People seeking ways to rid themselves of the terrible odour from their armpits can now heave a sigh of relief, as researchers from Denmark have recently found that the inorganic compound, zinc oxide (ZnO), can help to fight armpit odour.
According to the lead researcher, Dr. Magnus Agren of the Copenhagen Wound Healing Centre at Bispebjerg Hospital, Denmark, ZnO is effective at reducing armpit odour by killing off Corynebacterium spp and Staphylococcus spp, the bacteria responsible for body odour, as well as assisting in wound healing.
The researchers explained that putting zinc oxide on open surgical wounds reduces bacteria and the bad smell it creates. They thought it might also make an effective deodorant.
“Even though it contained no fragrance like conventional deodorants, the participants could identify that it had neutralised any bad odour under the arm where it was applied,” Agren said.
In order to come to their conclusion, the researchers started a trial which include 30 healthy volunteers 15 female and 15 male of mean age of 25 to 26 years. The participants’ left and right armpits were randomised to ZnO application or placebo and treated for 13 consecutive days with 5 visits to the hospital.
The participants were enrolled, swabbed and started treatment on day 8; on day 1, bacterial swabs were obtained again and wounds were inflicted, and then the participants were seen on days 3, 4 and 5.
At the last visit day 5, the participants were asked whether they had observed a difference in the odour from the left and right armpit and, if so, should state which armpits they judged superior with respect to odour.
Compared with placebo, levels of odor-causing bacteria were significantly lower with zinc oxide, the findings showed. It also reduced the redness caused by the wounds and promoted healing, the investigators noted in a news release.
According to Professor Ågren, “The most frequent response we had from participants was where can I buy this fantastic product?”
Agren further added that the product has since been progressed to commercialisation by Colgate-Palmolive, who produced the product and sponsored the trial.