Dermatology Community
53.6k Members
Avatar universal

Oily Skin Gives Off Odor


I have always had this issue since i was a teen. I have oily skin (scalp, face, arms, shoulders, chest, legs) and for some reason it gives off an odor, it's not B.O., it's kind of an oily odor. My issue is this odor gets into everything, clothes, bed, carpet and I can't get rid of the smell. I've used odor killers and carpet cleaners and nothing seems to work. It's embarassing when I have people over because of the smell. I even take 2 showers a day to try to get rid of the smell and a few hours later my skin is oily again and i can smell it. I don't know if anyone has the same issues I do, any advice would help. Thanks!
17 Responses
Avatar universal
the first step you should probably take is getting rid of the odor from yourself,
i would suggest finding a very strong soap that kills bacteria and also that might help dry out your skin, avoid oily soaps.. unscented soaps will help too.

and try an anti-dandruff shampoo.. look for things with sulfur and even tea tree oil.. they both act to dry out your scalp and to dandruff and itching..
the part you want is to dry out your scalp so that when you do start to produce oil, there's not already a buildup to start with.

take cool showers and never hot, that makes your skin sweat and become oily even when under water.

hope these suggestions help
good luck :)
Avatar universal
I have the same problem. It started with me about two to three years. It started with excessive sweating and then it started having an odor with it. The odor does get into everything. Its messed up my clothing, carpet, and bed sheets.

What i have found in my research, and it became apperent when i noticed that my sweat was more oily than water. Your body could be more acidic and producing more insulin than necessary. Which could lead to nutrients and vitamin deficencies. I started taking zinc and Magnesium, changed my diet to eat more vegetables, friuts, raw foods basicly; no processed food. I have also learn about eating gluten free foods. Bathing twice a day, three times if i have to or can. Use the strongest antibacterial soap/body wash. Wash cloth more often with baking soda. I talked to my doc about it but she just prescibe me medication for BP so i wouldn't sweat. I want to sweat, and the medication was not helping with the odor. Mayo clinic website have credible information. Health911.com has ample info as well. I condition has reduced and its not as worse as before. I notice heat i.e hot showers and being in the sun makes it worse. Taking cold showers helps you stay sweat free and oil free for a few hours after you take a shower. I hope this helps.
Avatar universal
I experience the same problem! My face gets extremely oily even when I first wake up and had a shower night before. It's an odd syrup/burning smell.  I can shower and still feel gross!  I experience extreme anxiety and don't want to go anywhere bc of this. I also get a horrible taste in my mouth..need help n advice asap
my symptoms are almost exactly the same. my family can't smell it but other people can. it's like a sweet/burnt smell and when I sweat i guess it mixes into another kind of horrible sweetish pungent smell. however I wouldn't consider my skin to be super oily...
Avatar universal
I've been having this for a few years now. Even when I just step out of the shower I still smell like sweaty feet, and it gets worst when I start to sweat. Sometimes it smells like wet socks, sometimes vomit and rancid cheese smell. and when my face gets oily when I rub the skin on my lower lip it really stinks. I dunno whst to do. help! Sometimes I isolate myself with other people and i don't hangout with my friends anymore. and sometimes i don't attend my classes. But when I ask my siblings they don't smell anything. Help! Please! and one more thing I could eat alot of food and still starve. and I have irregular bowel movement, maybe i only take a dump once per week and when I do, only little poop is coming out of me. help!
Constipation can cause body odor. I have ibs-d, the opposite problem, ibs + diarrhea. You might benefit from antibiotics. Get treatment for constipation, ask your doctor about foods that may help, insoluble fiber is good and get tested for sibo.  If you have an overgrowth of bad bacteria in your small intestine it could also cause odor and slow your gut.
Avatar universal
Angneedadvice i have the exact samr symptoms. Have you had any luck with what it is? My clothes always smell burnt also when out of the dryer. My clothes are the only ones that do that.
Avatar universal
I see many people have these symptoms but noone has figured it out yet. If anyone wants to email or something to see if we have the same stuff let me know
Have an Answer?
Top Dermatology Answerers
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Learn to identify and prevent bites from summer’s most common pests.
Doctors argue for legislation to curb this dangerous teen trend in the latest Missouri Medicine report.
10 ways to keep your skin healthy all winter long
How to get rid of lumpy fat on your arms, hips, thighs and bottom
Diet “do’s” and “don’ts” for healthy, radiant skin.
Images of rashes caused by common skin conditions