Reaching the age of adolescence can be really stressful, since there are gym classes and hot days when you sweat a lot and smell bad. To avoid the smelly part, more than 90% of teenagers and adults in US use antiperspirant or deodorant to neutralize the odor. This became a universal rule and even 78% of the people should never use deodorant because of their genes but they still do.
You need to understand that sweat does not smell. The general thought is that we smell because we sweat a lot. However, this is not true since the bacteria in the armpit releases that awful smell. The lipids and amino acids in the sweat can be easily broken down by the bacteria and they will transform into substances with different smell which is results to our body odor.
Over the last decades, the main rules for solving the body odor problem increased along with the hygiene routines. There are two methods for fighting the smelly armpits – the one being involves eliminating bacteria with deodorant which consists triclosan, the other includes blocking the sweat glands and killing bacteria by using deodorant containing aluminum.
But, some medical experts discovered that using deodorants or antiperspirants extensively has some really frightening side effects. The research is still in process but the claim had great impact on people.
However, academic people made research on the same topic and the bacteria community called microbiome in our body is further studied. Experts even call it a new organ system in our body since it has great impact to the health. It can lead to various issues including life threatening C. diff (Clostridium Difficile Colitis) to less serious ones like body odor.
This can be really shocking since our methods for stopping the body odor are barbaric in comparison with this research.
The Ecosystem of Armpit
The armpit has various naturally placed bacteria in the same way as the gut has. This is the most heavily populated area on our body by bacteria, but the microbial community does not really diverge. According to Dr. Armpit, you can find five times more diversity on the hand or two times more on the belly button.
Around 70% of the bacteria go into one or two groups. The one is the odor related, while the other is not. The gut can be destabilized by some antibiotics or type of food and eliminating good bacteria, while permitting some microbes to cause problems. Just like the gut, it can appear in the armpit too.
Any ecosystem needs balance so that it is healthy. If you avoid the products which can damage the ecosystem you will be able to decrease the smelly bacteria and eliminate them over a period.
It’s Not Just About Body Odor
Microbiome research revealed that our whole body is linked to the microbe community. We are still discovering that the gut microbiome has just an effect on digestion, but also on our attention and mood. The connection between our body and the ecosystem is showed through the underarm area.
Instead of working against the microbiome we should work with them. Start right now with these tricks:
Use Mild Soaps: If the soap contains strong surfactants like SLS AND SDS or castille soap, then it can eliminate the protective sebum full with good fats that is used to protect the skin. With these soaps the good microbes will have perfect environment for developing.
No Aluminum: The active ingredient which can restrict the process of sweating is the aluminum. This substance is often linked to many health conditions and many companies which promote the brand as natural use the word “aluminumfree” to show that the formula does not contain this harmful ingredient.
Avoid Crystal Deodorants: Always check the label, since these deodorant often claim they are aluminum free. You may notice ingredient called “alum” which is still a part of the harmful potassium aluminum sulfate. This may be greater option than other antiperspirants, but it still contains that harmful substances and are not aluminumfree as they claim.
Be Cautious When Using Strong Antibacterials: These strong antibacterials are mostly parabens and triclosan, which can have destabilizing effect on the microbiome on the armpits and prevent the development of the good bacteria.