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Here is Why One Armpit Smells Worse Than The Other

Clean beauty industry maven Mary Futher founded kaia naturals® after spending 20 years working for global beauty companies. Mary now shares her weekly content series, delivering a quick fix, home remedies, or clean beauty product suggestions for a variety of human discomforts that some may find too embarrassing to discuss.

As the founder of a lifestyle brand, my employees and I often have discussions about our own bodily ailments. One thing that came up recently is how sometimes one armpit can smell worse than the other at times. People experience this on various levels, which is why I want to discuss some of the possible reasons as to why one armpit may smell worse than the other and what you can do about it. 

No Two Sides of Your Body Are Identical​

Recently, I listened to an interesting Ted Talk that discussed how most human bodies are asymmetrical. While I had a hard time finding a study that proved that one armpit can smell worse than the other, I did find a study that showed that one armpit can produce more bacteria than the other. Since bacteria is the main cause of odors and asymmetry is prevalent in our bodies, it makes sense that one armpit can smell worse than the other.

We Don’t Use Both Sides of Our Bodies Equally​

woman raising her arms

This dichotomy has existed since we were born, which is why we are either right handed or left handed. We are naturally going to use our dominant side more, so the increased activity may produce more sweat and bacteria. If you are right-handed like most of the world, you will use that arm more and produce sweat that leads to molecules that release Organosulfur compounds called Thioalcohols which contain pungent odor. Therefore, your right armpit will smell more than your left.

You May Not Be Caring for Both Sides of Your Body

Since we’ve established that you may favour one side over the other, this can inadvertently contribute to your lack of hygiene. Of course when you shower or apply deodorant, you are doing it to both sides, but you may prioritize one over the other. This leads to more odor on one side than the other. You must shave, apply deodorant, and wash your underarms at the same time to keep odors at bay.

more body odor than usual - here is why

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How Do I Prevent This From Happening?

It can be definitely strange to  find that only one armpit is producing an odor, especially when most people wash both armpits at the same. To help stop this common occurrence from happening here are some small lifestyle changes you can make to prevent one armpit smelling worse than the other.

woman showering

Remove Your Armpit Hair:

Armpit hair is more likely to trap sweat and bacteria in the area. If you prefer some hair in the area, you should trim it and lather the soap under your underarms for 20-30 seconds.

Wash Your Armpits Thoroughly:

This seems like a given, but many people don’t realize they aren’t washing their underarms properly. In order to make sure your underarms are 100% clean you need to use a soap that contains anti-bacterial ingredients. These ingredients will kill the odor-causing bacteria. That’s why I created the underarm bar. I massage my underarms with the bar for 20 seconds and then wash off the soap. After that I apply a generous amount of deodorant to help ensure my armpits are odor free for as long as possible.  

Refresh after Physical Activity:

While a full shower is better, wiping your underarms after exercise can go a long way as it will reduce the amount of bacteria left behind.

Watch What You Wear:

Opt for clothes made of breathable fabrics to allow for fresh air to flow into your body and to keep your body cool.

Change Your Clothes On A Daily Basis:

You will have accumulated bacteria throughout the day, so the best thing you can do is to change your clothes.

Why One Armpit Smells Worse Than The Other5
I hope that sufficed your curiosity on why sometimes one armpit can smell worse than the other. Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog The Little Book of Human Discomforts where every week I share clever solutions for embarrassing skin, body, and hair issues. If one of your armpits usually smells more than the other let me know what you do to keep the odors at bay! 

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All content found on this website is created for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website. 

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