Onion Skin

Many readers found my recent article in Reactive Reports (Picking up the sweat scent, issue 41) rather interesting, not least a 54-year old massage therapist from Houston, Texas, who emailed me to ask my advice on her body odour problem.

Apparently, she had only been working at her present fitness centre for a few months when she noticed the scent of her axillae (armpits to you and me) and arms had changed from the usual smell to an onion-like fragrance. She asked whether there were an enzyme available that might be taken orally to combat the bacteria producing this smell (no, enzymes are digested in the stomach, like other proteins), and whether or not she may have “picked up” the microbes in the health club.

It’s a possibility, I guess, especially as she is working in such close contact with clients.

Solutions? Using a pH balanced soap instead of shower gel? Switching deodorants? Maybe just wearing long sleeve tops 24/7 is the best option.

Author: David Bradley

Freelance science journalist, author of Deceived Wisdom. Sharp-shooting photographer and wannabe rock god.