Body odor, specifically underarm body odor, is caused by sweat produced by the apocrine glands. Apocrine glands are present, in large numbers, in the armpit. The sweat produced by apocrine glands mixes with the bacteria on the skin and results in body odor. Often offensive in nature, underarm body odor not only hampers one’s confidence but also has a negative impact on the way a person carries themselves.
To be able to treat underarm body odor effectively, it is first important to know how underarm body odor occurs. Not only sweat secretion by apocrine glands causes body odor but also poor hygiene, and insufficient bathing are known to cause the bad odor.
To prevent extreme sweating and underarm body odor, stick to the following home remedies that can be easily followed to keep the skin clean and fresh.
Shaving your underarms – Hairy underarms can create a moist environment, thus creating a breeding ground for bacteria. Since human hair is porous, it absorbs the odor, thus causing slow evaporation of body sweat. It traps odorants located in the armpits, thus causing it to smell. To get rid of underarm body order, the first step is to shave the underarms so that the bacteria is not trapped in the armpits.
Applying vinegar – Vinegar, especially apple cider vinegar, also known as ACV, helps in lowering the pH level of the skin. Because of the acidity in the vinegar, bacteria are unable to survive. Splashing a little apple cider vinegar in your armpits help dissipate the body odor and kills the bacteria causing body odor. However, remember not to use vinegar on freshly shaved armpits as it can cause irritation on the broken skin.
Using witch hazel – A natural sterilizer, witch hazel is a natural antiseptic that is known to reduce the Ph level of the skin thus reducing underarm body odor. One can also use tea tree oil or powder to get rid of the smelly armpits. For those who sweat profusely, you can wipe your armpits regularly with witch hazel.
Warm water shower – Taking a bath with warm water helps in killing the odor-causing bacteria. You can also use an anti-bacterial soap to get rid of those smelly armpits.
Avoid spicy foods – Food with strong flavors and a pungent smell, like curry, garlic, chilies, etc. can make people sweat more. Also, if you want to get rid of underarm body odor, avoid a diet rich loaded with red meat as it is also seen as a major contributor of rapid body odor.
Hydrogen peroxide – You can make a mixture by diluting one teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide in 8 Oz water. This mixture can be used for wiping the underarms. Hydrogen peroxide is known to kill the odor-causing bacteria.
Iodine – Iodine, when used as a scrub, helps in killing the bacteria causing the armpits to smell. You can apply iodine using a small toothbrush and scrub it off to get rid of underarm body odor.
Cornstarch or baking soda – Baking soda is quite effective as it is known to absorb perspiration thus stopping the armpits from smelling. It also works well as a deodorant and helps in getting rid of underarm body odor. Cornstarch, more absorbent, is also quite effective in getting rid of the odor. Just dust your armpits with some cornstarch, and you are set to go anywhere without the thought of smelling bad half way.
Lemon juice – The acidity present in lemon juice helps in lowering the ph balance of the skin and makes it difficult for the bacteria to thrive. You can also add lemon juice to your washing machine to get rid of any bacteria that has made its way into your clothes.
Laundry – Never wear the same outfit again. If you have smelly armpits, it is best advised to wash your clothes daily and dry them in them in the sun to get rid of the bacteria. Your gym clothes should be washed separately as bacteria harbors most on them.
Deodorant or antiperspirant – Deodorants have an acidic base which makes it difficult for the bacteria to breed. Also, an antiperspirant has the ability to block the sweating feat of the glands, causing less sweating.
Reduce stress – Stress is never good. It not only causes the apocrine glands sweat more but also affects the overall well-being of an individual. Practice yoga and meditate to calm your senses. Exercising regularly also helps in reducing stress and ensures that all the vital organs of the body perform at their best.
In case the remedies mentioned above fail to give any positive results, it’s time to consult a doctor. Body odor can sometimes be due to kidney or liver problems. Thus, it is best advised to consult a doctor without further ado.