Medically reregarded by Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT — Written by Lois Zoppi on April 28, 2021

Sweat have the right to smell prefer vinegar bereason of conditions such as diabetes, trichomycosis, and also kidney illness, or bereason of hormone changes, certain foods, or skin infections.

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Sweat is released by sweat glands that are discovered throughout the body. These are the eccrine, apocrine, and also apoeccrine glands.

Eccrine glands are uncovered throughout the whole body and produce the many sweat. Sweat from eccrine glands primarily does not smell.

Apocrine glands are discovered in the breasts, face, scalp, perineum, and the underarms. They produce much less sweat than eccrine glands and open onto hair follicles rather than the skin. Sweat from apocrine glands can smell.

Apoeccrine glands are found in the underarms. The glands release sweat in the develop of salt water.

Sweat helps the body continue to be cool by carrying warmth from the body to the water in sweat on the skin. Heat then evaporates from the sweat and also cools the body. Sweat likewise naturally moisturizes the skin and protects it versus infection.

Sweat is largely water and sodium chloride, but additionally has tiny amounts of potassium, calcium, ammonia, urea, lactate, and ethanol. When sweat mixes through bacteria on the skin, it deserve to create a smell, which may smell like vinegar.

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Possible cause of a vinegar odor in sweat might include:

Kidney disease

A readjust in body odor deserve to be a sign of kidney illness. In kidney condition, the kidneys may not have the ability to break down urea, which the body excretes with urine or sweat. This can have actually a vinegar-choose smell.

According to The National Kidney Foundation, over 37 million Amerihave the right to adults have kidney condition.


Diabetes is a condition that causes high blood sugar levels.

If a perkid does not control their diabetes, they can enter diabetic ketoacidosis. This is when the body burns fat as well conveniently for energy if the cells cannot gain sufficient glucose to usage.

When the body burns fat, it produces ketones, which make the blood more acidic. Metabolites such as acetone are additionally released right into the sweat, which have the right to smell choose vinegar.


Trichomycosis, also dubbed trichobacteriosis or trichomycosis axillaris, is a bacterial infection in underarm hair or various other areas brought about by the bacteria Corynebacterium.

A 2013 research discovered that 92% of trichomycosis cases impacted the underarm hair. In rarer instances, trichomycosis have the right to affect the pubic hair.

A person may have yellow, babsence, or red nodules that stick to the hairs under the arms or about the genitals and also buttocks.

The 2013 study discovered that 35.7% of cases had odor as a symptom of trichomycosis. A person’s sweat may smell acidic prefer vinegar, or be dark in color.


A perkid with hyperhidrosis will sweat excessively from the eccrine glands. A 2016 research estimated that nearly 5% of Americans have actually hyperhidrosis.

Tbelow are 2 kinds of hyperhidrosis, major focal hyperhidrosis and also additional hyperhidrosis.

Key focal hyperhidrosis does not start from an additional health problem or medication. Focal means that the sweating affects multiple areas of the body. This can include the underarms, hands, feet, and also forehead.

Secondary hyperhidrosis suggests that the reason of a person’s too much sweating is an underlying wellness condition or is a side effect of medication.

When sweat mixes through bacteria on the skin, a person may notification it smells choose vinegar.


Trimethylaminuria is a rare condition. A perboy via trimethylaminuria may alert their sweat has an unpleasant smell. This is bereason the body is unable to break dvery own the chemical trimethylamine, which has a fish-prefer scent.

This have the right to also reason urine or the breath to smell.

Other feasible causes for sweat odor might include:


The body supplies power to digest food. This ca rise body temperature, which might cause sweating.

A 2000 examine found that the body uses more energy when digesting animal protein, such as pork, than plant proteins, such as soy. This might indicate that eating meat may make a perkid sweat even more, which might create body odors.

Furthermore, a tiny 2006 research discovered that eating red meat had an unfavorable effect on body odor, via participants rating the body odor of meat eaters as much less attractive than those that ate a plant-based diet for 2 weeks.


