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Underarm Odor Regimen

Foot Odor Regimen

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

A STEP BY STEP PROCEDURE TO ELIMINATE

FOOT AND UNDERARM ODOR

I know that many of you have just jumped to this section. If you intend on using the regimen, please read the entire site. While it (desperately) needs to be updated, it is important to understand that it's all about balancing the underarm microbiota (bacteria biome) and not just killing all the bacteria on your skin (you can't).

Please read all the information.  The regimen MORE important as the products recommended below, and understanding how the product works will ensure that you use the product correctly. Applying the product incorrectly or missing applications will cause the regimen to fail.  

OK, now I think that you are ready to change your life (and yes, you will find that eliminating your odor problems will change the way you feel and act). 

There are three products that you can use. Just choose one.

1) 3% hydrogen peroxide. This is the same concentration found at any grocery store, corner store, or pharmacy and kills both bacteria and viruses. Start at 1 teaspoon to 8oz of water. You can increase the concentration if your skin tolerates it and no irritation occurs.

2) Coconut Oil. This natural oil kills both bacteria and viruses.

3) Isopropyl Alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol. 70% isopropyl alcohol to be exact.  This is the same concentration found at any grocery store, corner store, or pharmacy. For those worried about applying chemicals on their skin, choose options 1 or 2. Note this my originally recommended product which I used decades ago and which all of the testimonials on this site are based, but I am now recommending options 1 and 2 for those wishing not to put chemicals on their skin (even though IPA is deemed safe by the FDA for topical use as indicated on the package labeling).

The first thing to note is that 70% isopropyl alcohol is the optimum concentration to kill bacteria.  100% isopropyl alcohol is NOT as effective as 70%.  Water is necessary for  isopropyl alcohol to be at its most effective.  The second fact to note is that isopropyl alcohol is most effective in killing bacteria when it is applied using mechanical action.  What does this mean?  Bacteria are killed by gently rubbing the isopropyl alcohol on your skin (hard or vigorous rubbing will irritate your skin and be painful).  While this is not the reason that isopropyl alcohol is also called rubbing alcohol, it is very useful in helping you to remember that mechanical action (rubbing) is a necessary part of its use.

The specific recommended regimen is given below- first for underarm odor and then for foot odor.  It is important to note that you must strictly follow the regimen without skipping any treatments for the regimen to be effective. Also the period immediately following the two week regimen is very important. During this time, you will need to transition from the regimen to having to use nothing at all.

WARNINGS (isopropyl alcohol): 

  • Follow all warning labels on the bottle of isopropyl alcohol that you purchase. If you have minor cuts or abrasions, the alcohol may sting, but will not do any harm. You may want to wait until those wounds heal before beginning treatment. 
  • If you have any skin senilities or conditions, please consult your physician prior to beginning this treatment regimen.  If you develop a skin rash, notice skin darkening or feel discomfort, discontinue use immediately and consult your physician prior to restarting your treatment regimen.  
  • DO NOT use near an open flame (isopropyl alcohol is extremely flammable).  Avoid contact with the eyes and mucus membranes.
  • Don't smoke while applying the alcohol.  You could catch on fire (again isopropyl alcohol is extremely flammable) .  
  • Be careful not to spray alcohol near your pet (who is frequently at your feet when you are trying to do this). You do not want to get any in his/her eyes.

Medical Disclaimer: Please be advised that information provided on this site is for educational use only and is not intended as medical advice. If you have any serious health concerns, you should always seek the advice of your health care practitioner before self administering remedies. The statements in regard to the information or products found on this site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The information found on this site are not intended to treat, cure or, or diagnose any medical condition.


Regimen: Underarm Odor 

Note the section below covers IPA. The same procedure is used for hydrogen peroxide or coconut oil (except only a small amount needs to rubbed into the skin - remember that this is an oil and may stain clothes if you apply too much!).

Liberally spray or apply isopropyl alcohol with a cotton swab to your underarm area.  Gently rub the alcohol (mechanical action) into your skin for at least 15 seconds.  I personally use a rotating arm movement after spraying to accomplish this. Remember that mechanical action is necessary for full efficiency of isopropyl alcohol.  The alcohol alone will not kill as much of the bacteria.  

