Wondering why your kids smelly armpits are happening earlier than expected? Has your child, toddler, or preschooler has developed body odor and smelly armpits? You are not alone!
There are solutions to end the problem.
Kids smelly armpits can occur for a variety of reasons. Keep reading to discover the cause of your kids smelly armpits. Plus some solutions to fix it.
The focus of this article is children before the age of puberty. If your child has hit puberty, the need for deodorant will be ongoing although there are lots of tips to naturally control their body odor.
You’re Not Alone
Many other kids develop body odor prematurely. It’s an awkward and confusing situation that parents don’t frequently discuss. But don’t keep your kids smelly armpits a secret, find a solution.
I know 4 girls under the age of 8 who prematurely developed a case of smelly armpits. And those are the people who told me about it, I wonder how much more there are.
You’re concerned about your child – thankfully we’re here to find a solution.
One Mom’s Struggle
A few months ago a friend was over with her 5-year-old daughter. She started asking questions about what I put in my homemade deodorant. Asking if it was safe to use on children.
Then she shared her daughter had developed smelly armpits already.
The more we talked, the more concern I could hear in her voice. Her concern was two-fold. What was causing the change at an early age? Could the ingredients in store-bought deodorant be harmful to a child?
I was happy to answer her questions about the deodorant ingredients. Yay! I get to talk about my homemade deodorant!
I told her all about the two deodorant recipes I make. One is made with baking soda, coconut oil, shea butter and arrowroot powder. The other deodorant is made without baking soda since it irritates some sensitive skin. Instead, I use magnesium and kaolin clay to control odor. She responded, “Does it work?”
She responded, “Does it work?”
I gave an enthusiastic “YES!”. Then went on to share too much information. Like some days I miss a shower and forget to apply deodorant. Yet it goes strong to keep me stink free for two whole days!
Then went on to share too much information. Like some days I miss a shower and forget to apply deodorant. Yet it goes strong to keep me stink free for two whole days!
As far as her concerns about the cause of the smelly armpits – I was stumped. I knew that that moment I needed to do some research and write about the experience.
My friend left with a stick of deodorant for her and her daughter.
Both of her concerns were valid. As a good parent, I’m sure you’re concerned too. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this article.
Now let’s dive into answering why kids smelly armpits can develop early.
Why Do Kids Get Smelly Armpits?
There are some possible causes your kids smelly armpits. Unfortunately, there’s no simple medical test.
If your child is under the age of 8, you should look for the root cause of the problem. We will talk about natural and simple solutions to control the smell in the meantime. I strongly recommend finding why kids smelly armpits developed prematurely, not just masking the smell.
Your child may be reacting to a food they are eating. No – you’re not seeing hives.
A reaction may be occurring under the surface, inside their body. Chronic inflammation and undiagnosed food sensitivities often go hand in hand. Chronic inflammation can cause autoimmune diseases. Which is bad news!
My food sensitives went unchecked for many years. I now have hypothyroidism, an autoimmune disease.
It makes sense that body odor may develop as a reaction to the foods we eat. Smelly armpits have been reported with food intolerances.
Pay attention to what your child eats and when they develop body odor. You may notice a pattern and eliminate that food to see if it helps.
If the smelly armpits happen every day, then you may need to dig deeper. An elimination diet like the one in JJ Virgin’s Book “The Virgin Diet” will find the problem foods.
Switching to organic, hormone-free milk products has helped parents eliminate their kids smelly armpits.
Try organic milk and cheese for a few weeks and see if it makes a difference in your child’s body odor.
Along those lines, food intolerance to dairy is common. And commonly linked to premature body odor. Eliminate all dairy from your child’s diet for a few weeks and see if the body odor goes away.
Dairy is my #1 recommendation to eliminate if you only make one dietary change.
Early puberty, also known as precocious puberty, is becoming increasingly common. Along with puberty comes body odor.
There seem to be many theories about why puberty is happening earlier.
The hormones in the foods we consume. The pesticides on our food. The toxins in our environment. It’s hard to tell if the problem is one or many.
You can control what food goes into your child’s body. Choose whole, organic foods whenever possible. Avoid processed foods. Locally grown is a great choice as well as meats that are pasture raised.
Realize that life is not perfect. Buy the best foods you can afford for your family. Our diet is clean, not perfect. Do the best that you can.
Phenylketonuria is a rare disorder where people cannot properly break down the amino acids found in protein. It is characterized by a musty odor, coming from the breath and entire body.
While different than a case of smelly armpits, it’s important to mention. Again Phenylketonuria is a rare condition.
6 Solutions for Kids Smelly Armpits
There are a variety of ways to treat your kids smelly armpits. All the solutions are natural solutions to keep your little one healthy and happy. Choose what options work best for your family.
Look for a deodorant, skip the antiperspirant. When you look the store, you’ll have a hard time finding a deodorant without antiperspirant in it. They’ve become on one in the same.
The problem with antiperspirant is they contain aluminum. Aluminum blocks the sweat glands.
The problem is aluminum has been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. I’m sure you want the best start for your child – skip the antiperspirant.
So where can you find a simple deodorant? Natural food stores or the organic aisle in your grocery store are a good place to look.
I sell my handmade deodorant in my Etsy store.
This one is probably a given, but make sure your child is bathing regularly. Once a day should suffice. If bathing every day isn’t possible, make sure to was the armpits with a washcloth between baths.
Make sure to wash the armpits with soap, not just water. If you’re looking for a handmade, natural soap – check out my Etsy Store.
Fun kids shaped soaps like trucks, hearts, and snowflakes make washing more fun! Check them out there.
The Vinegar Wash
Throughout the day you can dampen a washcloth with a solution of 50/50 water to vinegar. Gently rub on the underarms. Make sure there are no cuts, it can irritate them.
If your child says it stings or burns, dilute the mixture even further.
Let the armpits air dry.
Vinegar does a great job of killing bacteria. Bacteria are likely the culprit to your child’s smelly armpits.
The smell of vinegar disappears quickly – I promise! If your child groans at the smell like my kids do, just add a few drops of lavender essential oil to help mask the smell of the vinegar. NOTE: the lavender essential oil scent will not dissipate.
Sprinkle some cornstarch under your child’s underarms. It helps absorbs the moisture that those stinky bacteria thrive on. Moisture is a breeding ground for bacteria – the bacteria is what makes us smell bad.
While others recommend baby powder, we avoid it. There is some question about the main ingredient in baby powder, talc powder. It has been linked to cancer. The verdict is still out, but I prefer to be cautious with my child’s health. Just like you! You can read more about it at the American Cancer Society’s website.
Have your child wear clothing that breathes. Cotton and wool are natural fibers that let our skin breathe. The synthetic fabrics are a sure way to get your child sweating. Exactly what you don’t want.
Make sure to wash clothes after each use to avoid a smelly buildup.
Detox to Eliminate Kids Smelly Armpits
Sweat is one of your bodies natural detoxification systems. If you’re child’s sweat smells and they have body odor, their body may be trying to purge toxins.
One of my favorite deodorant recipes contains green clay to aid in the detoxification system. After using this deodorant for a few months, I’ve found it is effective for two days. That’s pretty awesome!!
You can pick up a stick of detoxification deodorant in my Etsy store. The ingredients are all natural, aluminum free, paraben and phthalate free. Plus no fragrances!
If your child will let you, you can try an armpit detox with green clay. The deodorant I use has clay in it and it’s helped to naturally detox my underarms.
Take action to control the embarrassing odor and stop those smelly armpits in their tracks.
Check out a stick of all natural deodorant in my Etsy shop. Click the deodorant picture to be taken directly to my shop or click here.
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