Q&A

Share your thoughts with us. This is a place where smelly armpits are no taboo. We are working on a solution against underarm body odor. If you want to take part in our upcoming clinical trial, please reach out to info@drarmpit.com. And stay updated on Twitter @DrArmpit

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Question posted by Maya
One of the side-effects I experienced after getting underarm laser hair removal has been persistent underarm odor, even after showering. Right armpit is worse than the left. The smell seemed to live on my skin, even after showering. I was using stick anti-perspirants like Degree and Secret and Mitchum, then stopped assuming that the creamy base was contributing to the smell. I started using aerosol sprays of the same strength and brands thinking that a "drier" version of the product would decrease odor. It didn't, it just made me smell sour instead of oniony with the stick/creamy base. I decided to try a natural deodorant and found that the glossy/clear glycerine based deodorants (Alaffia) made my sweating worse and they increased odor. I heard baking soda would help and was afraid to try it "out of the box" as many users appeared to experience irritation so I gambled by trying another "creamy" preparation in the form of Schmidt's deodorant, which I found at Marshall's/TjMaxx. That seems to work at decreasing the odor for about 8 hours. If I go to the gym after work, I have to wash my underarms again because I do sense that I have a slight funk that could get worse if i were vigorusly sweating so I wash right before class and reapply. It's better than any other options I tried so far as all the other antiperspirants were making me smell oniony or sour by lunchtime. So if any readers haven't tried the natural baking soda/coconut oil based deodorants, you might want to give those Schmidt ones a try. They have a charcoal magnesium version, which I found way too harsh. I alternate with the Lime Verbena and Lavender Sage. Hope this helps someone.
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Question posted by Marlys
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Question posted by Vanessa
Hi, have you ever investigated the effect of salicylic acid on axillary odor? I use a 2% salicylic acid product as a facial exfoliant, and a few years ago I discovered that applying it to my armpits after bathing delayed the onset of odor by several hours, and by the end of the day odor was comparatively much reduced. This has worked great for me ever since, with no irritation (even when applied immediately after shaving) or any other adverse effects. I assume the acid reduces skin pH enough to temporarily inhibit the worst of the odor-causing bacteria present, but since it seems that skin tends to return to its original pH relatively quickly, I've wondered if an "extended release" formulation could be created to enhance the effect. Thanks for your work, really interesting stuff!
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Question posted by Cecilia
Hi. I can't seem to find info about this anywhere in the internet. I'm hoping you can help. I've had 2 laser treatments to stop underarm sweat (last one was about 2 months ago). Initially I thought that it didn't work at all because they would still get pretty sweaty during my workouts. They actually felt MORE sweaty than before the treatments. But I soon realized that this happens only when I wear deodorant! It's pretty uncomfortable. It almost doesn't seem like sweat... it seems as if lots of moisture just collects there and mixes with my deodorant and doesn't go anywhere, like normal sweat does. I know, it sounds weird. So now I'm in a sucky situation where in order to not profusely "sweat", I have to skip the deodorant, but then if I do, over time I start smelling bad! Btw, without deodorant I don't sweat, my armpits just get a little "tacky" over time. Have you ever heard of this? Any idea as to why it's happening and what I could do about it? Thank you so much in advance. ANY advice would be truly appreciated. PS: the codes that we must decipher in order to prove that we're not a robot are HORRIBLE!! Almost impossible to make out.
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Question posted by Bram
what's the best PH value for making it unsuitable for bacteria to multiply and that's good for the arm pit (no reaction)?
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Question posted by Mermaid
@LifeIsATrial, thanks for the answer - have you tried spironolactone before? I wanted my doc to run some hormonal tests as I have fibroids and hair on my chin, but he doesn't really care and it's frustrating! I'm currently on synthoid, i started last week for hypothyroidism, but it hasn't impacted my armpit odor...it's such an embarrassing problem!
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Question posted by LifeIsATrial
@Mermaid, Spironolactone is an extremely harsh drug! Please, do your research before you ask for a prescription. The drug is mainly prescribed for CONGENITAL HEART DISEASE. It’s also potassium sparing (meaning no bananas, coconut water etc.) and a diuretic. It also will not work right away...it can take anywhere from six weeks to three months for it to work. If you’re female, it will disrupt your menstrual cycle. It’s also considered a BLACK LABEL drug because of the severity of the effects and the fact it can kill you. In fact, most doctors will not prescribe it. Just please exercise caution.
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Question posted by Mermaid
Hi guys, like everyone, I've been monitoring this website. Someone had mentioned using Spironolactone and that it had cured her armpit odor. I think the smell might be related to hormones, but I'm not sure...Has anyone else tried it successfully?
