Causes Smelly Armpits 

Its assumed that sweat causes smelly armpits however sweat by itself has no smell. Its the bacteria that reside on our body which are the cause of body odor. When we sweat the bacteria on our body attacks the broken hair and sweat and this reaction causing smelly armpits. The bacteria releases a chemical called 3-methyl-2-hexenoic acid which is infamous for its smell.

Excessive sweating can be caused due to many reasons like puberty, stress, menopause, and genetics. Most of the time the reason can be unclear and a person will not notice this or will learn to live by it. Its estimated that 3% of the world’s population suffers from this condition. Uncontrollable excessive sweating is called hyperhidrosis.

The real problem arises when the individual’s sweat and their armpits start to smell. Its bad for hygiene and also causes a lot of social phobia.

You must have also noticed that people might complain about you smelling but you don’t really notice it. Only when you really make an effort to smell your armpits you can smell the the odor. This happens as your brain filters out the smell
which is always present on your body.

How to Prevent Smelly Armpits

As this is a common problem there are many ways you can deal with this we have listed the below points which you can try out.

  • Keeping the Armpits Clean:

The bacteria react to the hair and sweat and break them down if you manage to keep your armpits clean then it helps a lot.
You can use a shaving kit or hair removal cream.

  • Use of a Deodorant or a Powerful Anti antiperspirant

You should give a deodorant a try and if deodorants don’t help there are some powerful antiperspirant in the market. Below is a list of some of the popular ones in the market as of now. Antiperspirant is not a deodorant it actually reacts with your skin and prevents your body to sweat.


This brand is known to use a high dose of aluminum chloride hexhydrate and is considered one of the most effective ways to stop your excessive sweating. Its not available is USA and maxim is the well known alternative for the American market. You can read more about driclor which we have written on how to use and how to prevent side effects. The cost is around £12.45



A well known anti antiperspirant which is available in USA. Its known to help and prevent excessive sweating and costs around usd 13.95 and should last you for a month. Most of the people have a positive feedback from using this.


Certain Dri

Is also a well known alternative its based on the the same active ingredient as driclor. It costs usd 4.45 and is a good alternative for the USA consumer. For a more detailed review visit this article.

  • Use of Alternative Treatments

Antiperspirants like all medications give varied results and people for who it does not work can try some known alternative treatments. Native Remedies Sweat-Less and 
DeodoRite ComboPack is one such example. If you are suffering from nervous sweatiness or feel your body has a lot of toxins due to pollution or external factors can give this a try. Some people are sensitive to the above chemicals used in the anti-perpsirants and prefer these remedies. The cost is around usd 66.

  • Life style Choices


Make sure you use a good quality shower gel and take 2 showers a day. After you exercise you must make it a point to take a shower as this is point of time you are most likely to start smelling.


While exercising wear clothes which have a wicking property. Wicking should take the sweat and pass it to the outer layer thus preventing smelly armpits and body odour. Below is an example of such a garments for your review. For more information on what is wicking please click here

While working and going about your daily chores make sure you are allowing your skin to breathe so comfortable cotton tees are recommended.

Mens Clothing Designed to Help with Excessive Sweating

Womens Clothes With Wicking Properties

The above methods help you deal with smelly armpits but don’t really attack the main cause which is the bacteria.
Actually killing the bacteria using anti freeze of ethylene glycol is possible. We highly recommend you choose one of the other above methods but if you have no option then you can go ahead with this method. We suggest you consult a doctor before taking this step.

  • ethylene glycol is positions if indigested. Keep away from children.
  • Must be used for 3 to 4 minutes before a shower.
  • Can be bought in chemical supply company search a local listing.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tanya June 11, 2013 at 11:18 am

Lavilin would be my suggestion.

Although keep in mind – Lavilin doesn’t inhibit sweating since it’s not an anti-perspirant. Anti-perspirants contain aluminum which clog your pores, thus inhibiting sweating. Lavilin is an all-natural deodorant that eliminates bacteria, which creates body odor. Just keep that in mind in case you sweat a lot :)

But if you don’t, Lavilin is sooooooooo good! Love the natural scent and it’s always worked for me. I actually also had my husband test it out :) He likes it too! If you’re on the fence, do some more research on Lavilin. You will find great reviews, and some great articles and interviews online. Good luck!

justine rico August 7, 2013 at 2:08 am

i have smelly armpit. it begins when i borrow the jacket of our maid she has smelly armpit too. how can i prevent it?

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