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Fact or Fiction: Underarm Odor
by Staff
We've all been there, and it's never pleasant. A hot day, a stressful situation -- and suddenly you realize you have some major B.O. What makes your underarms stink, and what can you do about it?

Bromhitosis is the scientific name for body odor.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It's bromhidrosis.

A hormone called androgen contributes to body odor -- it becomes active in the body when you hit puberty.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: The hormone is called androsterone.

Sweat alone is odorless, but androgen makes it smell.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Sweat does have a slight odor, and androgen intensifies it.

To fight odor, you can wipe your underarms with a solution of one tablespoon of peroxide to one cup of water.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It's one teaspoon of peroxide.

Eating garlic, curry and onions could cause body odor.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Garlic and curry are common culprits, but onions don't have an effect.

In a study of men in the Czech Republic, beer consumption was shown to have an adverse effect on B.O.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It was red meat, not beer.

Men have a better nose for body odor than women do.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Young men are the best at sniffing out B.O., but the ability decreases with age.

Aluminum chloride is the active ingredient in antiperspirants that reduces sweating.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Aluminum chloride doesn't stop you from sweating -- it just gets rid of the smell.

There are two types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine. Eccrine are the ones under your arms (and groin and scalp).

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: The ladocrine glands are in your underarms, groin and scalp.

If you have diabetes and your underarm odor changes, it could be a sign of diabetic ketoacidosis.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It's probably just means that your blood sugar is a little low.