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Why Do My Fingers Smell Like Garlic?

Last Updated on April 27, 2023 by Lauren Beck

Garlic is a delicious ingredient in many dishes, but it can leave a lasting aroma on your hands that’s not always welcome. 

In this article, we’ll explore why your fingers smell like garlic and what you can do to get rid of the smell. We’ll also answer some common questions about garlic’s lingering aroma.

Why Do My Fingers Smell Like Garlic?

Garlic contains sulfur compounds that can be absorbed by your skin, leaving a strong and lasting odor on your hands. When you chop, mince, or crush garlic, these compounds are released and can quickly permeate your skin.

Ways To Remove Garlic Smell from Hands

Here are some effective ways to remove the garlic smell from your hands:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Rub your hands with salt, baking soda, or coffee grounds, then rinse with warm water.
  • Rub your hands with a slice of lemon, then rinse with warm water.
  • Use a stainless steel object, such as a spoon or soap, and rub it against your hands under running water.
  • Use a commercial odor-neutralizing soap or hand sanitizer.

Why Do My Hands Smell Like Garlic for Days?

If you’ve washed your hands several times and the garlic smell still persists, it may be because the sulfur compounds have penetrated deeper layers of your skin. This can happen if you handle a large amount of garlic or if you have particularly porous skin.

How Long Does Garlic Smell Last on Hands?

The length of time that the garlic smell lasts on your hands can vary depending on several factors, such as the amount of garlic you’ve handled and your skin type. 

Typically, the smell will start to fade after a few hours, but it may linger for up to 24 hours.

Why Do My Hands Smell Like Garlic for No Reason?

If your hands smell like garlic but you haven’t handled any garlic recently, it could be a sign of a medical condition. 

For example, trimethylaminuria [1] can cause a fishy odor to emanate from the body, including the hands. You should speak with a doctor if you’re concerned about persistent body odor.

Is It Bad if You Smell Like Garlic?

three garlic

Smelling like garlic is not harmful to your health, but it may be unpleasant for those around you. In some cases, it can also be a sign of poor hygiene, so it’s important to take steps to remove the odor from your hands.

Does Garlic Smell Come Out Pores?

Garlic odor can come out of your pores, especially if you’ve handled a lot of garlic or have particularly porous skin. This is because the sulfur compounds can be absorbed by your skin and released through your sweat glands.

Why Do My Fingers Still Smell Like Garlic After a Week?

If your fingers still smell like garlic after a week, it’s unlikely that the garlic odor is still lingering from the garlic you handled. Instead, it may be a sign of a medical condition or a hygiene issue, and you should speak with a doctor.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the sulfur compounds in garlic can leave a strong and lasting odor on your hands. Fortunately, there are several effective ways to remove the garlic smell, such as washing your hands with soap and water or using a lemon slice. If the garlic smell persists for an unusually long time, it may be a sign of a medical condition or a hygiene issue, and you should speak with a doctor. Regardless, it’s important to take steps to remove the odor from your hands, as it can be unpleasant for those around you.

Reference:

  1. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/trimethylaminuria/#:~:text=Trimethylaminuria%20(TMAU)%20is%20an%20uncommon,are%20things%20that%20can%20help.
Lauren Beck

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