I have just come across this page and want to say thank you for dedicating so much time to this. I have already learnt a lot just from your articles. I have suffered from hyperhydrosis for 15+ years..and subsequently bromhidrosis. It basically runs my life. Everything I do revolves around avoiding getting too close to people, uncomfortable situations, and sweating unnecessarily. It is incredibly difficult to make new friends, and requires me to latch onto to the ones I do have for a fear of loneliness. I\'m glad to see that you understand the severity of this problem and are working so hard to remedy it. Recently my groin area has started to sweat more so I started to apply antiperspirant to the \'creases\'. I\'ve always had malodor there, but now the odor in that area has become unbearable even with light exercise/sweating. From reading this I guess overuse of antiperspirant is to blame. It is so ironic that the only proven thing to help with malodor... is also the thing making everything worse. I will now (try to) refrain from using it, try to endure the embarrassment and hope that a healthy biome is restored. From reading your replies and articles.. is it generally accepted that plain deodorant is less harmful to the overall bacteria than antiperspirant? Can simply switching to deodorant or a natural deodorant restore a better biome or is stopping altogether required? I am dreading this upcoming summer as temperatures are increasing every year. I will continue to stay updated here and hope for a solution for everyone suffering with this.
Hi T, thanks for sharing your story with us. We feel your pain. Indeed, using antiperspirant will only worsen the problem. It contains a lot of ingredients that are antibacterial -which is a short-term solution- but will basically shift the microbiome towards more stress-tolerant, more pathogenic and more malodour causing bacteria. I only advise to use antiperspirants if you really suffer from hyperhidrosis (which most people don't have). In other cases, just use regular deodorant. They also contain antibacterial ingredients, albeit in lower concentrations. The impact on the microbiome is less. Still, it has an impact, so use if moderately. In all cases, only apply those products in the underarms, and nowhere else. For most people the genital region smells quite good. The genital and underarm region have many things in common: both in a crease, both have eccrine and apocrine sweat, both a very occluded/secluded, both are warm and moist, both have a lot of bacteria present there, both have mainly staphylococci and corynebacteria as dominant taxa. The main difference is: people only apply deodorants and antiperspirants in the underarms, and not in the genital region. As a result, underarms start smelling off, while the genital region does not. For men in case of sexual activity, the genital region receives frequent a healthy dose of good bacteria. For women, they naturally have the good bacteria! Armpits don't have that. And that is what we are working on: providing the opportunity to give a good dose of good bacteria when needed.