Rare genetic mutation only some people have means they never have to wear deodorant

People might start to smell a little ripe in summer heat - but some are immune to this
-Credit: (Image: Getty)


As the UK basks in soaring temperatures, many are battling the inevitable sweaty discomfort that comes with the heat. A bit more deodorant might be the quick fix for most to combat those smelly underarms, but there's a select few who hardly need it.

Dr Karan Rajan, an NHS surgeon with a following of 1.3 million on Instagram, has shed light on why some individuals naturally sweat less. In a recent video, he referred to this condition as the "world's most average superpower".

Dr Rajan shared: "About two percent of you watching this video probably have a glitchy ABCC11 gene and stink free armpits. That figure goes up to 90% if you're of east Asian descent.

"While the majority of us have a functioning ABCC11 gene, leading to body odour, those with a variant of this gene produce less of the fatty compounds or lipids in their sweat that bacteria on our skin feast on to create a stronger, oilier odour."

He continued: "But, a special few have a defective copy of these gene and less body odour which is why in many East Asian countries where there's no stink genotype that is highly prevalent, the deodorant section in supermarkets is likely to be far smaller than in the western world."

Curious about whether you carry this gene variant? Dr Rajan said you don't need to fork out for a genetic test or ditch your deodorant and see what happens to know for sure - the answer is inside your ears.

He said: "You don't need a genetic test or risk social exclusion by not wearing deodorant to determine if you have this gene mutation. You can find out by taking a quick look in your ear to check your ear wax type.

"If you stink, you'll probably have wet ear wax. But, if you're one of the chosen few, then your buy one get one free superpower is no only no body odour but also dry earwax."

While this mutation prevails among a significant number of East Asians, it's found in merely up to 3% of European and African populations. This was revealed by a study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology in 2010.

The research proposed that historically, carriers of this gene (those with lesser body odour) might have been preferred as sexual partners, causing an increase in population with the dysfunctional gene.