1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. Frank68

    Frank68 Registered User

    Jan 28, 2013
    76
    South Coast
    Hi,
    My wife, who was diagnosed some years ago, has developed pretty bad under-arm body odour - from which she never really previously suffered.
    She showers every other day and has a thorough wash on the in-between days.
    I have tried a variety of deodorants - Sure, Mumm, Co-op Mens, Dove etc, but nothing seems to prevent the BO which is quire noticeable by bed-time.
    Although only a minor irritant (compared to all the rest of this nightmare!) it is still annoying as it means she has to change her clothes and nighties more often. More laundry = ugh.
    Just wondering if anyone else may have come across this and what might the causes be? I have thought of: Medication? (- she's on Donepezil and some BP meds.) Lack of water drinking? Not realising she is hot and needs to take a jumper off? (She often does seem hot compared to me and I wonder if some temperature control in the body is affected??)
    Any ideas welcome!
     
  2. Gigglemore

    Gigglemore Registered User

    Oct 18, 2013
    526
    British Isles
    Just a thought - if she tends to wear fabric like acrylic or nylon mixes next to her skin it might be making the problem worse. If so, perhaps you could try getting a few cotton tops for summer.

    Good luck.
     
  3. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    6,968
    Brixham Devon
    Sometimes brain damage can occur in the part that controls temperature-this happened to my late Husband and there was no way he could control his own temperature. However, unlike your wife Frank, Pete had no odour at all-even though he had to stop using deodorants because it made his asthma worse. As Gigglemore suggests it is better to use natural 'breathable' fabrics. That includes cotton underwear/nighties.

    Take care

    Lyn T
     
  4. Essie

    Essie Registered User

    Feb 11, 2015
    566
    Hi Frank, you could try one of the 'natural' deodorants available - they sell them in Boots/Superdrug etc and Holland & Barrett - there are various makes - Pitrok is one - they do now do a spray version but the original version is a sort of solid stick that you rub under arm - the minerals in the stick neutralise the bacteria in the sweat that cause odour. It really does work and as it doesn't actually stop you sweating it might be better as it won't make your wife more overheated.

    A more drastic option if she is suffering from excessive sweating would be to disable the sweat glands which can be done with an injection of Botox (I believe) not sure you'd get it on the NHS or that it would be OK with someone on medication or how able your wife would be to participate in something like that but it's an option.
     
  5. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    9,534
    North East England
    Hi Frank - as a family we find that Mitchum is the best over-the-counter deodorant/anti-perspirant to buy. It comes in men's, women's and unperfumed scents, and we find the roll-on is the best, although there are solid blocks, gels and sprays too in the range.

    Sorry to just suggest another brand but I can't add anything else to what the other posters have suggested, so thought I'd mention Mitchum. Of course you may have already tried it, or you may try it and it not work.

    Mind you, I think you can get stronger ones on prescription - not sure of my facts there though.
     
  6. Frank68

    Frank68 Registered User

    Jan 28, 2013
    76
    South Coast
    Thanks for ideas

    Hi,
    Re fabrics - she always wears cotton nighties and clothing.
    But you have given me a few ideas to try Guys.
    Thanks so much - Bless you.
    Frank
     
  7. Leswi

    Leswi Registered User

    Jul 13, 2014
    120
    Bedfordshire
    Can you be sure she is actually washing underarms properly and using the deodorant? She might just be going through the motions in the shower? I know that's what happened with mum and she put smelly clothes away to put on again so was starting off smelly, but took some time for me to realise.
     
  8. pamann

    pamann Registered User

    Oct 28, 2013
    2,635
    Kent
    Hello l have had a problem with swearing underarms, always used Sure or Dove, it could be e tra stress with hubby, but have just been advised to use Mitchum, which sounds good.
     
