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Exp Dermatol. 2017 May;26(5):388-391. doi: 10.1111/exd.13259. Epub 2017 Feb 2.

Towards a bacterial treatment for armpit malodour.

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Center for Microbial Ecology and Technology (CMET), Ghent University, Gent, Belgium.
Department of Pediatrics and Computer Science & Engineering, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.
Department of Dermatology, Ghent University Hospital, Gent, Belgium.


Axillary malodour is a frustrating condition for many people. It can lead to significant discomforts and various psychological effects. The underarm microbiome plays a major role in axillary malodour formation. Not only the bacteria on the epidermis, but also and especially those living in the sweat glands, sweat pores and hair follicles play a pivotal role in malodour development. To treat underarm malodour, this viewpoint article envisions a bacterial treatment. Replacing the autochthonous malodour-causing microbiome with a non-odour-causing microbiome, through an armpit bacterial transplantation or direct application of probiotics/non-odour-causing bacteria, could resolve the condition. Selective steering of the microbiome with prebiotics, biochemicals or plant extracts can likewise greatly help in improving the underarm odour. Elimination/inhibition of the "bad bugs" and application/stimulation of the "good bugs" will be part of the future treatment for axillary body odour.


armpit; body odour; microbiome; probiotics; transplantation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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