55 answers

Daughter's Armpits Smell. What Can I Do??

Hi ladies,
This is my fisrt time writing and I would like all of yalls help in finding a solution to my daughter's problem.
I have a big problem with my 5 yr. old daughter's hygiene (sp). Her armpits smell so bad, even after a few hours of taken a bath/shower. I do put her some of my deorodant. (Dove) But I was not sure if maybe in the long run it could develope a rash. I have tried to find some deorodant for her age but there are none for her age. And for the teens ones they are all perfumed and they are for "teens".Any mother been trough this with their child? Maybe some home remedies or something. What about powder? Thank you so much for everything.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow! This shows how much everyone is willing to share their thoughtful thoughts, and how much every one of you care for one another. This is so neat. I'm so glad I got to write in my problem. Everyone gave such wonderful responses. I will follow up with her doctor and find a solution to her problem. She is such a beautiful girl soon going to Kinder. Thanks everyone and God Bless every single one of you. M.

Featured Answers

You should try Arm n Hammer deordorant it worked for my neice that had the same problem at that age. Hopes this little tidbit helps.

My sister in law had a similar problem and she asked her doctor and they gave her sommething she swears by...it's late or I would call her, however if you call her doctor and they do not have a solution, please email me and I will ask her.
Good Fortune!

Gold Bond medicated powder may help with the smell, but I would take her to the doctor. I think it is a bacteria that causes adults armpits to smell. She may have something like that under her arms that the doctor can help you with.

More Answers

There is an organic deoderant out there called J/a/s/o/n. They sell it at a nice whole foods store called Natural Kitchen in Kingwood, TX or go to WWW.NATKIT.COM It does not contain Aluminum Chlorohydrate like most regular deoderants and it also does not contain mineral oil and it's paraben free and it has vitamin E. I bought it for myself because I found my eyes being bothered by some deoderants whenever I would raise my arms, I would feel that the smell of other deoderants like dove, was too strong and it also made my eyes water. I love this organic deoderant and it's gentle and does not make my eyes water when I raise my arms. Maybe this will help. God bless you.

1 mom found this helpful

I agree w/ Heather that you should check to see if something else is wrong. I used to have really bad b.o. A friend actually told me that what I was using wasn't working and to try somehting else.

Recently, I changed my diet SIGNIFICANTLY and I use NO deoderant and still don't smell!!! God made our bodies to cool off by sweating and when we stop that, it is actually unhealthy. That's why I quit using it. I agree that introducing chemicals isn't only unhealthy, it is down right dangerous and cause numerous health probs in the future, if not right away. So be careful and try to find the root cause, not just a quick fix. She may be sensitive to milk or wheat. Does she have any other probs like asthma or eczema or AD/HD?

Mom to 5 Wonderful Kids

1 mom found this helpful

I didn't see this response, but are you sure she isn't allergic to the scents in the soap you are using? Personally I can't use perfume like scents because they turn bad and smell like BO on me. (Like right after the shower, before I've done anything to perspire.) Switching to the Sensitive Skin formulas like Dove or Aveeno that have little fragrance has been very helpful.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M., try the deodorant at Whole Foods or Central Market, it looks like a salt rock, you can buy one that sets in a little cake holder, but I like the other one that looks like a push up round deorodant casing, check with the people at Whole Foods but as far as I know it is all natural and works well for me, I've been using it for several years know. I will give you a tip though, the salt will take on oders so do not apply if there is an oder already starting under the arm, clean the area and then apply as not to ruin the deodorant rock:) Hope it helps, God Bless, TammyT

1 mom found this helpful

Try arm & Hammer baking soda in the yellow box.
Just rub under her arms like baby powder.

1 mom found this helpful

I would not use deodorant with antipersperant because of the aluminum in it and the potential (not proven but not disproved) links to cancer. It's one thing to start using it when you're in your an adult or in your teens but she doesn't need that right now.

