Why does my left Armpit always smell and my right doesn’t?

Q&ACategory: QuestionsWhy does my left Armpit always smell and my right doesn’t?
Mel asked 2 years ago
Hey –
 
Female in thirties.  100% right handed.  I have had laser hair removal on both armpits and have been hairless for over 8 years.  I do sweat from both armpits!!  However, my right armpit has virtually NO smell.  Sweaty or dry or anything.  No joke.  My left armpit on the other hand… has your standard armpit smell (which I hate).  I am even considering on using deodorant only on my left sided armpit.  But this makes no sense – since I’m right handed.  What is going on?  Are my hormones messed up?

1 Answers
drarmpit answered 2 years ago
Hi Mel, thanks for your question. I hear this comment a lot: one armpit smells bad, while the other doesn’t. It actually has nothing to do with handiness, or dominant side or not. I also wouldn’t say it has much to do with the hormones. 
It has everything to do with the microbiome. About half of the people we sampled have differences in microbiome between left and right armpit. The fact that there is a distance between the two regions, can lead to a (big) difference in microbiome. While your right armpit has the “good” microbiome, that never causes malodors, your left also has some malodor causing bacteria. The microbes are situated in the sweat glands and the hair follicles (so deep in the skin), so it is not easy to wash them away or change them. 
As a solution you can indeed only use deodorant on one side. But don’t overdo it please – you can potentially make it worse. You can also try the bring the bacteria from your right armpit to the left side, in the hopes they will take over and cause no more odor there.
Best,
Chris