Body odour is a sensitive issue and an embarrassing problem that affects many.
It has made many people lose wonderful opportunities on both the business and dating scenes.
No one wants to be associated with someone who has body odour. No matter how well you dress, if you have body odour, people will run away from you.
The human body has many parts and systems that are constantly at work and, in the process, waste by-products are produced. The digestive process results in waste, and our skin sweats to excrete such waste.
Three glands are responsible for body odour. The secretions of the apocrine glands (located in the underarms, genitals and around the nipples) and the eccrine glands (found mainly in the underarms, hands and feet) produce an odour when they interact with skin bacteria. Oil produced by the sebaceous glands (scalp, face and chest) has a light odour with or without bacteria.
Body odour often occurs when inadequate bathing or hygiene fail to properly clean up the ‘messes’ our bodies make. Sweat contains bacterial activity and allowing it to dry on the skin can produce body odour. But it can also result from systemic deficiencies within the body.
Although commercial chemicals and artificial-scent sprays may help to temporarily control body odour, they often don’t address the underlying cause.
Here are some ways to prevent body odour:
Wash regularly: Bathing at least twice a day can help limit the bacteria population on your skin, which is the source of most body odours. When you shower, focus on your underarms and your feet, as those are two of the biggest body odour areas. Dry your body well after washing since bacteria grow best on damp skin.
Shave regularly: A lot of hair under your arms can create a swampy environment for bacteria. Hair is porous, meaning it easily absorbs odours and can even slow the evaporation of sweat. Hair traps odourants, especially when it’s located in your armpits. Shave your underarms to stop body odour so the bacteria doesn’t get trapped in the hair.
Allow your feet to breath and change your stockings: A common misconception is body odour comes from the armpits, but one of the foulest odours actually come from your feet. Having your shoes on for a long time, especially in a hot climate, is one of the major causes of feet odour. You can take your shoes off for some fresh air when you have to sit for a very long time and your legs are hidden under the table.
Also learn to change your stockings just like your underwear. You can’t avoid having odour when you wear one pair of stockings for seven days.
Change Your Diet: Some foods and spices may cause bad odours to exude through your pores after you eat them. This includes onions and garlic, as well as caffeinated drinks. Changing your diet to take out these items may improve your general body odour.
Use antiperspirant and deodorant: An antiperspirant blocks the sweating action while deodorants have fragrance to mask the smell. Deodorants also make the skin more acidic, making it less hospitable for bacteria. If a regular product doesn’t work for you, try a stronger over-the-counter antiperspirant such as Secret Clinical Strength, Gillette Clinical, or Certain-Dri.
If the smell persists, see a physician about underlying disease. The smell can be caused by hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) or by trimethylaminuria (a.k.a. fish odor syndrome), a metabolic disorder that prevents the body from breaking down a smelly compound called trimethylamine.