So, I would look into a salt rock which naturally controls odors (these are actually great, you wet them a little, rub it on and are good to go) or a natural deodorant product from someone like Burt's Bees or Tom's of Maine. You should be able to get all three from a health food store or an HEB that has a health food section.

Best wishes!

1 mom found this helpful


I agree that you should consult with your doctor first, just in case there is a medical issue that needs to be addressed.
Instead of using a teen product, I would suggest you try a product called Crystal Body Deodorant. It does not contain aluminim chlorohydrate or perfumes and is all natural. I found it at Brazos Natural Foods, our local whole/natural food store. It comes in a solid and a roll-on with no added perfumes. My 10 year old daughter is very active in dance and I started having her use the roll-on last year and it has really made a difference for her too.
Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful


THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS!! My daughter (almost 5) had the same problem. I'm sure every circumstance is different, but I found 2 things that helped. (I'm anti-aluminum for my kids, so I don't use deodorant on her.)

Hormone control - When she eats more soy products, it gets worse. My theory involves the phytoestrogens - affecting her hormones. So, I limit soy & aim for organic/naturally-derived dairy products.

Peppermint &/ Rosemary - I am an Independent Consultant with The Body Shop at Home, & we carry Peppermint Cooling Foot Spray. It has peppermint & rosemary in it - natural deodorizers. Naturally-based & inexpensive, so I tried it when she was pretty bad. IT WORKED!! I was so excited!! It's designed for feet, so it has a cooling effect - she got a kick out of that. :) But it did an amazing job, so I'm sticking with it.

Those are 2 things that you could try. I'd love to hear what ends up working for you.


1 mom found this helpful

One other thing you might check is whether or not she's taking any medications (including vitamin suppliments) that may affect her body odor.

My sister in law had a similar problem and she asked her doctor and they gave her sommething she swears by...it's late or I would call her, however if you call her doctor and they do not have a solution, please email me and I will ask her.
Good Fortune!

I have heard that the models use rubbing alcohol and that this will stop the sweats. I am not sure if this really works, but worth a try.

Dear M.,
I can certainly sympathize with you. For starters, don't use any anti-perspirant. Use only Deodorant. Anti's block the pores from sweating and that could cause lymph-node issues down the road. Others have suggested using corn starch. Use that in addition to deodorant. I work for a company that makes an all natural deodorant for men & women. Look it up on my web page www.momsNcharge.com. I strongly suggest using all natural products for a child so young. Do check with your family doctor about the issue. She very well could be producing extra ammounts of body secretions. Something like what you see on TV for people who have constant sweaty palms and foot odors. There maybe something she needs to take (RX) to control it. Do not let anyone try to tell you to have the surgery done to block the glands. It does sond like a glandular issue tough. Look up sweat gland on the web and do some research. Go to a health store and find all natural remedies. My prayers are with you and your daughter. I am sure it is quite embarrassing for her at such an early age.
Blessings, B. M.

Does she have any other signs or symptoms of puberty? Have you considered getting her hormone levels checked by her pediatrician, or at least discuss the problem w/ him? If medically she is in good shape there's no reason not to use the Dove as long as there is currently no rash. If a rash develops then you can discontinue the use and perhaps try one of the more natural, organic, or crystal deodorants (although I honestly don't know how well they work). Good luck!

Try a little baking soda for her armpits this may help with the odor.

Hi M.,
I personally have not had anything like this occur. I just wanted to share with you my thoughts on this issue. Have you spoken to your daughter's pediatrician about this hygiene problem, it could be something medical...it's worth a shot because she is quite young to be having smelly armpits? Anyway, if it's just that she perspires too much then, if it's okay with the pediatrician, using a Antiperspirant/Deodorant is better than using just the one labeled deodorant. But just confirm with your daughter's doctor first to see what he/she may suggest.

