Scrubbing your underarms when you shower and using an over-the-counter deodorant should keep armpit odor in check. But some people still seem to have a problem, no matter what they do.
Fix It: If stinky underarms is a problem, you may be an excessive sweater and need a prescription antiperspirant from your doctor, says Dana Simpler, MD, a physician at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. In extreme-sweat situations, Botox treatments under the arms can help. Dr. Simpler also tells patients who don’t want to use deodorant to soak a cosmetic pad with rubbing alcohol and apply it under their arms. Why? The alcohol kills the bacteria that lead to body odor.
The most common cause of stinky breath? Your diet, says David M. Leader, DMD, an assistant clinical professor at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston. Spices, garlic, and onions are known to make your breath smell for hours after you eat them, Dr. Leader says.
Fix It: Brush twice a day and floss at least once a day. If that doesn’t stop the problem, you could have halitosis, which can be caused by bad dental hygiene (bits of food get stuck between your teeth and gums and begin to emit foul odors). Gum disease, dry mouth, and other dental health problems could also be at root, so it’s important to talk to your dentist.
Those Down-Below Parts
For the most part, those places shouldn’t have a naturally bad odor — but sweating “down there” can cause a stench (just as it does on other parts of your body).
Fix It: Wash daily with warm water and a mild non-drying soap (but skip the soap near openings). Also, keep the area dry, change your undies as needed and opt for fabrics that breathe, like cotton. If you do have persistent odor, it could mean you have a harmful infection. In addition to an unpleasant smell, infections can also cause discharge, pain, itching, or burning. If you experience these symptoms, see your doctor for treatment. You may also be able to avoid some infections by keeping your blood sugar levels low, Simpler says — at the first sign of a possible infection, cut out sweets, sugar, and soda.
By following the tips above, you’ll be back to your sweet-smelling self in no time!