Fact or Fiction: Underarm Odor

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

We've all been there, and it's never pleasant. A hot day, a stressful situation -- and suddenly you realize you have some major B.O. What makes your underarms stink, and what can you do about it?

Bromhitosis is the scientific name for body odor.

Bromhidrosis is the scientific name.


A hormone called androgen contributes to body odor -- it becomes active in the body when you hit puberty.

Androgen it is.


Sweat alone is odorless, but androgen makes it smell.

Sweat is indeed odorless, but it's breeding bacteria that you smell.


To fight odor, you can wipe your underarms with a solution of one tablespoon of peroxide to one cup of water.

A teaspoon of peroxide in a cup of water could help get rid of the smelly bacteria.


Eating garlic, curry and onions could cause body odor.

Everyone is different, of course, but all three of these foods are known to increase B.O.


In a study of men in the Czech Republic, beer consumption was shown to have an adverse effect on B.O.

Women who sniffed pads that had been swiped in the men's underarms (ewww) reported more unpleasant odors from the men who had eaten red meat.


Men have a better nose for body odor than women do.

A 2009 study showed that women are sharper odor-detectors.


Aluminum chloride is the active ingredient in antiperspirants that reduces sweating.

The aluminum chloride in antiperspirants reduces your sweating -- deodorants get rid of the smell.


There are two types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine. Eccrine are the ones under your arms (and groin and scalp).

It's actually the apocrine glands that develop in the areas of your body that have a lot of hair follicles. This is the type of sweat that smells when bacteria break it down.


If you have diabetes and your underarm odor changes, it could be a sign of diabetic ketoacidosis.

Diabetic ketoacidosis happens when there's no sugar left for the body to burn and it starts using fat instead. When this happens, a person's body odor can become "fruity."


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!