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Why Do My Armpits Smell Like Onions? Breaking Down That Funky Odor

Why Do My Armpits Smell Like Onions? Breaking Down That Funky Odor

Why Do My Armpits Smell Like Onions? Breaking Down That Funky Odor

We all know the feeling - you catch a whiff of something foul, lean in to investigate, and realize that pungent onion-y scent is coming from your own armpits! Cue the intense wave of self-consciousness and embarrassment.

Onion-scented body odor is one of the most peculiar and mortifying kinds out there. It can leave you feeling self-conscious, wondering why do my armpits smell like onions? And just as importantly, how do you get rid of that funky onion pit stench?

While having armpits that constantly smell like you're fresh from the kitchen may seem baffling, there are actually several possible explanations behind this distinctive odor.

What Causes Onion-Smelling Armpits? Most forms of underarm odor start when your apocrine sweat glands produce moisture mixed with proteins and fatty acids. When that sweat mixes with the bacteria found naturally on your skin, it causes those signature musky body odors.

However, in some cases there's a specific culprit behind that particularly sulfuric, onion-like scent - the actual breakdown of certain amino acids by the bacteria on your skin! Here are some of the most common causes of onion-smelling armpits.

Sweating and Poor Hygiene When you sweat excessively without properly cleaning and drying your underarms, it creates a petri dish for bacteria growth. As the microbes break down your sweat, they release stinky compounds like thiols that have an unmistakable onion aroma.

Simple solution? Make sure you're showering regularly and using an antibacterial soap to clean away sweat and odor-causing bacteria under your arms.

Your Diet After being processed by your digestive system, some foods high in sulfur compounds like garlic, onions, curry, and certain meats can be released through your sweat glands. This gives your perspiration that distinctive pungent, onion-y smell.

Try limiting these sulfurous foods for a few days and see if that curry-scented BO dissipates. Increasing your intake of chlorophyll-rich greens like wheatgrass can also help neutralize odors.

Hormonal Sweat Changes Puberty, pregnancy, menstruation, or other hormonal fluctuations can trigger major changes to your sweat makeup. More protein-rich apocrine sweat opens the door for certain bacteria to release onion-esque odors.

While you can't control your hormones, properly managing your sweat through clinical-strength hygiene products can help mask or reduce hormonal BO until levels balance out.

Metabolic Conditions In rare cases, an underlying metabolic disorder or medical condition could be the root cause of sulfuric, onion-y smelling sweat. Trimethylaminuria is an inherited condition where the body can't break down choline, generating onion-like odors.

More common conditions like diabetes, kidney disease, or hormonal disorders can also potentially lead to changes in body odor. Talk to your doctor if onion armpits persist despite good hygiene.

How to Treat Onion-Scented Underarms Nobody wants to smell like a plate of caramelized onions 24/7. Luckily, there are plenty of effective ways to neutralize onion-like body odor and prevent it from becoming an issue in the first place.

For starters, proper hygiene like showering daily using antibacterial soaps, deodorizing wipes, or silver-infused cleansers under your arms is crucial. Make sure to clean and thoroughly dry your underarms after sweating to kill odor-causing germs.

Clinical strength antiperspirants and deodorizers containing aluminum-based compounds can help minimize sweating while neutralizing odors. Applying them nightly before bed allows the formula to penetrate into your pores most effectively.

If you still struggle with lingering onion-y pits despite your best efforts at cleanliness, there are specialized wardrobe solutions that can help. Items like armpit pads or sweatproof undershirts act as invisible odor-blocking barriers between your pits and shirts.

That stubborn onion body odor doesn't stand a chance against the moisture-wicking and antimicrobial fabrics in garments like those from

While onion pit stench is a little funkier than your run-of-the-mill BO, it's still no match for proper hygiene, dietary tweaks, and the right odor-blocking products. With some simple swaps and a diligent daily ritual, you can send that oniony reek packing and smell fresh again.