39 answers

My 8 Year Old Son Has Underarm Odor

My son in the last few days has had very strong underarm odor. He is only 8 and I think way too young for deoderant or puberty. Does anyone have this problem with their little boys. I would appreciate the help.

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I'm afraid it does happen at an early age these days. If you don't want to use deoderant you can try having them wash with some alcohol it does take the smell away probably because it removes the bacteria. We use a deoderant that doesn't have aluminum. There are a lot to chose from. The one that works best is the Old Spice Aqua Reef. It still works for my 13 year old.

I have the same problem with my 8 year old daughter. She takes a shower/bath almost every night but it doesn't seem to matter. I hate letting her wear deoderant but if she doesn't kids make fun of her.

I know exactly what you mean, but all my boys use deoderant. I had to start with my youngest one when he was 6 because i just couldnt stand it anymore. I say go buy some and show him how to use it.

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Honestly, I think now days puberty can hit anyone at anytime! For some reason, boys just smell more then girls as well ; ) LOL. I don't think it'd hurt to get him some deoderant if it's bothering him or you. You can get something more natural like Arm & Hammer... You can always talk to his Dr as well if you think there's a problem with it. My son will be 8 in Oct. and he's all ready taking interest in trying to make sure he smells nice etc.. he now requests the "guy" smelling body wash! lol Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

He's just the right age to start using deo. We recently had this conversation on my daycare forum and one provider requires all her school aged boys to bring deo to her home to apply after school to keep the odor in her home at a minimum!

my nephew is 9 and has been using deodorant for about a year now. My sister said it's just that time because he's close to puberty. I would use a deodorant only if the antiperspirants stuff is what scares you because I think at this age he might self-conscious.

I'm afraid it does happen at an early age these days. If you don't want to use deoderant you can try having them wash with some alcohol it does take the smell away probably because it removes the bacteria. We use a deoderant that doesn't have aluminum. There are a lot to chose from. The one that works best is the Old Spice Aqua Reef. It still works for my 13 year old.

I have 2 sons one is 12 yrs. and the other is 9 yrs. and both of them use deoderant. It is time to have the hygiene talk with him because the smell is not going anywhere. When I notice with both of my sons I bought them there own deoderant and body wash for them to use when they takes showers. I made a chart for them go by everyday so they can remember to keep up with there hygiene and it works.

My 10yr old has the same problem we bought the Toms natural deodorant with fragrance free it is really safe and doesnt smell like all the Manly deodorants do. Doesnt have a problem with it at all. You can get it anywhere I beleive. Target is where I got it.

I was so happy to see this!! I was thinking about asking the same question today for my girl. Even though my problem is with a girl I think I'm going to try some of the suggestions here! We are bathing everyday but we still notice the oder in the evening. Think I'll start with the powder.


8 years old is not to young for deo. In fact they make deo for the younger set. My girls started using deo, one at 7, the other at 8, and they started with the teen deo. Some kiddos just have that smell early in age and some don't. Save him the imbarrassment he may get one day when someone says something to him about his stinch. I'm sure someone else besides you has noticed but just hasn't said anything yet. Go to the store and let him pick out his own and he'll be good to go. Good luck and God Bless.

My son has the same issue - but pretty much only at the end of the day. we started using deordorant and he is very Happy. However I remember this cream that my mom gave me when I was in my early 20's because I always had odarless sweat marks during the fall/Winter months no matter what brand of anything I used. It was a miracle cream and it stopped the sweating and also was a deodorant. You have to use it religiously for a while though. It is the Mitchum cream (must be the cream) - of course check with a Dr. first about whether appropriate for children... here is a link to it - http://www.medshopexpress.com/841879.html


My nephew had the same problem when he was young, and it got to no-matter how much deodorant he used, he always had a bad Bo. smell. My sister took him to the doctor and found out it was a chemical imbalance in his system, that was making this happen, or something like that , so I would take him to see the doc, and talk to him, because they have some medicine that will help. I am not sure if it is a vitamin or what, that balances out the sweat gland . Hope this helps!!

It doesn't necessarily mean puberty. The odor is caused by bacteria, so if he could just pay special attention to that area it could help. You could also try to stay away from sythetic fabrics which can make odor worse. I am not sure about your aversion to deodorant, but if the only worry is chemicals you could try Tom's of Maine brand in the morning and see if that stops the problem completely.

Good Luck!

Don't worry, my daughter started wearing deodorant at 7 1/2. At first I was concerned that it was early, too, but after talking to my sister-in-law and other friends, I found out that 7-8 isn't early anymore. I don't know about boys yet. My son is only 6. Wal-Mart and CVS have some deodorant sprays that don't have anti-perspirant, which I think is better for our little ones.

my 7 year old girl has had this problem. she is a little chunky and probably will be on the early side of the puberty phase. i use deoderant on her during sport events.

