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What Your Sweaty Underarms Are Telling You. And How to Refresh

Your sweaty underarms really smell great. Said no one ever. Hitting puberty was a game-changer for many of us, going from sweet childhood to stinky teen. The discovery of deodorant pretty much ended the conversation, at least for a while. But it’s not necessarily end of story.

Millions of Americans are self-self-conscious about their body odor. In fact, people in a survey admitted being more embarrassed by perspiration than acne. If that’s not enough, five out of 100 people suffer from a condition that causes them to sweat..,.. excessively. It’s a medical condition called hyperhidrosis.

Anyway, there are two glands responsible for our sweet, thank you very much. The apocrine and eccrine glands- their function is to ultimately cool us off.  That’s fine, but at some point enough is enough. 

So here’s a few reasons why your armpits may be stinking the place up.

1- Diet. The foods you eat make a difference. Especially pungent flavors are linked to B.O.  

Red meat, onions, garlic and cabbage among them. Along with spices including curry, cumin, garlic, and coriander. And of course, booze. Alcohol, beer and liquor leave their scent.

2- Hyperhidrosis. That’s the excess sweating referred to above. Sometimes it comes out of nowhere, with no explanation. But it is oftentimes linked to: anxiety, infection, cancer, thyroid conditions and menopause. Doctors may recommend washing the underarms with an antimicrobial wash containing benzoyl peroxide or using topical treatments which must be prescribed. Another option, is botox injections to block the nerve signals that trigger sweating as well as interrupting the sweat glands from over-producing.

3- Hormones. Puberty is the first culprit which opens the sweat floodgates. Later in life hormones continue to play a role. Pregnancy and menopause impact perspiration as well as scent. Hormonal imbalances of either sex can also ramp up the sweat machine.

These things may cause you to either sweat more or smell worse- or both. If you’re hot and bothered, here’s some things you can do to refresh.

1- Shower with antibacterial soap, giving extra attention to the underarms

2- Swap your deodorant for antiperspirant.  The deodorant just pretties up the odor, antiperspirant inhibits sweating. Try using it a bedtime to give it more time to sink in.

3- Shave or wax your armpits. Studies show removing hair reduces the opportunity for bacteria to accumulate and can leave you smelling better.

4- Adjust your diet. Do yourself a favor and avoid stinky foods if you find that they impact your scent. 

5- Choose breathable clothing. Polyesters and synthetic fabrics trap perspiration and can even absorb smells, no matter how many times you wash items. Natural fabrics give your armpits a chance to air out, especially if they are not too binding.

Finally, body odor is normal- but it doesn’t have to be offensive. Giving your underarms a little love, can have you feeling sweet again.

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