  9. pamann

    pamann Registered User

    Oct 28, 2013
    2,635
    Kent
    Sorry not swearing but sweating!!!!☺
     
  10. Frank68

    Frank68 Registered User

    Jan 28, 2013
    76
    South Coast
    Thanks for that Leswi - yes, cursory washing is a problem I am sure. Yesterday I washed under her arms using anti-bac soap - it took two thorough soakings to get the BO away!
    It is all enough for me to take up Pamanns approach and try swearing!! Actually have tried that, but it didn't work… If I get agitated it only makes her more confused but sometimes I cannot help it I have to say.
    Thanks agin folks.
    Frank
     
  11. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    16,110
    Toronto, Canada
    That's what I thought of right away. You might want to start coaching her through washing or even do it yourself as you did.
     
  12. Skyrim

    Skyrim Registered User

    Jun 19, 2015
    37
    You could also try changing your washing cycle. If you are doing a low temperature wash it may not blitz the BO-d area and the sweaty smell reappears as it warms up because the clothing hasn't been washed as well as you think. I tend to use a sterilising solution to soak some of my carees clthing, then wash at a minimum of 40 degrees. Higher temperatures are still the norm for "sluice washes" in care homes and I would look to develop a system that suits your wife's skin and garments. If that doesn't help, look for a good but gentle anti perspirant and get a meds check as suggested.
     
  13. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,783
    Salford
  14. Not so Rosy

    Not so Rosy Registered User

    Nov 30, 2013
    580
    Another vote for Mitchum here !
     
  15. Frank68

    Frank68 Registered User

    Jan 28, 2013
    76
    South Coast
    Thanks everyone..

    Hi,

    Just thought that you would like to know that things are a bit better on the BO front. Cursory washing was definitely a part of the problem - she tends to go at certain tasks including showering like a whirlwind! I now thoroughly wash her armpits with antibac soap before she gets in the shower - on non-shower days I ensure they are well rinsed as well.
    On the deodorant front I am using a combination of CRYSTAL stick (applied on wet skin) and a top coat of the latest Mitchum spray. (ALL NB: Mitchum is on offer at Lloyds on-line chemist at just £1 - if you have a branch nearby you can Click and Collect so no delivery charge. It is normally £3, though on offer at Superdrug for £1.50.)
    A sniff-test at bedtime reveals whether anything extra needed - but problem is certainly diminished.
    Our super Carer also recommended drinking more water, so that may have helped too.
    Through all this my dear wife has just grinned and allowed me to change routines and do this washing for her. A new emotional mountain for me though I must admit……
     
  16. Essie

    Essie Registered User

    Feb 11, 2015
    566
    Thanks for the update Frank - I often wonder how something has worked out, good to know and good to have a positive update although I feel for you with the 'emotional mountain' - I think it is beyond the capability of words to truly describe those feelings......

    To finish on a practical level I have recommended on other threads Dettol Laundry Liquid - it is really good at getting rid of nasty niffs on clothing/bedding etc. and it works at low temps if you don't want to keep, or just can't, wash things at high temps. Worth considering to keep clothes etc. smelling really fresh.
     
  17. mad_geordie

    mad_geordie Registered User

    Nov 5, 2008
    83
    Newcastle
    My hubby was suffering with this too for a while. The smell was horrendous on his clothes.

    I had tried many products to no avail, then asked my local chemist. They recommended Driclor. it is a bit expensive for a rollon but it started working immediately. Now we only use it twice a week and normal products in between.

    x
     
  18. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,497
    Female
    Near Southampton
    This is strange as I've always undertsood that elderly people do not suffer from BO as they don't perspire as younger people do. I certainly don't and my husband, even when avoiding showers as often as he could, never once smelled of BO and nor did his clothes. Not in the NH either.
    Perhaps medication has something to do with it - or that we are all different!
     
  19. mad_geordie

    mad_geordie Registered User

    Nov 5, 2008
    83
    Newcastle
    In our case hubby is only 55 yrs old. Dx was 4 yrs ago

    x
     

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