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

Not all types of sweat have an odor. However before, occasionally sweat deserve to smell favor ammonia. This deserve to be because of a high protein diet, exercise, or health problems such as kidney condition.

The objective of sweat is to aid the body cool dvery own. Sweat droplets deliver body warm onto the surchallenge of the skin, where they evapoprice. This can make the skin feel cool and also minimize a person’s body temperature.

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This article defines why a person’s sweat might smell prefer ammonia and what treatment choices are accessible.

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Sweat can act as a barrier against bacteria on the skin, and it deserve to likewise moisturize the skin.

Sweat includes water and sodium chloride, and also tiny amounts of:


A perboy may periodically have the ability to smell the ammonia content in their sweat.

Sweat glands everywhere the body release sweat. Tright here are 3 kinds of sweat glands, which are dubbed the eccrine, apocrine, and apoeccrine glands.

Eccrine glands are the many abundant throughout the body. This kind of sweat gland also produces the most sweat, but it does not have a smell.

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

The apocrine glands produce sweat that comes through hair follicles rather than with the pores on the skin. Sweat from apocrine glands deserve to have an odor. It includes high levels of lipids, as well as sugars and ammonia.

Apoeccrine glands are only situated 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 help control a person’s temperature as it cannot evaporate easily from the underarms.

What is ammonia?

Ammonia (NH3) is a colorless gas that is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen. It has actually a solid odor that smells prefer urine or sweat.

Ammonia occurs normally in water, soil, and the air, and also is likewise discovered normally in plants, animals, and also the humale body.

The huguy body makes ammonia once it breaks dvery own protein right into amino acids. The liver then converts ammonia right into urea before it leaves the body with urine or sweat.

Tbelow are many kind of feasible causes of sweat smelling choose ammonia. These include:


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

A perkid that eats a diet high in protein however low in carbohydrates may develop ammonia that the body then releases in sweat.

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

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

Dehydration can additionally make the sweat smell favor ammonia. This is because the body requirements water to get rid of ammonia with sweat.

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


Some research argues exercise affects ammonia levels in sweat. A 2007 research uncovered that ammonia levels in sweat boosted as a perboy exercised more vigorously.

A 2005 examine uncovered that while ammonia levels in sweat enhanced considerably throughout exercise, ammonia levels in sweat decreased over the 24 hour period after exercise and also continued to be low after 72 hrs.

This suggests a perkid might find their sweat smells most strongly of ammonia throughout or just after exercise.

Health conditions

Certain wellness conditions deserve to cause a person’s body odor to readjust. They include:


Hyperhidrosis reasons excessive sweating from the eccrine glands. A 2016 study estimated 15.3 million people in the USA live through hyperhidrosis.

Tbelow are 2 types of hyperhidrosis:

Main focal hyperhidrosis: This type of hyperhidrosis can affect the underarms, hands, feet, and forehead. Main focal hyperhidrosis is not because of an underlying wellness problem or a side impact from medication.Secondary hyperhidrosis: This form of hyperhidrosis is due to an underlying health and wellness condition or a side result of medication.

If a person sweats a lot, sweat might build up on their skin and connect via bacteria. This have the right to cause an odor to construct, which might smell favor ammonia.

Kidney disease

Kidney illness have the right to cause a person’s body odor to change.

The kidneys are responsible for removing urea from the body. However, if the kidneys are not working appropriately, urea may enter into the bloodstream rather. This is called uremia, and also is a serious symptom of kidney faitempt.

If a perboy has actually high levels of urea in their body, the body may release urea via sweat and also cause an odor.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, the major causes of kidney disease are diabetes and also high blood press, which accounts for as much as 66% of instances.


A complication of diabetes is a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

DKA develops when the body burns fat for energy if there is not enough insulin to use glucose in the cells.

When the body burns fat for energy, it produces ketones. A form of ketone dubbed acetone can make the breath smell fruity or adjust a person’s body odor.

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

According to the Amerideserve to Diabetes Association, DKA is rare in civilization through form 2 diabetes, but it can still construct in anyone.

DKA produces symptoms including:

constant urinationthirstexceptionally 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 have the right to impact pubic hair in rare cases.

The bacteria Corynebacterium causes trichomycosis and also produces yellow, babsence, or red nodules that stick to the hairs.

Odor was a symptom of trichomycosis in 35.7% of situations, according to the 2013 research.


Trimethylaminuria is a rare problem. Increased levels of the compound trimethylamine (TMA) in the body reason trimethylaminuria. TMA has a fish-prefer 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 perkid through trimethylaminuria may have inherited a faulty gene that indicates the body cannot break down TMA appropriately.

Treatment can include taking set off charcoal supplements to aid rerelocate excess TMA from the body. B12 supplements, antibiotics, and also probiotics may also assist.

Meat consumption

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

An older research from 2006 found that participants on a meat diet had body odor which others regarded as less attrenergetic than the body odor of participants on a non-meat diet.

Dairy consumption

In rare instances, eating eggs and milk deserve to cause a person’s sweat to smell various. This is bereason dairy assets develop trimethylamine once the body digests them, which has actually a solid, fishy smell.

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

Although trimethylamine-N-oxide is odormuch less, if a perchild cannot digest trimethylamine appropriately, the body might release it through sweat and also reason body odor.

Spices and seasonings

Spices such as cumin or curry have the right to readjust a person’s sweat odor. This is bereason they can develop sulfur-like compounds once digested, which can react through sweat and also cause odor.

Onions, herbs, and garlic deserve to likewise have the same result.


A perboy may sweat due to stress. The Internationwide Hyperhidrosis Society states that the apocrine glands are responsible for creating stress-associated sweat.

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


A person’s hormones may change in the time of puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause.

Decreasing estrogen levels throughout menopause might reason sweating, which can increase odor if it mixes with bacteria on the skin.

People deserve to take a number of actions to proccasion sweat smelling like ammonia. These include:

Changing the diet

To prevent the body from using protein as energy after exercise, which may reason their sweat to smell choose ammonia, a perkid ca boost the amount of carbohydprices in their diet.

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

Additionally, if a perchild notices that particular foodstuffs, such as fish or dairy, make their sweat smell like ammonia, they deserve to alleviate their intake of those foods or rerelocate them from their diet.

Drinking even more water

Increased water intake can dilute sweat and make its odor less noticeable.

Deodorants and also anti-perspirants

A perboy can use deodorants to cover up the ammonia smell from sweat.

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

Changing clothes

A perchild can try changing their apparel more typically to store their skin dry and also complimentary of bacteria that have the right to react with sweat and reason odor.


Antibacterial soap can fight bacteria on the skin. This will store the skin clean and also fight any type of odor from bacteria mixing via sweat.

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

Reducing stress

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

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If they are able to mitigate their tension levels, they might sweat much less and mitigate any odors that were arising bereason of their anxiety.