It’s summer and it’s hot and everyone is sweating, that’s normal. But while some only drip beads of sweat, others smell rather unpleasant. Deodorant, perfume or just the shower? We explain what really helps against bad sweat smell.

It is not a good idea to cover up the existing smell of sweat with deodorant or perfume. Because that is of no use. Powder doesn’t help either. “It just sits on top of it and then doesn’t do anything,” explains dermatologist Uta Schlossberger.

Odor arises when the fresh sweat is broken down

The smell of sweat arises from the fact that the fresh sweat – which is normal – is broken down. Especially in summer, the body produces more sweat to cool off. Bacteria settle in places where there is not enough air – for example, under the armpits. They produce metabolic products that smell. The following applies: the more sweat, the more bacteria and consequently a stronger smell.

Once the smell of sweat is there, it is no use whitewashing it with deodorant or perfume.

Apply deodorant before sweating

So that it really prevents odors, the deodorant must be applied before sweating. Dermatologist Schlossberger recommends removing the armpit hair. The sweat can then dry faster. Wearing breathable clothing is also a good idea, because it brings more air to the body and bacteria have less chance of settling out.

Those who are already sweating should wash their armpits

Those who have already sweated and have not applied deodorant can still avoid the smell of sweat by washing their armpits immediately. “Clear, normal water will then be enough,” says Schlossberger. If you sweat profusely, special armpit pads help. These are attached to the inside of the clothing and keep the armpits dry.

Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol increase sweat production

Certain substances increase sweat production or the unpleasant smell. People who drink caffeine, nicotine or alcohol sweat more. According to Schlossberger, certain foods such as garlic and onions should also be avoided in summer. They intensify the smell of their own, says the doctor: “You almost sweat it out again.”

A cold shower can also quickly be counterproductive, especially after exercise, it tends to increase sweat production. Experts recommend a hand-warm “cooling” that helps against sweat for longer.

Hyperhidrosis – the technical term for excessive sweating

Excessive sweating can also be pathological, then it is called hyperhidrosis. This can be related to a metabolic disorder or a hormone disorder. But sometimes the exact cause of the excessive sweating cannot be determined. Anxiety, stress or pain can also trigger increased sweat production.

As a final consequence, vegetative nerve bundles can be severed in one operation. These stimulate the sweat glands. The botox nerve poison is also injected against excessive sweat production. (dpa / ef / pg)