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Why am I getting bad odour in armpit?

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Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1391 Questions
Hi doc. I'm a 45 year old male, 5'11", 205 lbs. for a couple months I've been noticing that my left armpit has had a strong odor despite washing and it is resistant to deodorant.
Posted Fri, 7 Dec 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Sudarshan 49 minutes later
Thanks for writing in.

The bad odor can occur because of bacterial infection by corynebacteria.
The bacteria colonize the area of the armpit ,grow there and produce bad odor.

It does not go away by deodorant or washing.

Oral and topical antibiotics would be needed to treat it.

Also I would like to know-
Are the hair in the affected armpit white?
Is there any discoloration of the skin in the armpit?
Is there any other area affected?
Do you have fungal infection anywhere else on the body?between feet or fingers?

Can you upload photos of the affected area?
Photos can help a lot to predict the condition.

Answer the questions and we can continue the discussion here.

MD Dermatology.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Why am I getting bad odour in armpit? 35 minutes later
Thank you for your quick reply.

I noticed no discoloration or white hairs. It looks the same as the right underarm.

I do have an intermittent fungal infection on either side of my testicles, it vanishes after showering and seems to only flare up in colder months and after significant weight gain. Odd. I treat it with an anti fungal cream after bathing. Goes away quickly.

Right now there's nothing to show you as both conditions have no visible signs at this time.
Answered by Dr. Sudarshan 1 hour later
Hi Again,

Thanks for the details.
Unilateral malodorous axilla can occur in corynebacterial infections.

Treatment consists oral and topical antibiotics.
Oral antibiotics like erythromycin three times a day can be curative.Topical antibiotic like fucidic acid or erythromycin can be helpful when applied twice a day.
Also general measures like keeping the area clean and dry will be helpful.
Absorbing powders like ABZORB powder can help by keeping the area dry.

A visit to dermatologist will confirm the diagnosis and allow prescription medicines to be given.

Hope this helps.

MD Dermatology.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Why am I getting bad odour in armpit? 4 minutes later
Thank you so much. I will proceed as you suggested. You've been a great help!

Answered by Dr. Sudarshan 20 minutes later

If you are satisfied with the answer please accept it and rate it at the end.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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