Why Do My Armpits Smell Even After A Shower? Get the Facts

I have wondered about this from time to time. Right after showing, I can sometimes notice that the smell coming from my armpits is not anything close the fresh air of Spring. I decided to do some research to find out why armpits can still be smelly after a hot shower.

So, your armpits are still smelly after taking a fresh shower? Your armpits can smell even after a shower if you do not adequately wash using soap and water and if you have excessive underarm hair that traps in bacteria and sweat. Also, applying too much deodorant can block the underarm area that you are trying to clean.

I will explain further the role that hair plays in your ability to clean your armpits. Also, I will outline the best methods for washing adequately them.

Is the Hair Under My Arm Preventing Me from Washing My Armpits?

I had to be the bearer of bad news, but the massive amount of hair that you may have under your arms is making your task of washing them adequately almost impossible. The hair traps in oils that your sweat glands are pushing out.

The oil is sometimes sticky when mixed with deodorant; it is hard to totally wash away the stickiness during a quick shower.

When you have sticky hairs under your arms, sweat is also trapped and mixed into the hairs. Bacteria are able to cling to your armpit hair increasing the likelihood of a bad odor occurring.

Also, with long Rapunzel-like growth, it is hard to wash the skin of your armpits. The hair is actually in the way. Bacteria are multiplying on your armpit skin and your access to it is limited.

Deodorant is making the armpit surface less appealing for bacteria, but skin tends to have tiny lines in it where bacteria can hide from the deodorant.  If deodorant were to kill off all of the bacteria under our arms in one shot, we probably would not have to apply it every day.

I use deodorant after showering and I have very long armpit hair that has a life of its own. The deodorant that I recommend that I use is by Gillette (link to Amazon).It is so thick that it is like the thick fur of the underside of a cat. I have to trim it sometimes to remove the build of deodorant and to wash my armpit skin.

I have noticed that if I do not trim my armpit hair, that my moisture wicking gym t-shirts are not able to pull the sweat from my armpits. I end up with having soggy armpits that are sweaty and hot during my workouts.

I am not suggesting that you shave your armpits. I guess that if you are a bodybuilder, it might be advisable, but the average Joe should be fine if he gives himself a quick trim once a week.

For trimming your armpits hairs (trimmer blades out all the way, mustache scissors if you want to keep more it there)

How do I stop my armpits from smelling?

There is no sure fire way to stop your arms from ever smelling that I could find online through my research. There are some tactics that you can implement to reduce greatly the smell under your arms on a 24-hour basis.

Put on Deodorant Just Before your bedtime

Something that I have not tried is to use deodorant just before bed so that you have fewer bacteria under your arms even before you take your morning shower.

This makes sense to me. It is the same principle that was highlighted by my dentist. He told me that in order to reduce morning breath and to reduce tooth decay during the night, you need to brush your teeth well just before bed.

During the night, you are providing the bacteria in your mouth, 7-8 hours of freedom to multiply. Nevertheless, if you eliminate the number of bacteria that are in your mouth before sleeping, you will have less of a problem with bad breath in the morning since it is the bacteria that are causing your bad breath.

So, add on a layer of deodorant just before you hit the bunk and you have less of a stinky armpit problem the following day.

Keep Your Pits Dry

Another tactic is to try to keep your armpits as dry as possible throughout the day. Excess armpit sweat will feed readily the bacteria on your skin and your armpit hairs.

You can try different deodorants until you find one that keeps you dry. Since we all have different chemical makeups, you will need to determine which brand works best for you.

Plus, you could start to wear shirts and t-shirts that are moisture wicking so that the sweat does not stay on your skin for long.  I recommend the cool dri t-shirt by Hanes (click to see pricing on Amazon).

It might be a good idea to wear lighter colored shirts so that your armpit sweat is not as apparent to others. I sweat a lot and I can wear colored t-shirts to the gym only if they are the type that runners use that absorb body sweat.

Wash Your Sweaty Gym Clothes Please

Besides wearing shirts of the correct material for the gym, you should also ensure that you wash your workout clothes every day. I recommend Tide Pods (click to see pricing on Amazon for a pack of 162).

I have heard that there are gym members that like to throw their used gym clothes into the back of their cars and then they just pull on the sweaty clothing the following day before their workouts.

This is not a good plan. Just before you are not wearing the clothes overnight, does not mean that they will be miraculously fresh the next day.

That blunder reminds of a friend of mine that used to pick his socks for the day by smelling each one of them in his pile of dirty clothes and then wearing the less stinky ones. It just seems silly to me to shower and then to wear non-fresh clothing.

Reduce Your Consumption of Curry, Onion, and Garlic

If you love to eat garlic, curry, and onions, be prepared to have more of a problem with your armpits and even your pores on your body in general.

Even if you do add these items to your food consciously, there are many foods that can contain items that add to your armpit odor.  You need to read the ingredient labels of salad dressings, especially while at the grocery store.

I have noticed that a lot of salad dressings contain garlic. 

Also, when you order food in a restaurant, read well the menu so that you can avoid foods that contain a lot of garlic and onions. Some restaurants do not list well the spices that they add to their foods, so I tend to ask the waitress or waiter if certain items contain these ingredients.

What causes armpit odor without sweating?

Dealing with armpit odor even though sweating is not apparent is something that I had wondered about. I did some research and I had discovered that we can actually sweat without realizing that it is happening.

We Sweat Without Even Realizing It

If you are not sweating a lot, the sweat can evaporate quickly and you will not even realize that the sweat had been there in the first place.

Tiny Trails on the Skin Are Hiding Places for Bacteria

Also, since human skin is full of tiny crevices, it is possible that microscopic beads of sweat are lurking around. Bacteria is feeding off of these minute traces of sweat which will cause armpit odor.

Apocrine Glands Are Producing Sweat that is Full of Protein

I also wanted to point out that there are other parts of the body that can radiate a stench that is similar. In other words, you may feel that it is your underarms that are smelly, but the source could be located elsewhere.

Apocrine glands that produce sweat that is high in protein. Bacteria love this type of sweat and they will consume it. The by-product is an that is similar to that of armpit odor.

You have apocrine glands in the genital area, ear, underarms. and eyelids.  You will need to wash these areas thoroughly while showering along with your armpits.

My Sticky Eyelids Need to Be Cleaned!

I have noticed that my eyelids are sticky sometimes. I was not sure if it was due to sweating. I thought that it was because sweat had been rolling off of my face and into my eyesockets because my eyes were really sticky after a hard workout.

Now, I know that I need to wipe them off with soap and water while showering to remove the feeding source of the bacteria that I had been exposed to in a busy gym environment. I recommend Dove Body Wash (link to Amazon).

Good luck with your pursuit to clean properly your armpits so that you will be fresh and ready for your day after showering.

Found this post helpful? Don’t forget to share on Pinterest by pinning the image below!

Recent Content