DrArmpit is a science communication platform where scientific research about armpit microbiology in relation to body odour, in a broad sense, is made available to the public.
DrArmpit focuses on malodor generating bacteria in the armpits, skin, clothes, washing machines and how to counteract them. Few research is done in this field, as such DrArmpit is a pioneer in finding solutions towards the malodor generation. Since 2011, DrArmpit is hosted at CMET in Ghent University. From October 2016, DrArmpit is hosted at the Knight lab at the University of California San Diego. The research is supported by the Flemish Government, the Research Foundation - Flanders and the Belgian American Educational Foundation. In this website you can find research updates and see what kinds of bacteria live in the armpit.
“The forearm is the desert, the scalps are the cool woods and the armpit is the tropical rainforest’’. Mary J Marples couldn’t have put it in a better way. The armpit is like the tropical rainforest, containing an enormous amount of bacteria. Although numbers of bacteria go very high, not a lot of different bacteria reside over there. The diversity of the axilla is rather low, compared to other skin sites, such as the belly button and the hands. As a result, some dominant bacteria reside in the armpit. Most of the times, staphylococci or corynebacteria are the dominant bacterial strains. In the first case, this only results in a moderate –normal– body odor, while in the last case, this can give rise to an unpleasant smell.
Smelly armpits, axillary body odor or axillary osmidrosis is a condition in which an unpleasant odor emanates from the armpit region. This can significantly affect the subjects quality of life. It is moreover a taboo issue to talk about. It is generally not considered as a disease. In rare cases, axillary osmidrosis becomes a disease if it completely overpowers and interferes with the subjects life. Besides washing and spraying deodorants, there is not much that can be done about it. Our research team is trying to find a solution for that.