How to wash your armpits properly to avoid bad body odour

When it’s hot outside, you might decide to shower more than usual – but this heat is enough to make you sweat as soon as you get out.

It’s so warm that, even after showeing, you might start sweating and smelling as soon as you leave the house – even when wearing deodorant.

However, this problem could be down to how you’re washing your underarms.

According to a dermatologist, you should be cleaning your armpits properly to ensure they are clean and won’t smell – even after wearing deodorant.

Dr Sasha Dhoat, a consultant dermatologist at Stratum Clinics tells ‘There is no magic potion or need for aggressive regimes. Just clean gently but thoroughly with regular body wash once a day when showering or bathing, or after exercise and dry carefully afterwards.

‘Most teens upwards need to invest in a suitable deodorant, too.’

So how do we get stinky pits in the first place? And what should we do about them during a heatwave (when sweat is rife)?

Dr. Sasha says: ‘Apocrine glands are found in areas where you have hair, such as your armpits and groin. The secretions they produce, worse when stressed, are odourless until it combines with bacteria on your skin and trapped with hair.

‘Reducing or removing sweat and cleaning to remove odour-promoting bacteria is key.

‘Trimming the hair on your underarms is also recommended. You should also wash your clothes regularly, wear loose natural fibres in summer months and remove clothes that are sweaty as soon as possible.’

Dr. Geeta Yadav, a certified dermatologist and founder of FACET Dermatology, adds that underarm hair can make smells worse, as it traps bacteria.

So the trick is to clean the root – where it’s most warm – so bacteria can’t thrive.

Of course, not everyone has underarm hair, so it’s also about using the right product and making sure the skin isn’t irritated.

Dr Geeta told ScaryMommy: ‘You should concentrate on cleansing at the root to ensure you’re targeting the area where bacteria thrives best.

‘I’d recommend using a body wash that features a chemical exfoliant like glycolic, lactic, or mandelic acid.

‘These ingredients will remove the dead skin cells on the surface that bacteria like to feed on and sweep those microbes down the drain.

‘You should not use these types of products after shaving as they could cause irritation — reserve them for your initial cleanse, then use another product for shaving.’

Dr Geeta adds that some products should be diluted with water, to avoid skin irritation

She concludes: ‘Using naturally antimicrobial ingredients will absolutely help stave off body odour-causing bacteria, but not all are ideal to use directly on skin if not diluted as they can be highly irritating.

‘Some witch hazel formulas contain alcohol, which can be sensitising for some, so be sure to do a patch test first.’

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