Like it or not, puberty is descending upon you. But, just because the odor is there does not mean he will be dropping an octive vocally anytime soon.

My son is now 10.5, stinks to high heaven without deoderant (I don't do antipersperant for him yet)but is still a little boy in more ways than I can state here, lol.

Hang in there and buy some deoderant. Your nose will thank you, as will his classmates :D

My 7yo has to wear deoderant. When I asked his pediatrician about it, they said to get a very mild one. When I went to WalMart I didn't know which mens deoderant was mild, nor did my husband, so I ended up getting him Dove and of course told him it was for both boys and girls. I got him the plain unsented one, so he wasn't walking around smelling like flowers. I also have him shower evvery night. Both of those combined have seemed to help quite a bit.

I have a 10 year old but his underarm odor started around age 8 or 9. Just make sure he washes really good and start him off with (womens)unscented roll on or deodorant stick, if that doesn't work try the scented. His armpits may be too sensitive for any type of spray. Hope that helps.


I have an 8 yr old son that has been wearing deodorant since age 6. Smells like an onion factory if he doesn't, poor guy. Noticed this month that he now has a few black hairs under the arms. My daughter, who is now 27 was also an early developer. I think it's something in the water nowadays. lol

I have a 6 year old that can clear a room. We do use deoderant every now and then. I just wanted you to know it does happen, the poor kid also has horid halatosis. I already had it medically checked and the doc sais he is one of the lucky to inherit these factors (must be my husbands side). We also make sure he uses a wash rag under the pits on off bath nights and sometimes during the day if needed. You can find natural antipersperants out their if you are worried about toxins. I just went to my local health food store.

Don't know if this is unusual.

My daughter has my genetics and has been wearing deoderant since she was 5. Trust me this is the age when self esteem is still building. I was not given deoderant until I was 13 and was made fun of, Don't hesitate kids can be cruel.

from 4th grade on, our school district recommends deoderant for all children. & from 6th grade on, it's a requirement for students & must be kept in the gym lockers.

& 4th grade is really not too early, because this generation & the group before was beginning puberty as early as age 10. Seriously, I have friends with daughters who've started menstrual cycles at 10 or just a few months earlier.

Our kiddies are changing developmental sequences with each decade! With regards to brands, I also had chosen to go with the milder brand, which my son (age 12) went along with until middle school this year. Now it's all about that "manly" scent.

Just to add to what everyone else is saying...my son is 7 and started using deodorant. I spoke with his doctor and he said it's quite normal and to find him a deodorant...not an antipersparent (sp?), anyway, so we got him Arm & Hammer and it smells a bit like oranges but he likes it and there are others out there too. Good luck!

My 9 year old daughter has just started wearing deodorant. I was concerned about the chemicals in regular deodorant at her age, so I picked up some from the Whole Foods store. It works fine for her - she is not as self-concious. When they play hard, they sweat. Sweat is a great enviornment for bacteria and yeast, and it will eventually stink. Nothing to do with puberty.

There are a number of reasons for body oder to begin developing. Hormonal changes are appearing earlier than when I was young (long ago). I feel this is largely due to the increased use of the human growth hormone that is regularly fed to farm animals, especially dairy cows. Some teenage boys even start developing breasts because of it. This is why it is becoming increasingly important to feed children organic meats and dairy products. Women are also highly effected by those hormones.

Other causes for unusual body oder can be the toxic effects of prescribed medications or food allergies. Many people lose body odor problems if they stop eating wheat, for example. Drug related body oder smells different than the usual B/O and is normally apparent from more than the armpits. Some children who have been on Ritalin too long can really begin to stink. If you feel the odor is related to a prescription, you may want to ask the MD if it would be wise to run a liver tox-screen. If some meds are continued too long, odor can be the least of the problems that are developing.

Whatever the cause, I feel it is important to provide deoderants that do not contain any antipersperant agents, especially those containing alluminum. Metals such as these are know to have neuro-toxic effects and are, therefore, more dangerous during developmental years. Of course, they aren't really safe for anyone.

I use products from Young Living Essential Oils and learned something unusual from one of their representatives. She said she doesn't use their deoderant, but uses their cheapest brand of toothpaste. The ingredients include baking soda and essential oils. It is all natural and perfectly healthy. The essential oils are both antibacterial and antifungal, with no undesirable side effects, unless their is an allergy. I work in a professional setting where I must be close to clients in a warm environment. Finding the best deoderant without alluminum has been a great challenge for me. I have used the toothpaste for several months and have never been happier with any product. The aroma is pleasant and not overwhelming. The protection lasts into the next day. I have been using the same tube since April and it is only half gone, so it is much less expensive than anything else I've tried. But, most imprtantly, it won't harm the neurological development of a child.

