Why do armpits smell

The armpits are one of those places on our body that remain enclosed almost all the time. The constant enclosure by our own arms and the clothes that we wear makes the armpits hot and thus they sweat a lot, especially during physical exertion. Perspiration, along with the continuous friction in the armpits makes way for the bad odor that we often come to experience. If sweaty armpits are left unclean and unattended for a long time, then bacterial or fungal growth may also follow, increasing the offensiveness of the ensuing odor along with other symptoms.

Fish-odor syndrome is a typical case of bad odor in the armpits, where the sweaty armpits smell strongly of decomposing fish. In certain rare individuals, this condition is found where the person’s system is unable to digest trimethylamine and just as with any other undigested part of our meal, the trimethylamine is thus excreted out of our body through feces, urine, saliva and sweat, which is the reason why their sweat smells like dead fish. The strength of the offensive smell varies from individual to individual, but overall, it has been found to leave a negative impact onto the person’s social life. However, it is possible to treat the condition and get rid of the fish-smell by simply controlling one’s diet. The person needs to avoid food items like eggs, soybean, meat and especially saltwater fish, which are all high in cartnitine, lecithin and choline. Trimethylamine is a result of the microbes in our digestive system acting upon these food items, therefore, in some cases, specific antibiotic drugs are also used to reduce microbe activity.

Armpits may start to smell different and stronger when one is reaching adolescence, but it is a natural process and it is not something that you need to be worried about. During these times, it is advisable to take frequent showers and use deodorants to ward off the smell, especially before socializing. An important thing to keep in mind is that you should also wear clean underwear, preferably made out of cotton. Cotton helps in absorbing the sweat and changing it often enough will ensure that you remain clean and less smelly.