Medically reperceived by Deborah Weatherspoon, Ph.D., R.N., CRNA — Written by Lois Zoppi on May 27, 2021

Not all kinds of sweat have actually an odor. However, sometimes sweat deserve to smell prefer ammonia. This have the right to be as a result of a high protein diet, exercise, or health and wellness conditions such as kidney condition.

The function of sweat is to assist the body cool dvery own. Sweat droplets transport body warmth onto the surconfront of the skin, where they evapoprice. This have the right to make the skin feel cool and reduce a person’s body temperature.

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This short article defines why a person’s sweat may smell prefer ammonia and what therapy choices are obtainable.

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Sweat can act as a obstacle against bacteria on the skin, and also it can likewise moisturize the skin.

Sweat consists of water and sodium chloride, and also small amounts of:


A perboy may periodically be able to smell the ammonia content in their sweat.

Sweat glands all over the body release sweat. Tright here are 3 forms of sweat glands, which are dubbed the eccrine, apocrine, and also apoeccrine glands.

Eccrine glands are the a lot of abundant throughout the body. This form of sweat gland produces the a lot of sweat, however it does not have actually a smell.

Apocrine glands are discovered in certain areas of the body, such as the breasts, confront, scalp, perineum, and the underarms.

The apocrine glands develop sweat that comes through hair follicles rather than with the pores on the skin. Sweat from apocrine glands have the right to have an odor. It has high levels of lipids, and also sugars and also ammonia.

Apoeccrine glands are only located in the underarms. Apoeccrine glands release sweat onto the skin’s surconfront in the form of salt water.

Sweat from apoeccrine glands is not thshould aid control a person’s temperature as it cannot evaporate quickly from the underarms.

What is ammonia?

Ammonia (NH3) is a colormuch less gas that is a compound of nitrogen and also hydrogen. It has a solid odor that smells like urine or sweat.

Ammonia occurs naturally in water, soil, and also the air, and also is likewise uncovered normally in plants, pets, and also the huguy body.

The humale body renders ammonia when it breaks down protein into amino acids. The liver then converts ammonia into urea before it leaves the body via urine or sweat.

Tright here are many feasible reasons of sweat smelling like ammonia. These include:


A person’s diet deserve to make their sweat smell like ammonia.

A perboy who eats a diet high in protein yet low in carbohydrates might create ammonia that the body then releases in sweat.

The body commonly supplies carbohydrates for energy by converting them into glucose bereason carbohydprices are the fastest energy supply. However before, if tbelow aren’t enough carbohydprices, the body will use protein for energy.

Protein breaks dvery own into amino acids, which the body converts into ammonia. The body then releases this ammonia with urine and sweat, which may produce an odor.

Dehydration deserve to likewise make the sweat smell favor ammonia. This is because the body needs water to eliminate ammonia via sweat.

If tright here is not enough water to dilute the ammonia as it is released by the body, the smell of ammonia might be more powerful.


Some research study says exercise affects ammonia levels in sweat. A 2007 examine uncovered that ammonia levels in sweat raised as a perboy worked out even more strongly.

A 2005 examine found that while ammonia levels in sweat increased significantly in the time of exercise, ammonia levels in sweat reduced over the 24 hour period after exercise and continued to be low after 72 hours.

This argues a perboy might uncover their sweat smells the majority of strongly of ammonia during or just after exercise.

Health conditions

Certain health and wellness problems can cause a person’s body odor to change. They include:


Hyperhidrosis reasons excessive sweating from the eccrine glands. A 2016 research estimated 15.3 million human being in the United States live through hyperhidrosis.

There are two types of hyperhidrosis:

Primary focal hyperhidrosis: This kind of hyperhidrosis have the right to influence the underarms, hands, feet, and forehead. Primary focal hyperhidrosis is not as a result of an underlying health condition or a side impact from medication.Secondary hyperhidrosis: This form of hyperhidrosis is because of an underlying wellness problem or a side result of medication.

If a perchild sweats a lot, sweat might construct up on their skin and also communicate through bacteria. This can reason an odor to develop, which may smell prefer ammonia.

Kidney disease

Kidney disease deserve to cause a person’s body odor to readjust.

The kidneys are responsible for removing urea from the body. However, if the kidneys are not functioning effectively, urea might enter right into the bloodstream rather. This is dubbed uremia, and also is a severe symptom of kidney faiattract.

If a perchild has actually high levels of urea in their body, the body may release urea through sweat and also reason an odor.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, the main causes of kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure, which accounts for as much as 66% of situations.