Hello M.,
i would suggest for you to use johnson's baby powder with corn starch. I have found this very soothing to skin, & baby smell. Have used on grandkids plus self for years.
Never problem with rash or any other allergies. Johnsons is a truly safe product to use even on babies.
Hope this helps you,
god bless

Gold Bond medicated powder may help with the smell, but I would take her to the doctor. I think it is a bacteria that causes adults armpits to smell. She may have something like that under her arms that the doctor can help you with.

I had the same problem with my daughter, I did use teen sprit deorodant it came in strawberry scent. My husband's grandmother also recommended baking soda, use it like you would baby powder under the arm pits. I would wet my daughters under arms a little so it would stick it helped than I started using the deorodant when I fould strawberry scent.

Using deodorant on her is fine. Her underarms smelling "musty" is a sign that her body is beginning to change hormonally.

Lets see if we can figure out why her armpits smell. It could be one or more situations with her body. It could be her diet, what does she eat and drink. Some things make you way too acidic which can cause body odor among other things. It could be a bacterial infection in lymph glands located around her armpits. Covering it up will not get rid of it. Let me suggest a cleanse, to rid her body of toxins that can cause all sorts of odors. How much water does she drink? I've been in nutrition for 30 years and there are ways to cleanse that will help your daughter. Let me know if you want to explore this avenue further.

My daughter had bad and continues to have BO. I started giving her deoderant around the age 4. I have not had any problems with her having any rashes nor will you find anything "age appropriate"...at least not to what I have seen. I just locate the "less harsher" ones such as Dove and Secret, but when she really acts up, I will also do things like the Arm and Hammer or Teen Spirit type deodorants.

My pediatrician advised me there was nothing wrong with giving them the deodorants, but I try to avoid any of the deodorants that would sting, such as you will find in men's deodorant. My son had that issue with one brand, so we just switched to another. Both have not had any problems with any BO as long as they are wearing it and they appreciate it as well because it means less likeliness of stains on the shirts or having to be embarrassed about smelling.


theres is a natral one it is a crysal rock when i found mine it was in eckerds now cvs and its called crystals you just get it moist so it can roll on the skin hope it works you may have to go to health food store it will last for over a year yes really so its 6 or $ 7 but well woth the money

M., my oldest daughter armpits use to smell when she was about 4 or 5. My cousin, who is very old-school, told me to rub alcohol under them. I did that and eventually started buying Teen Spirit even before she became a teen. It's not gonna harm her...just get the mild kind...the kind with the powder.

one problem might be when using soaps under her arms to get her clean. if you don't rinse that really well it smells worse than it did before you wash. I discovered this once when I did a sponge bath to freshen up before going to clean a lady's house. I usually would shower, but in the interest to save time and since I was going to be there alone just cleaning, i just washed up with soap and a cloth in the sink. well apparently I didn't rinse it well and within about 20-30 minutes I couldn't stand myself! Make sure that she is rinsing her arm pits well after she soaps them.. Also it is important (for all of you reading) if you use any deoderant that you put directly on the skin (not aerosol) if you use that after you have begun to sweat or smell, you are putting bacteria into your deoderant! then when you use it again you re-apply that bacteria to your underarms! only use stick or roll on right after a shower! if you wonder why your deoderant isn't doing the job that it used to, ask yourself if you have applied it on a non-showered underarm at some point? happy de-oderizing!

Burt's Bees Baby Dusting Powder is a great option. 100% talc-free formula uses cornstarch, instead, to keep baby's skin soft. Phthalate- and paraben-free.

I had/have the same problem and had to start wearing deodorant in elementary school. I would suggest that you get unscented and don't get antiperspirant. I read below that someone thought it could be that she is over weight. I was always a stick figure until a few years ago. It doesn't have to be extra weight that causes stinky pits. I don't know if the smell bothers her or just people around her. If it bothers her, she may be willing to do what I do. Because I am so worried about smelling bad, I keep deodorant everywhere. I keep it in my purse and car and I also keep handy wipes around. Every few hours, I will have to use the handy wipes then reapply the deodorant. My hubby says I am paranoid, but I figure if I can smell me, if I don't do something about it soon, others will smell me too.