For two weeks, repeat this process three times per day, once in the morning, once mid-day (especially after working out or any activity which causes you to sweat vigorously),  and once at night before bed.  Remember, it may take the full two weeks before your body has adjusted to the alcohol use, your bodies natural flora (bacteria) balance is reestablished, and for the odor to vanish.  

Optional but highly recommended: Since this regimen kills bacteria, you may need to re-inoculate the bacteria on your skin. If you are married or have a partner or wonderful friend that DOES NOT HAVE underarm odor, swab or wipe his/her underarms and then wipe your own to transfer the beneficial non-odor causing bacteria to yourself. Be absolutely certain that this individual does not need to use deodorant and had not odor problems, otherwise you will transfer their odor causing bacteria to yourself.

After the two week regimen, your order should be gone. You can throw away your deodorant sticks and sprays forever!  If it is not, please refer to the frequently asked questions section of this site. It is now time to transition off the alcohol.  Apply once in the morning for an additional week. then further reduce your treatments. Let your body tell you what it needs.  In general, I would recommend that you use this treatment 3 to 4 times a week.   

Please note that everyone's body chemistry and bacterial flora is different.  If you find that your odor returns by the end of the day, you may need to stay on a stricter regimen (two or three times a day) for a longer period.

Helpful Hints:

  • Apply the alcohol while standing on a rug. Isopropyl alcohol may damage certain floor finishes- especially hardwood floors. 
  • Buy a spray bottle and fill it with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol from the store. I have found it much easier to spray alcohol on rather than wipe it on. Obviously, you must avoid spraying the alcohol into your face or eyes!
  • During your treatment phase, only wear a shirt or t-shirt once. Don't wear it again until after it is washed.  Bacteria on these clothes will continually "re-infect" you, if you wear them more than once. After your treatment- don't worry!

Please refer to my Frequently Asked Questions for further helpful hints.  This area provides detailed answers to the most commonly asked questions over many many years.


Regimen: Foot Odor 

Just like underarm odor, foot odor is caused by the gaseous byproducts of bacterial decomposition.  Foot odor can be treated in much the same way as underarm odor.  Foot odor may be more difficult to treat however because of an added variable- smelly sneakers and shoes!  As you surely would agree, the shoes that you wear are a source of odor.  Even if you put your freshly washed feet into your shoes, they will come out smelly. The solution is, of course, to treat your shoes and feet at the same time.  

What we found was that the same liquid (70% isopropyl alcohol) which is best to treat underarm odor is best to treat foot odor.

You must treat your shoes and feet together, otherwise, one will always contaminate the other.  Just like eliminating underarm odor, it takes about two weeks.

Buy a spray bottle and fill it with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol from the store.  Liberally spray your feet, especially in between your toes, with the rubbing alcohol.   At this point, you do not need to rub it in if you are putting on socks and shoes.  Put on your socks while your feet are still damp.  If you don't like the idea of having damp feet, then you must rub the alcohol into your skin (and in between your toes) before putting on your socks and shoes. 

Liberally spray the insides of your shoes with the rubbing alcohol and put your shoes on.  Remember that as its name implies, rubbing alcohol is most effective when it is rubbed.  In this case, the act of walking serves to rub the alcohol on the bacteria laden surfaces.  Repeat this process whenever you put on your shoes.  

Optional but highly recommended:  Since this regimen kills bacteria, you may need to re-inoculate the bacteria on your skin. If you are married or have a partner or wonderful friend that DOES NOT HAVE foot odor, swab or wipe his/her feet and then wipe your own to transfer the beneficial non-odor causing bacteria to yourself. Be absolutely certain that this individual does not have any problems with foot or shoe odor, otherwise you will transfer their odor causing bacteria to yourself.

You will find that after about two weeks your feet and shoes will not smell.  I don't have a specific maintenance regimen for foot odor.  It seems that the odor will stay away for extended periods (months to years) once the odor is eliminated.  I think to stay on the safe side, treatment every one to two weeks can be recommended. 