A complication of diabetes is a condition referred to as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

DKA establishes as soon as the body burns fat for power if tbelow is not enough insulin to use glucose in the cells.

When the body burns fat for power, it produces ketones. A form of ketone called acetone deserve to make the breath smell fruity or adjust a person’s body odor.

If the level of ketones becomes too high, the blood can end up being as well acidic, which deserve to be life-threatening.

According to the American Diabetes Association, DKA is rare in people via kind 2 diabetes, however it can still construct in anyone.

DKA produces symptoms including:

constant urinationthirstvery dry mouthhigh blood sugar levelshigh ketone levels in urinevomitingTrichomycosis

Trichomycosis is a bacterial infection that affects the hair in the underarms. According to a 2013 research, it can impact pubic hair in rare instances.

The bacteria Corynebacterium reasons trichomycosis and produces yellow, black, or red nodules that stick to the hairs.

Odor was a symptom of trichomycosis in 35.7% of cases, according to the 2013 examine.


Trimethylaminuria is a rare condition. Increased levels of the compound trimethylamine (TMA) in the body reason trimethylaminuria. TMA has actually a fish-like smell. The body releases TMA through the urine, sweat, or breath.

Bacteria in the gut produces TMA. According to the National Institutes of Health, a person with trimethylaminuria may have actually inherited a faulty gene that indicates the body cannot break dvery own TMA properly.

Treatment deserve to include taking triggered charcoal supplements to assist remove excess TMA from the body. B12 supplements, antibiotics, and also probiotics might also help.

Meat consumption

Dietary selections may impact body odor, including whether human being eat meat or not.

An older examine from 2006 uncovered that participants on a meat diet had actually body odor which others viewed as less attractive than the body odor of participants on a non-meat diet.

Dairy consumption

In rare cases, eating eggs and also milk can cause a person’s sweat to smell various. This is bereason dairy assets create trimethylamine as soon as the body digests them, which has a strong, fishy smell.

A 2015 examine found that trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) levels enhanced after the participants ate dairy assets. Trimethylamine produces TMAO.

Although trimethylamine-N-oxide is odorless, if a perboy cannot digest trimethylamine effectively, the body may release it with sweat and cause body odor.

Spices and seasonings

Spices such as cumin or curry deserve to readjust a person’s sweat odor. This is bereason they have the right to produce sulfur-choose compounds when digested, which deserve to react with sweat and also cause odor.

Onions, herbs, and also garlic can additionally have the exact same effect.


A person may sweat because of tension. The International Hyperhidrosis Society states that the apocrine glands are responsible for producing stress-associated sweat.

Sweat from the apocrine glands is thicker and also includes more proteins and also lipids. When this kind of sweat sits on the skin and also mixes through bacteria, it can create a smell.


A person’s hormones might adjust throughout puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopausage.

Decreasing estrogen levels throughout menopause may cause sweating, which can increase odor if it mixes via bacteria on the skin.

People deserve to take a number of steps to prevent sweat smelling favor ammonia. These include:

Changing the diet

To proccasion the body from making use of protein as power after exercise, which may cause their sweat to smell like ammonia, a perchild can increase the amount of carbohydrates in their diet.

Whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and also beans are healthy and balanced resources of carbohydprices.

Additionally, if a person notices that certain foodstuffs, such as fish or dairy, make their sweat smell favor ammonia, they deserve to mitigate their intake of those foodstuffs or rerelocate them from their diet.

Drinking even more water

Increased water intake have the right to dilute sweat and also make its odor much less noticeable.

Deodorants and also anti-perspirants

A perkid have the right to usage deodorants to cover up the ammonia smell from sweat.

They have the right to additionally attempt antiperspirants, which block the sweat glands and also sheight sweating from happening. This deserve to mitigate the amount of sweat on the skin that mixes via bacteria and also produces odor.

Changing clothes

A perkid deserve to attempt changing their clothes more frequently to store their skin dry and also free of bacteria that can react with sweat and also reason odor.


Antibacterial soap have the right to fight bacteria on the skin. This will certainly keep the skin clean and also fight any odor from bacteria mixing via sweat.

Antifungal creams or powders have the right to likewise help a perkid reduce their danger of fungal infections.

Reducing stress

If a perkid notices they sweat even more with stress, they deserve to try evaluating the resources of stress in their life.

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If they are able to mitigate their anxiety levels, they might sweat less and also mitigate any kind of odors that were occurring bereason of their stress.