You did not mention if you helped her with her showers. But if not, I would get one of those scrunchy scrubbers and some good perfume free liquid soap and make sure she thoroughly washes her armpits and other areas that are usually dark and moist. And when she gets out of the shower make sure she is completely dry before getting dressed and pay particular attention to her armpits. Don't take this wrong, but if she is considerably overweight and sweats excessively this might cause problems, especially if she is not bathing thoroughly. How about her diet? You might consider switching to all natural and unrefined foods. That's not fun for a 5 year old, but she will benefit in more ways than one. I am not sure I would use deodorant unless it is perfume free. If all else fails I would take her to her doctor. Maybe she has some kind of glandular issue.

It sounds like she might be having a food allergy reaction.
I would simplify her diet a bit to see what might be causing it.
As far as deodarent goes, I highly recommend an all natural deodarent crystal called a "deodarent rock". They sell them online and at health food stores. There are a lot of chemicals in regualr deodarents and would worry about that with my children.
I've been using the rock for years and love it. Saves money too cause it lasts for 5 years :)

Hello M.,
There is a new clinical deodorant you might want to look into at the store. I dont have the name. You can check on that or with the pharmacist on what he night recommend.
Good luck!
M. Gonzalez
Brownsville Texas

How about a milder anti-perspirant? This may help with the odor before it happens, rather than "masking" it. You could always go "trial and error". Try it for a few days and if a rash developes, stop.

Other than that, I would suggest a trip to the dermatologist.

M. :)

This is totally embarassing, but I'd like to share my story anyhow.
When I was young, it didn't matter if i bathed or not. I always smelled and it didn't matter what deodorant i used. My body had a chemical reaction to the deodorants and my body was always over-active in the sweat department. Over sized glands, or something to that affect. The deodorants worked for maybe an hour, if that, and I would begin to smell worse than if i hadn't put any on at all!
I'm now 28, and have JUST found a deodorant (about 3-4 yrs ago) that actually works and doesn't smell bad and actually lasts almost most of the day. I use Womens' Degree UltraClear "pure Oxygen". Now, this brand carries a few different scents, so experiement.
i know she's young, just keep an eye on the reactions or rashes. And maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to consult a doc on her sweat glands---they were my problem.
Good luck and for her sake, I hope you are able to find a solution...the kids' tortured me back then! :(

You should try Arm n Hammer deordorant it worked for my neice that had the same problem at that age. Hopes this little tidbit helps.

Try vinegar in the bath water. Powder will help absorb moisture but will do nothing for the smell. Be prepared because this is probably genetic and may become a problem in the future with your younger children. My youngest two had the same problem but it started much later. Deodorant would work on them for only a couple of hours even they took a bath both morning and night. Both of them, one girl and one boy, finally "outgrew" it around the age of 16. You have my sympathy because I know the pain your nose and emotions are going through.

My son is 16 and we use to have the same problem. I don't remember at what age his odor became so prominent, like your child, he could shower and 30 minutes later smell. I found out about a deodorant cream at the Kroger pharmacy I started working for last year. It is special ordered through one of our suppliers, it costs around $8 for a 2oz. jar, and it is well worth it. It is called "YODORA" manufactured by NUMARK laboratories. It only takes a small amount and you can use a regular deodorant afterward. Good luck! I tried other things but nothing worked as well as this.

Check her diet it's probably something in her diet.

I have been putting deodorant on my son since he was 2yr. He's never had a rash I used my dove because I felt it was best now I use daddys degree ans still no rash just good smelling arms. :)

It more common these days for children to have to start wearing deodorant at a early age. Way before I needed to. I hear it is from all the hormones in the milk and meat that we eat. Both of my older daughter started to wear deodorant in first grade. I was shocked and almost embarrassed and thought something might be wrong with them but I started to hear other mother say the same thing. Now not everyone was having to do it as early but they weren't way to far behind by third grade everyone needs it. I just had my girls use Secret and you can get unscented or the used the baby powder one. They never developed a rash or had any troubles. Good Luck.

i had this same problem with my daughter and i went and got some Degree and put it on her everyother day and sometimes everyday and it helped alot. and dont worry this is normal, but please dont hesitate to use it. powder doesnt last and niether does home remedies just use the deoderant. yes they do grow up fast.