Helpful Hints:

  • When applying alcohol to your feet, be sure you're standing on a surface that will not be damaged by the Isopropyl alcohol.  Avoid standing on hardwood floors. 
  • I have found that spraying my shoes at night before I go to bed really helps those really tough cases.
  • While rubbing alcohol can dry out your skin, the skin on your feet will usually not dry out.  You may use a moisturizer if you experience dryness.
  • Take extra care when applying alcohol to your fine leather shoes. Avoid getting the alcohol on the outside of the shoe as it may leave a small stain.  Try to apply the alcohol liberally to the inside of the shoes so that you will get the best results. 

Please refer to my Frequently Asked Questions for further helpful hints.  This area provides detailed answers to the most commonly asked questions over many many years.


Frequently Asked Questions (this is for IPA and has not been updated for hydrogen peroxide or coconut oil):

1.  I cannot find isopropyl alcohol in my country.

2.  Can I wear deodorant or antiperspirant during the regimen?

3.  How much alcohol should I use?

4.  What if the odor is from my groin?

5.  I have tried alcohol before and it did not work for me.

6.  What can I do for my clothing? I cannot get the odor or a yellow stains.

7.  Is Isopropyl Alcohol safe?

8.  Can I use Isopropyl Alcohol if I am pregnant?

9.  Will the regimen control my excessive sweating?

10. Why do I only have odor problems when I'm around people?

11. What is the best method of application?

12. What if I use the alcohol and still have odor problems?

1. I cannot find isopropyl alcohol in my country.

IPA is most often found with first aide supplies.  It is commonly used to clean minor wounds. In some countries, isopropyl alcohol is referred to as "surgical spirits" or "surgical spirits of alcohol". 

In some locations only 90% or 100% concentrations are sold. The effective range of IPA is 60% to 80%.  Just add water to dilute your IPA into this range

<<Back to FAQ question list

2. Can I wear deodorant or antiperspirant during the regimen?

Yes deodorant and/or antiperspirant can be used HOWEVER, the first thing that I recommend for those whom the regimen is not working for is that they completely STOP using all deodorant and antiperspirant. These products clog the pores and do not allow the alcohol to destroy the bacteria in them. Thus, these products can provide a safe-harbor for odor causing bacteria to grow.
 
What I would say is that if you must use these products, that you only apply them AFTER using the alcohol (i.e., after the alcohol has dried). If you can refrain from them, you may be odor free more quickly.  If the regimen is not working, you must stop using these products.
 
Most people, actually, are successful with the regimen while still using deodorants and antiperspirants; however, others report that they are not able to get rid of their odor until they stop using these products.

<<Back to FAQ question list

3. How much alcohol should I use?

You want to use enough alcohol to thoroughly wet your underarms and the area immediately surrounding your underarms.  It should, however, completely evaporate within 20 seconds.

You need to stay on the regimen for 2 weeks (3 times a day) and then transition off of it applying once a day until you find that you no longer need to apply anything.

<<Back to FAQ question list

4. What if the odor is from my groin?

Yes, my regimen is definitely for certain odors of the male or female genital area- for odor originating on the EXTERNAL skin. The same specialized type of nutrient-rich sweat glands that feed the bacteria under the arms and on the feet are also found in the creases of the legs.  Also, clothing around this area causes these odors to be more severe due to heat buildup and moisture retention just as is the case with the underarms and feet.
 
The regimen is the same for this area as for the underarm area.  Special care must be take to avoid the mucus membranes (e.g. any openings) when applying alcohol in this area. I avoided talking about groin odor on my website because I did not want people is mistakenly purchase the regimen if their source of odor was internally generated. 

<<Back to FAQ question list

5. I have tried alcohol before and it did not work for me.

Yes, many people have tried alcohol and were not successful. It is not the alcohol itself that leads to the cure but the alcohol AND the regimen. Both are essential to treating odor problems. Remember, getting rid of odor is not about killing bacteria, but about normalizing the ratio of odor-causing and non odor-causing bacteria on the skin.  Many agents can be used besides IPA.  IPA is just the least expensive. 
 
About 90% of the people who reported to me that they have tried alcohol and were willing to try the regimen reported that their odor disappeared!
 
Please let me know if you still want your money back without trying the regimen.  You can still request a refund at any time.