If you decide to try the toothpaste, a child may not want to use his fingers and have to rinse his hands. A small sponge applicator can be devised or a folded sheet of toilet paper can be used and tossed away.

Anyway, hope this info is helpful to you.

I know that it is difficult to realize that children are entering "adolescent issues" at an earlier age, but it really is true! Some eight-year-olds do produce body odor and some do need deodorant. My twelve-year-old son has been using deodorant for almost three years and my twin eight-year-old sons are beginning to perspire and need deodorant too. Choose a mild deodorant and encourage your son to use it daily. You will notice the improvement and others who are around your son will appreciate it too! Good Luck! Kati

Hi M.,
I know what you are going through. I was in denial. My 5 year old girl is starting to get musty. I delayed using deoderant as long as I could. Using powders and washing often. That only lasted until summer came and those things no longer lasted throughout the day. I too put her on a straight deoderant (Tussy). Just because I remember my grandmother using that on us when we were young, It did not harm me so I didn't feel it would harm her. Good luck to you. I read all of the advice given and you have a difficult decision to make. Blessings to you and yours.

I know exactly what you mean, but all my boys use deoderant. I had to start with my youngest one when he was 6 because i just couldnt stand it anymore. I say go buy some and show him how to use it.

Glad you asked b/c my son had bad odor last year - 1st grade- and I wasn't sure, either, or what to do. I was not expecting it so early! But we tried his dad's deodorant and it worked just great! (now he has his own)

I have not heard of that before, but some kids mature faster than others. My daughter had very hairy legs and it bothered her so much, she was begging me to let her shave in the fourth grade. Mention it to your pediatrician next time he goes in, but otherwise, I wouldn't worry about it. You should get him some deodorant, though. If you're noticing his odor, other kids will, too, and you don't want him to be known as Stinky. There are natural ones available that don't have a lot of harmful harsh ingredients, and you can use one of those, as long as they are effective.

I am a nurse and had a patient with same problem, even could detect odor after bathing. He needed an antifungal medicine, Flagyl. Ask your Dr. and see if this is maybe what he needs.
You may want to try Gold Bond Powder or deodorant first. In the case of my patient it didn't help and we needed to seek Dr. advice and treatment.

Hello M. H. I have a son that is 9 and has worn deodorant for the past year. He too also has strong underarm odor and plays a lot of sports. I know they seem kinda young to be wearing it, but I think kids mature a lot more sooner that we did so long ago. I am a 38 year old mom of two beautiful children. One boy and one girl. My daughter is 5 and started kindergarten this year and she even seems like she is too mature for her age sometimes! I hope this helps. M. G.

I have the same problem with my 8 year old daughter. She takes a shower/bath almost every night but it doesn't seem to matter. I hate letting her wear deoderant but if she doesn't kids make fun of her.

I would either wash him myself or change his soap.

Some children physically mature at a faster pace. My son, who is now 13, has been wearing deodorant since 5. His pediatrician suggested this and I am suggesting the same for you. I am a 6th grade teacher and I can tell you from experience that children with odors are made fun of and are left out by their peers.

Hi M., Good Morning. We have a 8 yr old gr son going through the same. Little boys do get dirty and sweaty. It won't hurt them to introduce a mild deoderant or even a little fragrance free shower to shower powder.
Austin gets so sweaty his hair even smells, so he is a regular shampooer too ;) A good bath soap is Safe Guard too.

Seems kid-o's are maturing alot sooner now days. Aint it Grand!! Our 9 y/o gr daughter is developing already bless her heart and momma just won't stop drawing attention to it sometimes. grrrrrrrrrrrrrr That's a whole different topic for sure. lol

Best of everything to you and yours M.
K. Nana of 5

My biracial adopted 6 year old son also had underarm odor and it was recommended that we try Tom's natural deodorant stick which is aluminum free. It does seem to help.

I think it's just boys! My son's is 9 and his started last year too. I got some gold bond powder and put it under his arms. They are just like us and the smell comes from wetness and bateria. I know it seems young, but everyone matures at a different rate and boys are stinky - fast! Especially if he plays sports or plays hard a recess. I hope it helps!

I can totally relate!! My son just had the same issue! It is kind of scary... because of hormones in meat boys are maturing much earlier! :-( We decided to use the Crystal Body Deodorant.. it is all natural and really seems to work. Here is a link if you are interested
Hope that helps!
S., Alameda, CA

My 6 year old son had to start using deodorant this year. It started in the spring when it was getting warm. I just bought him some deodorant(not antiperspirant, that kills your sweat glands) just like his daddy uses and he feels like a big boy. And he doesn't stink! He puts it on every morning before school. I thought he was too young too but he can't go to school being the stinky kid, and I don't want to smell him. Hopefully you get some help. and good luck.

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