to avoid the bad smell, poor personal hygiene is still one of the first causes of axillary bromhidrosis. It is essential to shower daily, lather well, use neutral soaps that do not alter too much the smell of each one’s skin and use deodorant.
- Different types of bacteria: sweat gives off one smell or another on each person’s skin depending, also, on the bacteria found in the dermis of the person in question.
- Excess apocrine glands: As mentioned above, people with more apocrine glands or with larger apocrine glands than usual will be more likely to give off an unpleasant odor.
- Excess alcohol, cigarettes, and certain medications: There are beverages, medications, and products that, because of the substances they contain, increase the odor of sweat in the body. If you drink too much alcohol, smoke cigarettes, and take medications such as antibiotics often, you may give off a stronger odor.
- Inadequate diet: As with alcohol or cigarettes, there are strong foods such as onions or curry that produce more odor.
- Diseases: certain diseases such as obesity, diabetes or others that lead to hormonal imbalances can produce a stronger body odour. This is because in some of these cases the apocrine glands cannot function properly or certain organs cannot effectively rid the body of toxins.
Why armpits smell
Each person’s body odor is different and will vary depending on their hygiene habits, diet, and hormones. However, one thing is very clear: from puberty onwards, our armpits smell to a greater or lesser extent, which is why we protect ourselves by using deodorants and antiperspirants. But have you ever wondered why the armpits smell? This aroma is part of a complex and interesting body process.
The two types of sweat glands
In our body we have two types of sweat glands, which will be partly responsible for the aroma of our sweat.
- Eccrine sweat glands: these mainly secrete water, so they do not usually produce odor and if they do is a very mild aroma. They are found in areas such as the chest, face and hands.
- Apocrine sweat glands: the sweat secreted by these glands is thicker. It contains water, but also pheromones, fats and waste products from our metabolism such as amino acids. Because of all this, the sweat they issue has more smell, however, is not properly bad smell but a particular aroma in each person. These glands are found in areas such as the armpits, genital area, or feet.
Why the smell starts at puberty
Have you noticed that small children don’t smell like adults? This is because during childhood we do not secrete pheromones, however, when puberty begins we begin to do so giving rise to the body odor of each person who, we insist, is not properly a bad smell but our “personal fragrance”.
Then why do the armpits smell?
We know that the armpits smell and that if we do not take the necessary measures this smell is not exactly pleasant, but contrary to what many think the smell of the armpits does not come off properly from sweating but from the bacteria present in the area.
Apocrine sweat has a smell of its own that is not bad in itself, but when it touches our skin, and due to its components, it becomes food for the bacteria that live in our dermis.
Bacteria feed on it and produce their own waste, which secretes substances such as alcohol or ammonia, giving rise to an unpleasant aroma.
For this reason the bad smell of the armpits increases with the passage of hours, the more we sweat the more nutrients the bacteria receive and the more waste they emit.
The armpits, as well as the genital area or feet, because they are humid, warm and are not in direct contact with the sun, are the right place for bacteria to concentrate and produce the whole process described above.
Factors that increase odor in the armpits
This is a body process that none of us can prevent and that, on the contrary, we usually fight with products such as deodorant. However, there are other factors that increase the odor in the armpits making it concentrate even more, among them stand out:
- Having more apocrine sweat glands, which will increase sweating.
- An increased bacterial flora, which increases the amount of waste and with it the bad smell.
- Poor hygiene, which favours the increase of bacteria making the bad smell more intense.
- excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis
- Eating foods that increase the odor of sweat produced by apocrine glands, such as condiments such as garlic or onion, or excess spices.
Now that you know why your armpits smell you can fight bad smells more efficiently and be much fresher all day long.