<<Back to FAQ question list

6. What can I do for my clothing? I cannot get the odor or yellow stains.

Many of my customers cannot get the odor/stains out of their clothes.  The best method that I have found is to pretreat the areas with white vinegar  before washing and then wash using bleach or color safe bleach and detergent. White vinegar is actually mild acetic acid which will dissolve and dislodge the organic matter in clothing with cause the yellow stain and provide food for odor causing bacteria.

<<Back to FAQ question list

7. Is Isopropyl Alcohol safe?

Yes, IPA alcohol is safe. Below are non-technical and more technical facts about IPA.

NON-TECHNICAL:

Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) is found in various cosmetics, hair sprays, the majority of household aerosols, virtually all aerosol products intended to be sprayed in the facial area, and in all hospitals. It is sold without any restrictions or limitations within the United States. 
 
Isopropyl alcohol naturally occurs as a plant volatile and is released during the microbial degradation of animal waste.
 
Isopropyl alcohol has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine and is considered a beneficial active ingredient.
  
TECHNICAL:
Isopropyl alcohol is not listed under USEPA (United Stated Environmental Protection Agency) not IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) as a cancer causing or POTENTIAL carcinogen agent.
 
Isopropyl alcohol is not listed under California's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65) as a carcinogen or reproductive toxicant.
 
Chronic effects of exposure to isopropyl alcohol have not been reported in humans, except for rare instances of eczema and skin sensitization [Sax and Lewis 1989].
 
Isopropyl alcohol is not banned by the Montreal protocol  as an ozone depleting substance.
  
PERSONAL:
I am a biologist who formerly consulted for pharmaceutical companies and know first hand of the extensive requirements for drug approval including safety and adequate warning labeling. The FDA has approved the use of IPA for non-prescription topical use- as a massaging agent and even application to wounds. They have not found any evidence harmful effects of topical use (there are harmful effects for CONCENTRATED inhalation and ingestion).  They would not allow these indicated uses if there were significant absorption through the skin or latent effects (e.g., cancer) if there was any credible scientific evidence that its use was harmful over a short or long period of time.

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8. Can I use Isopropyl Alcohol if I am pregnant?

While I have never seen an indication against using IPA if pregnant or breast feeding, I always prefer to be cautious. My recommendation is that you wait until have given birth and are done breast feeding (if, applicable) before using the regimen.  If your odor started after you became pregnant, it may disappear once you have given birth.

<<Back to FAQ question list

9. Will the regimen control my excessive sweating?

My regimen will not control sweating but will keep the sweat from developing an odor (sweat is basically odorless when it first leaves your body).

Personally, I wear clothes that don't show the wetness and avoid wearing
coats or jackets that I have to take off as these items make me sweat and prevent the sweat from my clothes from evaporating. Most customers report that their
sweating decreases when they no longer have an odor problem since a portion
of the sweating is anxiety/fear related.

10. Why do I only have odor problems when I'm around people?

Your skin has two types of sweat glands: eccrine glands and apocrine glands.  While sweat from eccrine glands does result in odor, apocrine glands are more highly linked to consistent odor problems.  Sweat from eccrine glands is composed of mostly salt and water, however, sweat from apocrine contains a fatty substance which is a perfect food source for odor causing bacteria. Apocrine glands are found in high concentrations in areas with a lot a hair such as the underarms and genital area- even the head, and for some men, the chest and back.

Now to the point- Among other stimuli, Apocrine glands secrete their fatty sweat in response to emotional stress.  This is why once an odor problem is noticed, the fear of having odor is a contributor to actually having odor and why many develop odor during social gatherings or any other activity they find stressful such as driving a car.  Some doctors prescribe anti-anxiety medications to control odor for this reason.  The good news is that my regimen does control both types of odor.

<<Back to FAQ question list

11. What is the best method of application?

The best method to apply is to pour the alcohol in a spray bottle.  Then rub the upper inside part of your bicep gently back-and-forth against the side our your body to create the necessary mechanical rubbing action for maximum effectiveness of the rubbing alcohol. This serves to sanitize both the underarm and the upper arm which can re-infect the underarm area. In practice this resembles a slow exaggerated running motion. This method is just easier and less messy that trying to use a cotton swab, a cloth or your hand.