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Question posted by micky
hi i would like to know if oxygen and air in general have considerable impact on microbiome? can oxygen change it for the better over time?
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Question posted by AV
I have been dealing with the worst armpit odors and hyperhydrosis as well as the worst smelling pubic region. I am forced to wear deodorant on my pits and pubic area. If I do not wear it down there ppl will comment about the odor and I of course have to go along with them! It is so embarrassing and has disrupted my life to the point that I stay away from ppl. My armpits are to the point that no deodorant (and I have tried them all and no deodorant, not natural, not prescription) will worknothing stops my sweat, therefore nothing stops the stink! Please help me!!!!
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Question posted by Nelly
I have had smelly armpits since primary school. In high school my mother bought me Sadie deodorant. It was not favourable. Now at 30 my armpits prevent me from wearing what I like. Of later my right hand armpit gets flushed and it's as if there is fire under my skin. I don't know what to use and more. Because lemon and baking soda set my armpits on fire.
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Question posted by sad
i am thinking about death
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Question posted by Smellylady
So what is being done to stop the bad bacteria.??I read your research and I am a witness that the more antiperspirant used, the more it changes the diversity of bacteria which creates a funkier smell. I was using (sweatblock )antiperspirant and even though it is making me dry, it is making the smell worst.Please help
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Question posted by terry
my father suddenly developed a terrible smell a few years ago that just seems to be on his whole body. it stays in his shower, washer & dryer, car, and obviously clothes and sheets. he has no new health issues or medications. i dont know where it originates - - could it be his armpits, and then the smell is so strong that it permeates all of his stuff? are there any specifically medical tests he should be having, in case it's due to some hidden illness?
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Question posted by Kerry
Hi- About a year ago, I noticed that my 21 year old daughter had developed a sour armpit odor. This seemed to coincide with, but may not be related to, the four months she spent studying abroad in Thailand. She definitely did not have this problem in high school when she could play a competitive 2 hour singles tennis match without armpit odor. Now, she smells without even working out. No one else in the extended family has this issue. I do not have a problem, so would like to give her an armpit bacteria transfusion. What would be the steps to properly go about this? Or, how about using a probiotic topical spray, like LiviaOne or Mother Dirt's AO + Biome Mist? What steps should be used make a probiotic spray the most effective? I do notice that washing her clothes in laundry detergent along with a cup of vinegar takes the smell right out. I thought washing her armpits with body soap followed by wiping with vinegar and deodorant would help her armpits, but then is she just getting rid of any good bacteria she has there, also? Thank you for your help. She is getting married in May and it would be nice to have this under control by then as not to be embarrassed on her wedding day. You can answer me here, but I am not sure how I will know that you have made a reply. So, could you maybe reply to me at kswier@lcc.ctc.edu?
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Question posted by Mermaid
Hello Dr.Armpit, I was wondering if I can ask my doctor to do a skin analysis of my armpit bacteria. I do have eczema and I wonder if it contributes to having more bacteria in the armpit. My feet also smell and so do my breasts...I did Miradry but without any results...thanks!
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Question posted by Nikole
I have had laser hair removal in both of my underarms. I have always used some sort of natural deodorant, but spareling. I've always tried to stay away from any sort of antiperspirant, for fear that spreading Al on my skin was harmful. After my laser hair removal I noticed an increase in BO in my underarms. It has increased and now is terrible. With in an hour of a shower I have that oniony smell and have full blown BO. Historically, I could forget to even wear deodorant and I would be fine. Now, I have to reapply throughout the day or I stink! My diet has stayed relatively consistent and I've had no significant medical/medication changes in over 12 years. What can I do?
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Question posted by Beleeve
I have suffered from under arm odor since puberty. I am now 54yrs old and I have finally found something that helps. I found it by searching the web for Bromidrosis. Someone said they use margarita zinc cream. It has a tint that could stain your clothes but they also have pills. It mentioned using this wit Dentarome toothpaste which is a natural toothpaste on Young Living website but I just use the cream and it has been very effective. If you try it please give feedback. So many lives can be helped if this is an effective treatment.
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Question posted by Frank
Dear Dr. Callwaert, I have an inquiry that is perhaps unusual but something of great interest to me. Is it possible to PROPAGATE axillary body odor, not counteract it, using the same method of the Armpit Microbiome Transfer? Thank you.
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Question posted by Frank
Dear Dr. Callwaert, I have an inquiry that is perhaps unusual but something of great interest to me. I would like to PROPAGATE axillary body odor, not counteract it. Is there any way to naturally, or otherwise, cultivate the axillary bacterium known to CAUSE body odor? If there is, would you please share this information with me? Thank you.
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