DrArmpit is a science communication platform where scientific research about armpit microbiology in relation to body odour, in a broad sense, is made available to the public.
DrArmpit focuses on malodor generating bacteria in the armpits, clothes, washing machines and how to counteract them. Very few research is done in this field, as such DrArmpit is a pioneer in finding solutions towards the malodor generation. DrArmpit is hosted at LabMET in Ghent University. The research is funded by the Flemish Government. In this website you can find research updates and see what kinds of bacteria live in the armpit.
I had the opportunity to defend my doctoral thesis on February 26th, 2015 in the beautiful auditorium depicted below. Since then, I am officially Doctor of Applied Biological Sciences. I will proceed my research thanks to the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO - Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek). Thank you for your support and interest in this research!
“The forearm is the desert, the scalps are the cool woods and the armpit is the tropical rainforest’’. Mary J Marples couldn’t have put it in a better way. The armpit is like the tropical rainforest, containing an enormous amount of bacteria. Although numbers of bacteria go very high, not a lot of different bacteria reside over there. The diversity of the axilla is rather low, compared to other skin sites, such as the belly button and the hands. As a result, some dominant bacteria reside in the armpit. Most of the times, staphylococci or corynebacteria are the dominant bacterial strains. In the first case, this only results in a moderate –normal– body odor, while in the last case, this can give rise to an unpleasant smell.
Why would somebody be so crazy to do research about smelly armpits? So far it is still taboo to talk about smelly armpits. Nobody likes it and nobody wants it. However, smelly armpits and body odor is something of this world and very few measures can be taken in order to get rid of it.
In fact, very few research is done on smelly armpits. Why? Having smelly armpits is not really a disease. You can perfectly function with smelly armpits. Only in rare cases, smelly armpits, or bromhidrosis, can become a disease if it significantly interferes with the lives of the affected individuals. Besides washing the armpits a lot and spraying deodorants, there is not much you can do about it. Our research team is trying to find a solution for that.