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Causes of Armpit Odor that Won’t Go Away

Discussion in 'Gastroenterology' started by Egyptian Doctor, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

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    Opinions are like armpits, everyone has a couple and they all stink. So they say. Some armpits (and opinions) stink worse than others and there are unseen reasons behind the stink. So if you bathe regularly, slather on the antiperspirant and deodorant but still have armpit odor, consider these potential causes.

    What you Eat

    What you eat is what you sweat. What you drink and smoke also impacts the way you smell. Onions, garlic, spicy foods and alcohol contain chemicals that get secreted out of the body through the pores after they have been ingested. Nicotine is also excreted through the pores. So if your favorite foods are Mexican and Indian, and you like to wash the spicy foods down with a cold beer and top it off with a cigare, that explains why your armpits stink even after a good scrubbing.

    What you Wear

    Where there is moisture, there is bacteria growing. If your clothing fabric keeps moisture trapped in your armpits all day, bacteria will grow and create odor. Wear clothing made from breathable fabric, like cotton, that will help wick moisture away from your skin and prevent bacterial growth.

    Man-Up

    Deodorants and antiperspirant products are segregated on the retailers shelf by gender. The manufacturer's consensus seems to be that men need the strong stuff and women need the smell-good stuff. Regardless of your gender, man-up and select an unscented product made for men that contains at least 12 percent aluminum chloride, which is the major ingredient that stops moisture.

    Underlying Health Issues

    If you're bathing regularly, avoiding certain foods and beverages, wearing breathable clothing and coating your underarms with a clinical strength antiperspirant, yet still have a lingering armpit odor, it's time to visit your primary care physician and explain the situation to him. Certain health issues, like thyroid problems or hormonal changes, may be the cause of the armpit odor. Some types of medications may also cause sweat to have a distinct odor. Visit your doctor to rule out (or diagnose) any health issues that may be causing the odor and to get a prescription for an antiperspirant/deodorant product that contains 20 percent aluminum chloride and will stop the stink in its tracks.

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