Underarm odor is a nuisance, to say the least. For those of us who struggle with underarm odor more frequently and with more intense underarm odor compared to others, it can be outright life-ruining. Permanent solutions to get rid of intense underarm odor are possible.
If this is something you struggle with, you’ve probably wondered how you can get rid of underarm odor forever. Well, you’ve found the right article. Keep reading to learn about how to manage an underarm odor problem.
What Is Underarm Odor?
Underarm odor is exactly what it sounds like: a bad smell emanating from the underarm area. While the entire human body can have body odor, the underarms tend to be a particularly heinous culprit as they are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria: warm, wet, and dark.
To understand exactly why this environment is so conducive to smell, we’ll have to continue on to the next question…
What Causes Underarm Odor?
Underarm odor is really just an unfortunate side effect of two totally harmless - in fact quite useful - features of the human body: bacteria and sweat.
See, you wouldn’t be happy if your body stopped sweating. Perspiration is our natural way of regulating our body temperature, helping cool you down when you’re working out or in a hot environment. Without it, you’d overheat, which is both physically uncomfortable and not healthy for your body function.
And while housing bacteria doesn’t seem very desirable, it actually is an important part of a healthy human body. Our bodies are home to colonies of friendly bacteria, concentrated mostly in our guts and on our skin. These bacteria help us out in many different ways: keeping out invaders, healing wounds, and even assisting you in absorbing nutrients.
The problem is that when your odorless sweat comes in contact with your skin bacteria, together they create the dreaded body odor. And that is where underarm stink is born.
Getting Rid of Underarm Odor Permanently
Now, on to what you really want to hear: is it possible to get rid of underarm odor permanently?
Well, in theory, if you were to stop sweating or stop having a skin microbiome, then you could. But the problem is that you can’t - and shouldn’t - get rid of these healthy, natural bodily processes. Instead, it’s better to focus on how to manage underarm odor by reducing sweating and making your armpits a less hospitable place for bacteria to thrive. It won’t make you odor-free forever, but it will help in the short term.
Products for Underarm Odor
There are three products that are absolutely key in the fight against underarm odor. So much so that most people do fine just using these three products alone. We’re talking about antibacterial soap, antiperspirant, and deodorant.
Regularly showering and washing your underarms with antibacterial soap is an important way to cut down on the number of bacteria living in your armpits. Again, you can’t kill them off completely, but you can reduce them.
Antiperspirant, made with the active ingredient aluminum, clogs your sweat ducts so that you can’t sweat as much. You can get antiperspirant in varying strengths depending on how badly you sweat, from regular to clinical strength to prescription strength.
Finally, deodorant helps out by masking underarm odor with a different, more pleasant smell. When used in conjunction with antibacterial soap and antiperspirant, it can essentially replace your underarm odor.
Tips for Underarm Odor
Additionally, there are some things you can do to make the products we mentioned above work even more effectively. This includes:
- Change your diet - Some foods and drinks such as caffeine, alcohol, spicy food, onions, and garlic are known to make you sweat more and/or to make your sweat smell worse. If you want to decrease your armpit odor, it may be a good idea to reduce your intake of these.
- Shave your underarms - When your armpits are hairy, they do a better job of trapping bacteria and sweat inside of them. This is why shaving your underarms is one way to reduce underarm odor.
- Rethink your closet - Certain clothing and fabric types, like cotton and skin-tight clothing, can make you sweat more. In contrast, looser clothes made of more breathable fabrics can reduce how much you sweat.
Did you know bamboo underarm pads reduce body odor and prevent sweat from showing through? Try Social Citizen’s sweat proof Social Tee.
Home Remedies for Underarm Odor
As we mentioned, most people manage their underarm odor with just the three products above. But some people want other solutions. If you prefer to use more natural products that you can make yourself out of household ingredients, here are some home remedies that you can use for underarm odor.
- Apple cider vinegar - Apple cider vinegar can naturally kill some bacteria, which means it can help with underarm odor. But be careful, as some people think that apple cider vinegar smells even worse than body odor
- Green tea - A natural astringent, green tea can block the pores on your skin, reducing how much you sweat
- Lemon juice - Like apple cider vinegar, lemon juice can help underarm odor by killing bacteria
- Baking soda - A base substance, baking soda can balance out the acid in your sweat
- Turmeric - This yellow spice is also known for being able to kill bacteria
Medical Solutions for Underarm Odor
If you want a more long-term solution, there are also certain medical procedures that you can undergo to reduce your underarm odor. These include:
- Botox injections - Botox can be used to block the nerve signals responsible for sweating, preventing you from producing too much sweat
- MiraDry- This is a non-surgical treatment that uses thermal energy to safely eliminate the sweat and odor glands in your underarms
- Surgery - One of the most invasive options available, there are also surgeries in which doctors go in and actually remove your sweat glands
How Social Citizen Can Help You
If you want an easy, everyday option for managing your underarm sweat and odor, check out Social Citizen’s sweat-proof clothing. Made with naturally antibacterial and anti-odor bamboo, the Social Tee is guaranteed to stop 100% of sweat stains.