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A girl checking her underarms.

You might think that you are only supposed to sweat when you are hot, but once you hit puberty, you will also sweat when you are nervous. Your sweat glands (which make sweat) become more active during the teen years, causing both more sweat and also some smell. You actually have millions of sweat glands all over your body. Most are on the soles of the feet, the palms, forehead, cheeks, and in the armpits. Don’t panic, though. Sweat and smell are normal parts of becoming an adult. Sweating also does an important job — it helps to cool your body down when you are hot.

How to help keep sweat from smelling bad:

  • Shower or take a bath every day
  • Use a deodorant, which helps get rid of smells, or an antiperspirant, which decreases sweating, or a product that has both
  • Talk to your doctor if these things do not work or you are worried


Content last reviewed October 13, 2010
Page last updated October 31, 2013

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health.