Image courtesy of Ambro at
Image courtesy of Ambro at
Good day Dr Green
Please can you advise I have really sensitive skin and I don’t know how to keep my armpits completely dry as when it gets hot it gets sweaty and itchy and does have a perspiration odour. It was gone so bad then I realized I had a bacterial infection and that has subsided a bit but please can you tell me what I can use to stop it from coming back.
I had problems where using a roll on started leaving yellow smelly stains on my shirts and made me really uncomfortable. I have no idea what to do anymore. And I bath twice a day I wash my armpits properly I exfoliate underneath armpits. It sometimes gets a bit raw as I scrub it maybe very hardly.
And when the sweat absorbs on the shirt its uncomfortable. I eat properly I exercise I have no idea what Is going on.
As far as I can remember, the problem wasn’t as prominent during my school years. My mother says that my late father suffered with the same issue but claims his was worse. Currently I have tried to research the topic and am stressed that I might have some underlying medical condition. I know that you might think this is not a big issue, but I am tense when showering after gym or being in a crowded small stuffy room. I just don’t know where to turn anymore. You are my last hope right now. As far as I know I am relatively health conscious and only use gym supplements to stay lean.

Thank you for such an honest account of your problem . It is true that we underestimate how dramatic the effect of something like this can be. People often crack jokes about sweating and body odour, but is certainly is a cause of much distress. Your journey in dealing with the problem is evidently has been a tough one.A systematic approach is needed and a few crucial points must be clarified in getting to the bottom of it. Its all about environment and habit. Facilitating breeding conditions for fungal and bacterial infection.

Besides the obvious damp, poorly aerated and mouldy smells there is a lots more to it. The acidic nature of sweat and the varying pH levels add to the flavour. Dirt and debris of dust and sweat combinations reach pungent levels when accompanied by shedding dead skin cells.
There are odors or gases released by certain organisms that are offensive. However, the perfect cultivating ground is necessary for these to flourish. Some of them thrive in dark, moist and clammy conditions. They are happy in poorly oxygenated environments. Remember too that fungus loves moisture…..


    • Tea tree oil in bath water
    • Rooibos tea soaks
    • Honey treatments – antibacterial
    • Epsom Salts and bicarbonate of soda soaks – removes dead skin
    • Fullers earth for moisture.

Sweaty armpits can be a result of overheating, which is the body’s way of cooling you down. But when this is excessive and sweating becomes debilitating in everyday life we describe hyperhydrosis.
People often sweat when nervous too, resulting from overstimulation of the sweat glands. This process of sweat secretion is controlled by the nervous system which sends signals to the gland to stimulate secretions. Anxiety adds to the problem and can be a dead give away sometimes. There is also an association between certain hormones and sweating – thyroid hormone and oestrogen.

The way forward:

  • Meticulous hygiene and changing clothes regularly
  • Avoid rushing and getting flustered before presentations
  • Anti-perspirant can be of assistance – but these are not without side affects – clogged pores can lead to folliculitis and even abscess formation
  • Deodorant doesn’t treat the cause
  • Remember that the smell of sweat spills over from your blood ph and what you eat
  • Certain foodstuffs and alcoholic beverages come through the pores – monitor associations
  • Remember that choosing certin fabrics can make a huge difference – compare cotton to polyester etc.
  • For excessive sweating conditions botox can be used with great success if all conservative measures fail.
    Give the stink the boot’:

    • Air the toes as much as possible
    • Wash your feet with an abrasive cloth or sponge to remove surface debris and old skin
    • Dry your feet thoroughly after washing – especially between the toes
    • Never put wet feet into your shoes
    • Wear cotton socks
    • Remember secret socks also help absorp sweat
    • Change socks more often daily if too moist
    • Alternate pairs of shoes if you can
    • Air your shoes daily when not in use – direct sunlight is crucial
    • Changing inner soles also helps
    • Choose footwear material that breathes – allows air in and out
    • Weekly foot hygiene: toenails and removal of dead skin with a pumice stone
    • Treat fungal infections early
    • Foot deodorizers and alcohol sprays do work if used as part of a good routine
    • Foot powder directly on the skin and lightly dusted is effective.


    Image courtesy of Ambro at

    Odor Control

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