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Why Do Watches Make Your Wrist Smell?

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Written by:

Jacky Chou

In this post, we’ll explore the science behind why watches make your wrist smell bad.

Why Do Watches Make Your Wrist Smell?

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The Science of Why Watches Make Your Wrist Smell

Watches are a common accessory for many people, but they can also cause an unpleasant smell on your wrist. The reason for this is because watches are made of materials that can trap sweat and bacteria. When these two things mix, they can create an unpleasant smell.

The Bacteria That Causes the Smell

The main culprit behind the wristwatch stink is a bacterium called Propionibacterium acnes. This bacterium is normally found on human skin, but it can overgrow in areas where the skin is irritated or where there’s a lot of sweat. That’s why the bacteria are often found in places like the armpits, groin, and buttocks.

P. acnes feeds on sebum, the oily substance that lubricates and waterproofs the skin. When P. acnes overgrows, it can produce an enzyme that breaks down sebum into propionic acid and other compounds that have a strong, unpleasant odor.

The same thing can happen on your wrist if you wear a watch or other piece of jewelry that rubs against your skin and causes irritation. The friction creates an ideal environment for P. acnes to thrive and produce smelly compounds.

The Sweat That Feeds the Bacteria

The sweat that feeds the bacteria is produced by two kinds of eccrine glands. The first are the large, Merocrine eccrine glands, which cover your entire body. They’re what make you sweat when you’re hot, and they produce a clear, odorless sweat. The second kind of eccrine gland is much smaller and is found only in your palms and soles. These Apocrine eccrine glands produce a thicker, milky sweat that has a bit of an odor to it.

How to Prevent Your Watch from Making Your Wrist Smell

Watches are a necessary part of many people’s lives, but they can also be the cause of an embarrassing problem – wrist smell. Wrist smell occurs when the natural oils from your skin mix with the metal of the watch case and band, and it can be tough to get rid of. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to prevent your watch from making your wrist smell.

Choose the Right Watch Material

The material of your watchband can also affect how much it contributes to wrist odor. Leather and metal bands are the most common choices, but there are a few others to consider as well.

Leather bands are classic, stylish, and comfortable, but they can also be a breeding ground for bacteria. If you have a leather watch band make sure to clean it regularly with soap and water. You may also want to consider using a leather conditioner to keep it from drying out and cracking.

Metal watch bands are less likely to harbor bacteria than leather, but they can still cause skin irritation. If you have metal allergies, you may want to avoid this type of band altogether. If not, make sure to choose a hypoallergenic material like stainless steel or titanium. You should also avoid wearing your watch too tightly to prevent the metal from irritating your skin.

Rubber or silicone watch bands are another good option for people with sensitive skin. These materials are non-porous, so they won’t absorb sweat or bacteria the way leather or fabric bands can. They’re also usually less expensive than other band materials.

If you’re looking for a more environmentally friendly option, there are now some brands that offer organic cotton watch bands. These are absorbent and breathable, so they’re ideal for people with sweaty wrists.

Keep Your Watch Clean

One of the best ways to keep your watch from making your wrist smell is to keep it clean. A build-up of sweat, skin oils, and dirt can all contribute to an unpleasant smell. Make sure to clean your watch regularly with a soft cloth. You may also want to use a mild soap if your watch is particularly dirty. Be sure to rinse the soap off completely and dry your watch thoroughly before putting it back on.

In addition to keeping the outside of your watch clean, it’s also important to keep the inside clean. If you have a waterproof watch, you can give it a good cleaning by submerging it in a bowl of water and adding a few drops of mild soap. Let the watch soak for a few minutes before rinsing it off and letting it air dry. If you have a non-waterproof watch, you can use a cotton swab dampened with rubbing alcohol to clean the interior.

Let Your Watch Breathe

One way to keep your wrist from smelling bad is to let your watch “breath.” When you wear a watch, it gets warm and traps sweat and bacteria against your skin. This is what causes the smell. If you take your watch off for a few hours every day, the sweat and bacteria will have a chance to dry before they have a chance to cause problems.

Jacky Chou

Jacky Chou is the co-founder of Uberwrists and has gotten into watches from his father from a young age. His first watch was a black G Shock that was comedically large for his wrist. He appreciates watches from Seiko to a Patek Philippe.

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