This condition can be extremely embarrassing, but in most cases doctors pay little attention to body odor because it isn’t really a medical problem. Antiperspirants containing aluminum may help, but some people react badly to them, and many would prefer to avoid aluminum. Body odor may be caused by skin bacteria that break sweat down into volatile (smelly) compounds. Some people have found intriguing approaches to this problem.
Baking soda is fantastic for sweaty underarms. I’ve used it for many years because regular deodorants either cause an allergic reaction or don’t work. Baking soda beats them all.
Others have also found baking soda helpful. It is applied with a cotton ball.
My daughter is entering puberty and dealing with underarm body odor. We tried many different deodorants and antiperspirants to no avail. I figured if Listerine kills the germs that cause bad breath, it might kill the bacteria that cause underarm odor. I checked with the pediatrician first to make sure it would be safe. Sure enough, Listerine works. She applies it after showering, lets it dry, and then applies an antiperspirant. She can go just about the entire day with barely any odor.
Thanks for sharing this unique solution to a common problem. Listerine contains thymol, eucalyptol, menthol, and methyl salicylate. These oils have antifungal and antibacterial properties. Although Listerine is not approved for this use, we’re glad to learn it works.
MILK OF MAGNESIA
I want to share a remedy I learned when traveling in Brazil. Just apply milk of magnesia to your armpits. It is the best underarm deodorant!
What an unusual idea. Milk of magnesia contains magnesium hydroxide, which is both an antacid and a laxative. We have never heard of applying it to underarms, though. Perhaps it reduces the acidity of the skin to make odor-forming bacteria less welcome.
Joe Graedon & Terry Graedon, The People’s Pharmacy: Quick & Handy Home Remedies, published by National Geographic