7-Year-Old Boy with Armpit Odor

Updated on September 13, 2009
J.M. asks from Big Lake, MN
13 answers

Hi, Moms!

Last night after my 7-year-old son took a shower, I noticed that his armpits still smelled bad. I thought perhaps he had not cleaned himself well after playing soccer and outside with friends the past couple of days. I had him take another shower this morning and stood outside the shower and watched while he cleaned his armpits. He did a thorough job. After the shower I smelled his underarms again and they still stink! Does he need deodorant? Would deodorant soap work (he uses unscented Dove now because of sensitive skin when he was younger). Is this normal at such a young age? Thanks for any advice/answers you may have!

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

I am having the same problem with my son...only my son is 5. We saw a Dr last friday and she is sending us to Childrens in St Paul for testing to rule out any medical issues. In the mean time she told me to cut down on red meats and drink electrolytes. She also mentioned saltine crackers for snack before bed (something to do with the salt). She also mentioned that he should wear a deodorant only since antiperspirant can irritate children. I found one at Target today (Tom was the brand name on it) and it was fragrance free.

More Answers



answers from Lincoln on

I have 3 boys and at or around 7 they did need deorant. I just went to the dollar genral and bought some of the cheap stuff for $1. It is weaker but it did the trick. I used the weaker one so as their bodies changed the stronger ones would work later.



answers from Minneapolis on

Actually he is not so young. It is very common, especially if he is in the middle of a growth spurt. My DD has been using deoderant since age 5. She would walk by you and the BO would knock you of the chair. I am a medical professional and knew the answer, but still discussed it with my peds. First realize that children's hormones are greater these days and occuring earlier than when we were kids. I do have a personal thought behind this etiology, but I will keep that soap box to my self. LOL....
So the children are needing hygine products a lot earlier. Each time the children go through a growth spurt, the adrenals kick in full speed and BO is a very common thing. Use the deodorant; he needs it. Nothing worst than become known as the kid who smells. I bet you every last one of us can sit down as adults and tell you the kid that smelled when we were growing up. :(
No one can tell you the kid who had the best body hygine, but can tell you the kid who did not! We started with one from the health food store/section. Now she is 7 soon to be 8 and we have moved to Dove SK Antiperspent/deodorant. When she was 5, I also started daily baths/showers. I do think some parents have a hard time moving to major milestones as these; but know these days this is normal at this time. If you smell him, trust me everyone else is to. Just know you are not alone, it is more common than you know, just something that is not discussed openly.
BTW, I work in Women's Health and we are gettting more and more girls at 8 starting periods. So, BO comes before this cycle in girls; so just compare that to your son's age. Here is a (((HUG))).


answers from Milwaukee on

hi my 6 year old daughter also has the same problem so i asked her doctor what i can do and he said that it was ok for her to use deoradant and since she has sensitive skin too he said the teen deordant was ok



answers from Grand Forks on

Wow he is young. I can just say every kid is different. It sounds crystal clear to me, he does need deoderant. Maybe you should have a checkup with the doctor and see what he/she has to say. He may be happy to pick out his own. I don't think it's a big deal since we all use it. Just make sure the one he is using is working for him. Good luck.



answers from Omaha on

My son had the same issue and I immediately seeked advice from my family Dr. This order could be a sign that he is growing up and needs deorderant or it could be a sign that something else medically is going on. I would have a complete physical done first to eliminate any medical issue and if he is cleared then I would introduce him to a mild deordrant. Every child starts puberty at a different age. Good Luck to your first taste of your child growing up.



answers from Minneapolis on

believe it or not....the underarm odor, caused by bacteria, could be "feeding" off of the soap he is using...i looked this up because i have always had trouble with this myself, i wanted to use natural products, but nothing was strong enough...

i read about it online...many people wrote in advising to stop using soap....just water.....after bathing....i have used all of the following as substitutes for deoderant with good results:

lime juice (applied with a cotton ball) and then baking soda

also tried

vodka from a small spray bottol

and recently, i began using that deodorant mineral salt spray or rock that you can find at whole food stores (this works wonders on stopping stinky foot odor if applied before wearing shoes or sandals)

this may sound odd to you, but the alcohol kills the bacteria....

since your son is so young, i think these options are better than the chemicals you find in deodorant....

i know it sounds crazy....but i don't have trouble with odor any more...and i don't worry about the chemicals that are in most deodorants out there.....

good luck!



answers from Cedar Rapids on

Both my boys had the same problem. I did start them early on deodorant plus use an anti-bicterial soap, or one of the men soaps geared to sports. I don't know how his skin will react that was one blessing I didn't have to deal with. Keep in mind for my boys this only helped alittle they both learned to take more showers. Hope this helps.


answers from Minneapolis on

I am not a doctor, but I freaked when I saw signs of maturity in my daughter when she was 6. :) I was told with the added hormones in meats and milk children are hitting puberty at an earlier age. so my opinion? YES start on deoderant. Scented soap or even body wash that doesnt effect his sensitive skin might be a good idea too.



answers from Eau Claire on

Is it definite body odor smell? Does he have a rash at all. It could be a yeast infection if it smells with a rash.

Otherwise he might just need deodorant. I would speak to the doc about it to help determine if he needs deodorant or antipersperant.

Is he developing in any other ways? then definately talk to the doctor....



answers from Davenport on

Yep! It's deoderant time! :o)

My son started needing it going into 2nd grade, and I thought that was kind of early, but he's a big kid, so I wasn't entirely surprised. It's funny how they all start needing it at different times! The armpit odor is mostly a result of bacteria, not necessarily puberty. Obviously, the armpits on everyone are always dark and moist- a haven for those darn little bacteria! My daughter (who is NOT a big kid) started needing it at 6 years old! Everyone's bodies are different, and although it makes us face the fact that they're growing up- it's no big deal. My kids both actually thought is was pretty cool, and had a lot of fun picking out their scents! Who knew!



answers from Bismarck on

Hi J.

I would confer with your pediatrician--armpit odor in anyone is from bacteria and I don't think it's "normal" for a 7 year old after he's cleaned himself there. It could be something as simple as a change in his diet, something with his allergies, or something bacterial. You'll feel better if you check it out!

C. M



answers from Davenport on

If you are worried about using a "real" deodorant/anti-persperant on him, perhaps you could start him with the Crystal deodorant: http://www.walgreens.com/store/store/product/product_deta...

it is unscented (so it wouldn't irritate sensitive skin) and hard, rock-like, but smooth, you wet it right after your shower and rub it under arms and you can use it on feet too....

Here is the product description:

All natural protection.
Fragrance & paraben free.
No aluminum chlorohydrate.
Natural deodorant protection.
Crystal Body Deodorant is made of 100% natural mineral salts which eliminate odor by leaving an invisible protective barrier against odor-causing bacteria.
It is fragrance free, non-sticky non-staining, leaves no white residue and can be used by both men and women.
Crystal Body Deodorant can last up to a year of daily use. (Most people I have met that use this, have had it last longer than 2 years for one stick!)
Safe for the environment.
Endorsed by Cancer Treatment Centers.

Moisten the top of the stone and smooth under arms or soles of feet.
Must be applied to clean skin.

Next question: Daughter's Armpits Smell. What Can I Do??