Why Do My Armpits Smell Like Onions? – [Causes and How to get rid of the Odor]

Why Do My Armpits Smell Like Onions? - [Causes and How to get rid of the Odor]

You have been noticing that your armpits smell like onions and it is becoming a problem. This guide will teach you how to prevent the smell and get rid of this onion smell out of your armpit using different methods.

Did you know that the average person has roughly 1.6 to 5 million sweat glands in their body? That’s a lot of places for bacteria to grow and cause body odor.

There are many ways to get rid of the onion smell in your armpit. Some methods include showering more often, using soap that contains tea tree oil, using a deodorant without aluminum, or applying baking soda to your armpits.

Why do my armpits smell like onions?

There are a variety of reasons why your armpits might smell like onions. One possibility is that sweat can contribute to the production of bacteria, which can then cause your armpits to smell. Sweating and bacteria combine to create an onion-like smell under your arms. Another possibility is that you have a different microbiome than other people, which means that the bacteria on your skin smell different.

The microorganisms that cause body odor are influenced by a variety of factors, including your genes, your environment, your level of stress, and your diet.

Eccrine sweat glands are located all over your body and they produce sweat that is mostly water. Apocrine sweat glands, on the other hand, are only located in certain parts of your body, such as your armpits, and they produce a thicker type of sweat that contains more fat and protein.

When you use deodorant, it can reduce the number of bacteria that is present in your sweat. Sweating and bacteria combine to create an onion-like smell under your arms. Deodorant prevents this smell from happening by neutralizing the odours.

What are the possible causes of onion-smelling armpits?

1. Garlic

Garlic may cause onion-smelling armpits. This is because sweat feeds bacteria and garlic is known to produce sulfuric acid. To control underarm odors, it is best to stop sweating.

2. Sweat

Sweating can cause onion-scented armpits because of the combination of sweat, bacteria, and onion oil. The reasons for sweating more can include being overweight or obese, being in a hot environment, and stress.

3. Deodorant

The third possible cause of onion-smelling armpits is an ineffective deodorant. If you are using a deodorant that does not work well for your body, it will not be able to mask the smell of onions. You may need to switch to a different deodorant or antiperspirant in order to get rid of the onion smell.

4. Underarm bacteria

Underarm bacteria can cause onion-scented armpits. This is because the type of bacteria present in an individual’s armpit is based on various factors, including diet, environment, and genes. People who don’t use antiperspirants tend to have more bacteria than those who do. To avoid this problem, clean your armpits regularly and trim any hair that gets in the way.

5. Preexisting medical conditions

Medical conditions that can cause onion-scented armpits include kidney disease and diabetes. Some people may have a condition called bromidrosis, which causes their sweat to have a strong odor. Bromidrosis can be caused by emotional stress, medications, or certain medical conditions. If you are concerned about your body odor, talk to your healthcare provider.

6. Onion eating

Onion-y body odor is caused by the bacteria eating up a sweat. The compounds that produce onion-y body odor are also found in skunk spray. Smelling like an onion is totally normal, but you may not be thrilled about it.

Sweating and bacteria turn into thioalcohols, which give off a strong onion-like smell. Some people have a more powerful scent than others, due to genetics. You can combat the onion smell with antiperspirant or deodorant.

7. Occupational exposure

If you work in an onion or garlic factory, there is a high chance that your might be producing this onion smell in your underarms.

8. Other factors

Other factors that can cause onion-scented armpits include smoking and deodorant use.

How can I get rid of the onion smell in my armpits?

Clean your armpits always

It is important to clean your armpits properly to reduce the potential for body odor. Poor hygiene can lead to the build-up of sweat and bacteria, which can cause an unpleasant smell. To reduce body odor, make sure to clean your underarms with a soap that has natural antibacterial ingredients.

Massage your underarms for 20-30 seconds, and then wash off the soap. In addition, practice good hygiene often, make sure to fully towel yourself off after showering, changing clothes frequently, and use an antiperspirant or deodorant.

Ensure to Dry them well

It is important to dry your underarms well in order to get rid of the onion smell. Prevention starts with taking care of your hygiene in the shower; look for gentle soap, an antibacterial wash, or a cleanser with sodium hyochlorite. Massaging a cleanser into your underarms for 10-15 seconds will temporarily rid bacteria and help reduce the onion smell.

Use antiperspirant

Using antiperspirants can help reduce the onion smell in armpits. Antiperspirants work by blocking the sweat glands, which prevents sweat from being produced. This will help to reduce the amount of onion-smelling sweat that is produced. Additionally, antiperspirants often contain fragrances that can help to mask the smell of onions.

Consider Botox

Botox is a medication that can be used to decrease sweating and odor in the armpit area. Botox is not a permanent solution, but it can be an effective treatment for hyperhidrosis. If over-the-counter deodorants aren’t working, consult your doctor about prescription-strength deodorant or Botox injections.

Are there any home remedies to get rid of onion-smelling armpits?

