Hi Dr. Chris. Good day. For background, I am 25, Male, Wet earwax, and have suffered from B.O for many years now. I have used underarm cosmetics and soaps on a regular basis. At the start of October 1, 2023, I decided to experiment by not using soap and deodorant on my armpits. Completely nothing, just water washing. As I type this question, It\'s been 18 days now on this experiment. I noticed that on week 1 it smelled terrible like a strong onion smell but fast forward week 3, the odor is much much less. The odor started to decrease by the middle of week 2. I can now go days without using deodorant and soap. During the experiment my diet is composed of mostly rice, bread, fried dishes, and some vegetables. I haven\'t consumed much fruits. I also drink water kefir everyday. There is an odor that still remains, more prominent on the right armpit but it\'s subtle and inoffensive and only develops after extreme physical activities. It smells salty, sour and musky but no longer oniony. What should I do now? Will the odor still decrease if I continue with this experiment? Or should I just go back to using deodorant (natural deodorant)? Despite noticing self-percieved improvement, I am still anxious if I have gotten nose-blind to my own odor. Thank you so much Doc Chris for all your efforts and for reading this question.
Hi Ralph, thanks for sharing your story. I am glad that the no wash experiment helped for you. Indeed, refraining from using deodorants and soaps will lead to a re-establishment of the underarm microbiome. We all have the good and bad bacteria in the underarm, but the balance is what is off when there is a malodor. The oniony odor is coming from S. hominis. This one is usually not the most abundant one, and can decrease when others are becoming dominant. If I were you, I would not go back to the deodorant use. If you are happy without it, then don't use it. Deodorants, even if they are natural, contain antimicrobial ingredients that decrease the microbiome, including the good ones. That leads eventually to a microbiome that is becoming resistant to the antibacterial ingredients. And those are most often also the smelly ones. Best, Chris
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