My daughter, now 7, started facing this between 4 & 5 yo. She would come out of the tub and the odor from her armpits would still be overwhelming. She looked and smelled clean until you got down on your knees and she'd lift her arms up for a hug, then, look out!

The pedi told us some kids just have this problem earlier, and since I am one of those that has to triple scrub to get that area clean, she comes by it honestly. She now wears deodorant occasionally, on an as-needed basis. It is a teen formula, and I refuse to feel bad about it, since it gets used maybe 10-12x year.

Hi I am a mother of 3 boys and I know about armpit smells. LOL
I have to use degree deoderant it is the only thing that works for this family and stops oder. I hope this helps.
M. r

I had to give my daughter deodorant at age 5 as well. We make sure id does not say anti-perspirent (sp?), just deodorant only. She is now 9 and no problems.


I have the same problem with my underarms, no matter what I did ( prescription deoderants, loofah scrubbing, Dial soap) I had to go through a few different doctors before I finally got an answer. What they told me was that there was bacteria growing in the armpit, and everybody has it but my body either produced more or the soap isn't strong enough. Either way he prescribed me a liquid soap called phisohex. It works wonders! I use it for 2 weeks straight and then only when I need a boost. They say not to use it one babies, but I'm not sure about children. I would suggest taking her to the doctor and see what they have to say. But I do suggest pushing them because I had one doctor tell me it was my food. Hope this helped.

You can have your daughter wear DEODERANT, just for now, don't get her one that says ANTIPERSPIRANT because that clogs the pores to keep the wetness away and she doesn't need that at her age. Just go for the deoderant kind and it shouldn't matter what brand, or what age...I believe that is just a marketing ploy.

My daughters use Degree Powder Fresh or Shower Clean. It works wonders! My husband works in contruction and he never has a problem w/it running out on him. Its great!! My girls have been using it w/no problems. I also had an aunt that was allergic to deodorant period and couldn't use ANYTHING AT ALL,,,SOO the home remedy that they gave her was Lard(thick white in a box) and baking powder to use together and thats what she used til the day she passed. It did wonders for her because she was soo allergic to everything!! Try it,it won't hurt her,,,PROMISE!! Hope it works,,,,,,,E.!!!

DON'T use your deodorant. It has aluminum and stuff that's bad for her. Try Tom's deodorant instead. You should see it on the top shelf. OR look in a natural products section at HEB or Kroger or Whole Foods for a variety of non-antiperspirant deodorants.

My 5 YO stinks too. I started using deodorant on her at 3 or so. I found that if she eats gluten (wheat, oats) she's worse. Her behavior is bad with it too, so she's definitely sensitive to gluten. I think I'm going to try eliminating milk and see if that helps also.

It could be a yeast overgrowth. Her yeast levels can be checked with a blood test (my poor MIL is so high in yeast she can never have yeast or sugar (which feeds yeast) again.) To see experimentally if this is a problem, you can completely eliminate yeast containing products and refined sugars, limit starches and natural/complex sugars such as in fruit. Within a month you should notice a change, possibly sooner.

S., mom to four girls on the autism spectrum

Hi M.,
I have a boy, that you understand stinks badly. That's just what boys do. But I personally use (I think it is called Clear dri) I buy it at either Kroger or Walmart. It comes in stick or roll-on. I like both. The reason I use it is because it has NO ALUMINUM! I use it myself and for my son. He has a rash all the time too, but using this deoderant helps it and helps him not stink so bad.