Yes, there are home remedies to get rid of onion-smelling armpits. Home remedies for getting rid of onion-smelling armpits may include using deodorant and showering regularly, as well as reducing onion consumption. Some of the home remedies to get rid of onion-smelling armpits include:

1. Washing your armpits with soap and water

According to the reference, washing your armpits with soap and water is effective in getting rid of onion-smelling armpits. To get the best results, it is recommended that you use a soap that contains antibacterial ingredients like sea salt and apple cider vinegar. In addition, it is also suggested that you trim any hair in the area as it can trap sweat and bacteria.

2. Using an over-the-counter deodorant or antiperspirant

If you are concerned about why your armpits smell like onions, using an over-the-counter deodorant or antiperspirant may help to reduce the amount of sweat and odor you produce. Antiperspirants work by blocking the pores that release sweat, while deodorants stop sweat from smelling but don’t stop sweat itself. Over-the-counter antiperspirants may not be as effective as prescription antiperspirants, but they can still help to reduce body odor.

3. Using baking soda and apple cider vinegar to reduce the smell

According to the reference, there are two home remedies that may help to reduce onion-smelling armpits. The first is to mix baking soda with water and apply it to the armpits. The second is to pour apple cider vinegar onto a cotton ball and hold it against the skin for 10 minutes before rinsing it off.

4. Drinking water or juice to help hydrate

Hydration is important for keeping the skin healthy and free of bacteria. When the skin is dry, it is more susceptible to infection and the growth of bacteria. Drinking plenty of water and wearing loose-fitting clothing can help reduce body odor.


The main causes of why someone’s armpits might smell like onions are due to the sweat and bacteria present in the body, as well as onions being in their diet. Showering more often, using soap that contains tea tree oil, using a deodorant without aluminum, or applying baking soda to your armpits can help get rid of this smell.


What causes armpits to smell like onions?

Some people’s armpits smell like onions because sweat and bacteria can mix together and produce an onion-like smell. This is due to the presence of thioalcohol, which is present in higher amounts in some people. Ways to fight against this onion smell include using antiperspirant or deodorant.

How do I stop my armpits from smelling like onions?

If you are struggling with excessive sweating and an unpleasant onion smell in your armpits, consulting your doctor is a good start. Botox may be a good option for you to reduce sweating and eliminate the onion smell. Deodorant cream moisturizers can also help reduce sweating in this area.

Why do I smell of onions after I’ve been working out?

You may smell of onions after working out because your sweat breaks down and produces thioalcohol. Thioalcohols are a type of molecule that can give off a strong, onion-like scent. However, there is no need to worry – this odor can be fought with the use of an antiperspirant or deodorant.

What are some treatment options for onion body odor?

There are several treatment options for onion body odor, including soap, constant bathing, antibacterial wash, and cleanser with sodium hyochlorite. Cleansers can help remove onion body odor. Dry your underarms before showering to create a less hospitable environment for bacteria. Use antiperspirants to reduce sweating and prevent onion body odor.

What is the cause of bromhidrosis?

Bromhidrosis is a condition that occurs when sweat is broken down by bacteria on the skin, resulting in an unpleasant smell. There are two types of bromhidrosis – apocrine and eccrine. Apocrine bromhidrosis is more pungent and persistent than eccrine bromhidrosis.

What is the difference between eccrine and apocrine sweat glands?

Eccrine and apocrine sweat glands differ in their location, production method, and purpose. Eccrine sweat glands are located all over the body but are most concentrated on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. They produce a watery substance that helps cool the body down. This substance is odorless until bacteria break it down.

Apocrine sweat glands are located in areas with a lot of hair follicles, such as the armpits and groin. They produce a thicker, oilier substance that contains more lipids, proteins, sugars, and ammonia. This substance often has an unpleasant odor when it comes into contact with bacteria.

Hyperhidrosis is a condition in which people sweat excessively, especially on their hands, feet, and armpits.

How does aluminum in antiperspirants cause body odor?

Some people find that aluminum in antiperspirants can cause body odor. This is because the aluminum stops sweat from reaching the surface, which can then lead to bacteria build-up and a strong scent. If you are struggling with body odor, consider using an unscented or lightly-scented antiperspirant to help reduce sweat and stink.

What is the best way to prevent body odor?

To prevent strong body odor, it is important to bathe regularly, wear clean clothes, and use deodorant. Additionally, avoiding strong-smelling foods like onions and garlic can help. Some people find that showering daily with soap and wearing loose-fitting clothing helps to reduce body odor. Others may need to shave or wax their armpits to reduce underarm odor. Reducing stress levels can also help prevent body odor from developing in the first place.

Does stress cause body odor?

It is believed that stress can cause body odor as the body produces more sweat when under stress. This makes the onion-scented sweat much stronger. To deal with stress, it is recommended to shower regularly and use antibacterial soap/shower gel and deodorant with baking soda or magnesium ingredients.

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