Q. I have had a problem with underarm odor for the past several months. It occurs even when I am not active. I use an antibacterial soap and have increased the strength of my antiperspirants. First I switched to Mitchum and now to an even stronger and more expensive one.

The problem is still there. One arm is worse than the other. My doctor has no answers. Please give me a natural solution to this and explain why it is occurring.

A. We’re afraid we can’t tell you why, but we may have a possible solution. Milk of magnesia is sold as a laxative, but readers of this column have suggested applying it to armpits as a gentle deodorant. We have tried it ourselves and found that it reduces odor surprisingly well. Please let us know if it helps you.

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  1. Mic

    Thank you so much for suggesting lavilin. For the last 14-15 years I’ve tried everything under the sun from home remedies, prescriptions, and over the counter and none of them worked. I was very skeptical about lavilin but this product is excellent, it took me about two weeks but I am odor & sweat free.
    Thank you,

  2. Linda

    The deodorant Lavilin, which has no aluminum or alcohol in it, works extremely well, for reasons I don’t understand. You apply it about once a week. It says not to apply it more frequently than every few days; I don’t know why it says that. As I understand it, the main functional ingredients are zinc oxide, calendula, and arnica. If you wait to apply it until you NEED it, the first day of application it doesn’t work so well, but for the rest of the week there won’t be a trace of odor.

  3. Rob

    This was also a great problem for me, after a specialist had prescribed Spironlactone tablets–after I stopped taking them, the odour ceased (along with the necessity of 3 showers a day!) although unfortunately the other side-effects of this drug did not.

  4. MM

    Please recommend that this person have their Dr. check their thyroid hormone levels (TSH). An untreated hypoactive thyroid often results in a persistent body odor with a distinctive metallic quality.
    For years I noticed this smell on myself (stronger under one arm than the other) but was unable get rid of it until my hypothyroidism was diagnosed and treated. Only then did the smell disappear. I now often notice this distinctive odor on other people who also have a hypothyroid condition. I hope this helps.

  5. rms

    I am allergic to anti-perspirants and deoderants. I tried generic milk of magnesia and it works!

  6. cjf

    I tried this and it did work. It was a bit messy applying it with cotton balls or pads. I bought a small spray bottle and that works great.

  7. BL

    My daughter, now 19, has suffered from underarm odor and bad breath since elementary school. The body odor was so strong that I couldn’t get the smell out of her clothes. A nurse suggested taking chlorophyll,
    which we found in the health food section of a local grocery store. Chlorophyll is a natural internal deodorant and has been a life saver for my daughter’s self image. We buy it in capsule form made by “Nature’s Way” and called “Chlorofresh”. Hope this helps other sufferers.

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