A perchild may experience body odor after consuming dairy if they have actually a metabolic disorder. If the body cannot break dvery own trimethylamine, sweat have the right to smell favor fish or vinegar.

Spices and also seasonings

When a perchild eats garlic, cumin, or curry, the body produces sulfur-favor compounds that deserve to react through sweat and develop odor.


Stress can cause body temperature to climb, which can activate the sweat glands.

According to the International Hyperhidrosis Society, the apocrine glands create the the majority of stress-induced sweat. Sweat from the apocrine glands has actually a more powerful smell than from the eccrine glands, and also so a perchild may alert their sweat smells more powerful if they are stressed.


As hormones change throughout puberty, menopausage, pregnancy, menstruation, and also older age, sweat can smell different.

This is because hormones deserve to make a perboy sweat more. For instance, decreasing estrogen levels in the time of menopause might rise body temperature, which have the right to cause sweating.

People can try the following to proccasion sweat odor:

Deodorants and also antiperspirants

Deodorants have the right to mask body odors and aid cover up sweat that smells favor vinegar.

Antiperspirants help keep the skin dry by blocking the sweat glands. By using antiperspirants, a person can minimize the amount that sweat mixes through bacteria on the skin and alleviate the danger of odors.

Changing clothes

Changing garments even more commonly have the right to manage the amount of moisture that comes in contact with the skin. This have the right to soptimal sweat from drying on the skin, mixing via bacteria, and also developing odors.


A perkid deserve to wash with antibacterial soap to mitigate the amount of bacteria that may mix via sweat and reason odors. A perkid might likewise be able to alleviate their risk of fungal skin infections by washing generally.

Drinking even more water

Staying hydrated deserve to dilute sweat and make odors much less noticeable.


A person’s diet have the right to affect the smell of their sweat. If a perboy notices that eating specific spices, seasonings, or foods items renders their sweat smell like vinegar, they deserve to try reducing the amount of those foodstuffs they eat, or removing them from their diet completely.

Reducing stress

Stress deserve to cause a rise in sweating. By reducing the stressors in their life, a person may have the ability to additionally alleviate the amount they sweat and any type of odors that take place because of sweating.

If a perkid notices their sweat smells like vinegar, they have to look out for other symptoms of underlying conditions.

For example, various other symptoms of diabetes, in addition to a change in body odor, include:

nausea and also vomitingbreathing difficultiesconfusionfruity odor on breath, sweat, or urine

Other symptoms of kidney condition include:

fatiguesleep problemsdry, itchy skinregular urinationpuffy eyes

If a person establishes a rash, indicators of infection, or experiences undefined weight loss or weight obtain, they need to contact a medical professional for advice.

The International Hyperhidrosis Society recommends:

keeping the skin drywashing regularly via antibacterial soaputilizing antiperspirant to minimize sweatingutilizing deodorants to cover up odors

However, tright here are other treatments that can help a person that is concerned around the smell of their sweat. They include:

Microwave thermolysis

Microwave thermolysis supplies microwave power to destroy the sweat glands and speak them from functioning.

A 2012 research concluded that microwave thermolysis is effective against too much sweating. Anvarious other 2013 examine in Eastern world discovered that microwave thermolysis was effective especially for sweat via bad odors.


A perkid deserve to obtain Botox injections to soptimal sweating. Botox is the name for botulinum toxin A, which stops the eccrine glands from releasing sweat. Treatment with Botox deserve to last for 6 to 9 months.

Research says that Botox injections have the right to alleviate sweating by 75%.

Prescription antiperspirants

A perkid can attempt prescription antiperspirants if over-the-counter antiperspirants are not working for them.

Prescription antiperspirants have the right to contain higher quantities of active ingredients such as metallic salts, consisting of aluminum chloride hexahydrate.

A perchild should apply prescription antiperspirants prior to bed and also follow a doctor’s instructions to proccasion skin irritation.


If a person’s sweat smells choose vinegar bereason of an infection such as trichomycosis, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics to fight the infection.

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A perboy might likewise attempt antifungal skin creams if too much sweating has actually caused a fungal skin infection, such as candidiasis.