<<Back to FAQ question list

12. What if I use the alcohol and still have odor problems?

First, please remember that it takes 2 weeks for the regimen to become effective and that you must perform the regimen faithfully without exception. Your odor may come and go during this time. This regimen works on approximately 90% of the people with moderate to severe odor problems. I have had GREAT success on the remaining 10% with an adapted, more aggressive regimen.  Results are after 1 week. If you are still having odor problems after 2 weeks on my regimen please see my hard-case regimen for underarm odor and then for foot odor below:

Underarm Odor:

Odor which originates internally (this is not very common) is characterized by odor which seems to come from the entire body including the head, back and chest.  My regimen will NOT help this since it is NOT caused by bacteria.  The odor comes from inside the body and is excreted through the pores. The cause is difficult to determine, even by a doctor. Causes range from the  foods you eat,  digestive disorders and metabolic disorders. You may want to see a doctor to determine what may be causing your odor if this describes you.

Note 1: This regimen is more aggressive than the first. If your skin has become irritated, stop and allow it to recover for a couple of days. If, at any time, your skin become irritated during this new more aggressive regimen, stop. As always, please all warning labels on the alcohol bottle.

 

Again, just adopt those items you currently not doing. Follow for one week.

 

1. STOP applying deodorant, antiperspirant or lotion to your underarms! I must stress this, as many people have reported that as soon as they stopped using these products that their odor immediately went away. These products clog the pores and prevent the alcohol from destroying the bacteria in the pores. Moreover, they provide a nice protected environment for the bacteria to grow.

 

2. You must change your shirt and apply alcohol as soon as possible after noticing odor. Do not put this shirt back on until after it is washed.
TRICK 1: If you cannot get the odor out of your clothing, wet the area (or soak it) in white vinegar first before washing. The vinegar breaks down the organic substances causing the odor.
TRICK 2: The easiest method to change your shirt so that no one notices that you have changed your clothing is to wear an undershirt or some sort of light (in weight) clothing underneath your outer clothing. You only need to change the clothing touching your skin.

 

3. This is important>> Prepare a mixture of baking soda and alcohol. The consistency should be like a paste. Coat your underarms (or feet) with the paste and allow to sit for 3 to 4 minutes before wiping or washing off. Do this once a day or if your skin is not at all irritated twice a day.  I know that this is a bit odd, but for some of my hardest case clients where nothing seemed to work, this finally cured their odor problem. Make sure that you try this.

 

4. Be careful of your jackets, coats or sweaters. These may be a source of contamination since these items are not frequently washed. Spray the inside underarms with alcohol or rub on with a cloth or cotton ball.

 

5. One last note. When you apply the alcohol. Make sure that you apply it liberally.  The best method to apply the alcohol is to pour the alcohol in a spray bottle.  Then rub the upper inside part of your bicep gently back-and-forth against the side our your body to create the necessary mechanical rubbing action for maximum effectiveness of the rubbing alcohol. This serves to sanitize both the underarm and the upper arm which can re-infect the underarm area. In practice this resembles a slow exaggerated running motion. This method is just easier and less messy that trying to use a cotton swab, a cloth or your hand.

Foot Odor:

For 1 week:

1)  First scrub under your toe nails and in between your toes to remove as  much dead skin as possible (don't scrub so hard that your feet are irritated  though). Make a mixture of alcohol and baking soda so that its like a paste.

Coat your feet and allow it to sit on your feet for about 3-4 minutes.
Perform daily and continue the routine with rubbing alcohol as normal.

2)  Try sticking to wearing one pair of shoes during this time (I know this  can be incredibly hard for women ;)  so that we can determine whether it is  the feet or the shoes that we need to work on.

3) Only wear your new shoes with clean, washed socks (washed in bleach or color safe bleach).  Never wear a pair of socks more than once without  washing.

4) Spray the inside of your shoes when you take them off for the day.

<<Back to FAQ question list

I hope this information liberates you from your foot and underarm odor problems.  When you are successful, we'd like to hear from you! Good Luck!

Richard


  

Medical Disclaimer: Please be advised that information provided on this site is for educational use only and is not intended as medical advice. If you have any serious health concerns, you should always seek the advice of your health care practitioner before self administering remedies. The statements in regard to the information or products found on this site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The information found on this site are not intended to treat, cure or, or diagnose any medical condition.

 


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