Conditions, Health and Wellness

Dr. Oz’s Tips for Preventing Body Odor and Excessive Sweating

7 Comments 19 May 2011

Stink_Sweating_Deodorant_400Body odor and sweating: They’re common but embarrassing problems among teens and adults. So what to do? Get skin care solutions from YOU: The Owner’s Manual for Teens: A Guide to a Healthy Body and Happy Life.

If you smell funkier than a Black Eyed Peas track, there’s probably a good explanation. But the actual composition of your sweat is based on your genes and the food you eat. For instance, garlic will pass quickly into your skin and share itself with others. Also, our major sweat glands, or eccrine glands, release a sterile solution that attracts smelly bacteria in some people. These secretions are stored in coiled circular glands that cover our entire skin surface. Washing frequently helps, but sometimes a quick course of topical antibiotics, from your doctor, followed by a probiotic is the best anti-odor solution.

I sweat so much that I soak my shirt, and it’s really embarrassing. What can I do?
Hyperhidrosis, or excess sweating, is a common plight among teens and adults. It can happen in the armpits, feet, palms, face, or elsewhere, and can be embarrassing if it occurs at an inopportune time. While it’s not the most embarrassing thing that will ever happen, we understand that it’s a real problem that people like to have fixed. For whatever reason, supersweaters have more active sweat glands than most people. You can get prescription antiperspirants that contain higher concentrations of aluminum hydroxide or aluminum chloride than ordinary deodorant, such as Drysol (20 percent) or Certain Dri (12 percent). These can be applied three nights a week at bedtime and washed off in the morning. After it is working well, it can be applied once or twice a week (and still washed off in the morning) for three to six months until sweat production has subsided. Most people can then back off and not use any of the medicine for another three to six months, then repeat the cycle.

Some folks will get a red itchy rash with these — it’s less likely if you don’t shave immediately before applying. If no response is seen despite using three times a week, you can actually apply the antiperspirant, wrap the area in plastic wrap, then unwrap it in the morning and wash off with soap and water. Keep this up several times a week until those sweat glands calm down.

If these strategies are not working, a dermatologist or plastic surgeon can inject the area with botulinum toxin type A, better known as Botox, which will paralyze the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands. Injections need to be repeated one to three times a year. You can also have the sweat glands destroyed surgically, but very rarely is that kind of drastic procedure needed.

YOU: The Owner’s Manual for Teens

YOU: The Owner’s Manual for Teens

Dr. Oz


Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., is also a New York Times #1 bestselling author and Emmy-award winning host of The Dr. Oz Show. He is professor and vice chairman of surgery at New York Presbyterian-Columbia University and the director of the Heart Institute. He currently lives in Cliffside Park, New Jersey.

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  • Maria

    Please visit the International Hyperhidrosis Society website at They are the leading authority on hyperhidrosis and offer a vast array of information and hope for those who suffer from hyperhidrosis.

  • Janice

    I agree with Maris here! Dr Oz does not seem to have read the latest literature on hyperhidrosis. He’s a surgeon first. And hyperhidrosis is a skin condition which warrants treatment by a dermatologist. If you want to find a doc who knows about HH, visit and search their Physician Finder. You won’t find Dr Oz there! LOL!

  • Indonesia Essential Oils

    That is very practical tips to do. You can improve your way to remove body odor using natural way, such as essential oil uses..

  • luis

    Been having excessive sweat and a foul smell from my groin and bottom area. My dermatologist has me on clindamycin for some time now. Something like 1 year but the smell has gotten better but I still get the foul order from time to time. I don’t know what else to do. Any recommendations?

  • Kristy

    Hi Luis, we recommend visiting another dermatologist for a second opinion, both for the sweating issue and the smell. Clindamycin is not ideal for long-term use, and can actually create digestive problems as well. Some doctors advise taking a probiotic to replenish good bacteria. It may also be worth talking to an integrative MD or naturopath, or a nutritionist, to see about making dietary changes that may help. For instance, when I was on it for six months (topical cream) I had to cut back on fermented foods or foods containing yeast, and benefited from avoiding refined sugars and carbs, which encourage the growth of candida. Good luck!

  • Zanetta

    I have been using Lavilin for as long as I can remember, and it is aluminum-free and it works like a charm! I only need to apply it to my feet once every 5 days or so, and that is totally enough to destroy my foot odors, even in the summers. I could probably last a week, but I don’t push it :)

  • maia lee

    You know what you should not always depend on medicine you have to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and lessen eating up food with too much garlic, pepper, etc.
    Drink a lot of water
    Make juice out of different fruits mixed together and this is also as good as vitamins but i recommend not to drink juice (different fruits mixed together) before bedtime because it will not let you sleep.


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