Also, Tom's brand is pretty good, but it is alot more expensive. This brand I am talking about comes in a white or clear container with a blue sticker on it. The picture is of a man and woman with their arm up putting it on. It runs about $2.49 per item. I highly recommend. I used to get rashes and razor burn, I never do now and I have been using it for over 2 years.

Hope that helps.


Burt's Bees has a natural herbal deodorant that's a spray. You could also use the rock kind that's sold most places now. HEB has it in the antiperspirant aisle. It is also natural and has no purfume. You get it wet and rub it on the skin. I use it and it works. I would never put any kind of antiperspirant on a child. The aluminum content can be absorbed throught he skin. Not healthy.

My 6 year old is also starting to have "smelly pits" when she exercising/active and it embarasses her. Besides going over again the proper way to wash every night with soap and water during showers, I did get a youth deoderant for her at Walmart. Doesn't seem to be a problem.

it is unusual for her little body to already be doing that, i would change the products i bought that contained hormones, ie milk/cheese/yogurt, even grade 7 plastics, like seen in reusable water bottles and tupperware containers. go organic/hormone free/certified humane on all your meat or dairy, and opt for a better grade of plastic and see where that gets you, no harm in this kind of speculation, the latter is better for her anyway.

My daughter, now 6, started having noticable, nasty B.O. at 5. It's worse when it's warmer weather.

I consulted our doc about it and she suggested using one of the "teen" deodorants, but to try to avoid antiperspirants. Well, the "teen" deodorants also have antiperspirants in them, but we went ahead and tried a strawberry smelling one. We don't use it daily, mostly just on the days she has P.E. or will definately be around other people a lot.

You can also try having her bathe using a deodorant soap under her arms, and making sure she's using a washcloth or scrubbie to help clean the area well.

I know you can find natural deodorant, but I never had much luck with them, so chose to not have her try them at this time.

We also made sure she's drinking milk with NO growth hormone in it. I had read that that worked to reduce or eliminate the B.O. in some girls. Problem is, we're not as agressive about making sure the growth hormone is not in our other dairy products or meats. It did seem to help her some, but did not elimnate the problem.

Lastly, B.O. is somewhat genetic. Since I myself always had bad B.O. and from a young age, I think that may contribute to my daughter's problem.

Good luck! I was pretty worried that the early B.O. was a sure sign of early puberty...glad that that was not necessarialy so!

Have you talk to her ped about this? I would ask the ped.
I don't know that deoderant would hurt her and I agree that the teen formulas are so purmumed, they are just offencive. I would think that dove would be the best/mildest. I think Aveeno makes one also that could work or maybe just baking powder.

Check out this website:
http://www.oil-testimonials.com/7532 it is really neat and very informative. If you find something on it that might work contact me at www.youngliving.org/sherylhawkinson. I will be happy to help you.

My son's armpits started to stink at 4 yr. He is now 5. I spoke with his doctor and he told me it is not uncommon and just normal for some kids to develop this early. I bought a deodorant from the Whole Foods market without aluminum. This work sometimes but other times he just stinks through it. I was told by my doc to try lemons. I have sliced the lemon in half and rubbed it on his armpit every morning and he comes home still smelling fresh. It really works!

hey try Mitchem deodorant its really good for that. Also try Baking Soda. Just rub it under her armpits. I had the same problem when I was a kid. I use the Clinical Secret deoodorant now, its really good too. I used the Mitchem as a child and had a Dr. reccomend it me. Hope this helps, B.

Please talk to the pediatrician to make sure that this isn't a symptom of something that needs to be treated. Then, maybe use a potato or corn starch. There's even a natural "crystal" deodorant...and other natural brands. I am very hesitant to introduce chemicals to young children's systems. I think that you would do better to keep it as natural as possible, especially until you know just how it will turn out as her body changes. Once you introduce something unnatural, then you run the risk of creating a dependency or just affecting the development. Be careful what you do early on with your children because you don't know how it'll grow with them.

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