Everyone has body odor. A body odor called bromhidrosis is normal for humans. However, it is confusing enough to get rid of.
This article looks at body odor, its causes, and risk factors. It also offers tips for controlling body odor.
Causes of body odor
Sweat itself is odorless. Body odor comes from bacteria found in sweaty parts of the body.
Bacteria thrive in moist environments like the armpits. When you sweat, these bacteria break down certain proteins in sweat into acids. So it's not the bacteria that stink. It is a by-product of bacteria that destroy sweat.
But it's not just bacteria that cause body odor. Body odor also depends on the type of sweat glands. It has different types of sweat glands called eccrine and apocrine glands .
Eccrine glands are found throughout the skin. These spiral glands are found in the lower layer of the skin called the dermis .
The eccrine glands squeeze sweat directly onto the skin's surface through a duct. When sweat evaporates, it cools the skin and regulates body temperature.
The sweat produced by the eccrine glands is rich in salt. This makes it difficult for bacteria to break down. Therefore, odors are less likely to occur.
Apocrine glands don't help cool you like eccrine glands. These glands drain into the hair follicle instead of a duct. A hair follicle is a bulb-shaped cavity in the skin from which hair grows.
The apocrine glands secrete sweat when the body temperature rises. They also produce sweat when you are under stress.
Apocrine glands They are found in specific areas of the body, including:
- Pubic area
This explains why body odor occurs mainly in the armpits and groin area, and not on the forehead.
It also explains why young children don't smell their bodies even when they sweat. The apocrine glands remain inactive until puberty . During puberty, they begin to sweat. Only then does body odor become a problem.
The sweat produced by the apocrine glands is responsible for body odor. This sweat is rich in protein, which smells when bacteria break it down.
Certain factors can increase the likelihood of body odor:
- Overweight : Skin folds can contain sweat and bacteria. This creates the perfect home for body odor.
- Eating spicy and spicy food : They do not smell like sweat. However, the odors from these products can penetrate your skin. This can increase body odor.
- Certain Medical Conditions : Certain conditions can change your normal body odor. These include diabetes , kidney or liver disease, and an overactive thyroid gland . Some very rare genetic diseases can also change body odor. In some cases, a strange body odor can be a sign of something more serious. For example, a smell of bleach or urine can indicate kidney or liver problems.
- Stress : Stress causes the apocrine glands to work overtime. Remember that these are glands that cause a bad smell of sweat. Therefore, you may notice an increase in body odor just before a stressful event.
- Genetics – Some people are simply more prone to body odor than others.
- Excessive sweating : A condition called hyperhidrosis can cause excessive sweating. Menopause can also cause increased sweating. And some people naturally sweat more than others.
Several factors can make you more prone to body odor. This includes being overweight, certain diseases, genetics, stress, and even what you eat.
Tips to reduce body odor
Body odor can be confusing. Fortunately, in most cases, this is not indicative of a serious problem. There are things you can do to eliminate, or at least reduce, body odor.
Take a shower at least once a day. Use soap or shower gel and lather well. Pay particular attention to areas prone to body odor.
If you are in a very hot or humid place, you may need to shower twice a day. You can also use a washcloth to wash your armpits, groin, and skin folds. Make sure to shower immediately after exercising or sweating.
Use antibacterial soap
If regular showers don't work, try a special cleaner. This includes:
- Antibacterial soap or shower gel like Dial
- Benzoyl Peroxide Cleaner
These washes can help reduce bacteria on your skin.
Choose the right underarm products
There are two types of underarm products: deodorants and antiperspirants.
Deodorants make your armpits less vulnerable to bacteria. They also help mask body odor with a fragrance. Antiperspirants block the sweat glands to reduce sweating.
If you don't sweat a lot but still have body odor, deodorants are a good option. If you sweat a lot, look for a product that works as an antiperspirant and deodorant.
If you have a strong body odor, look for a product with more active ingredients. If over-the-counter medicines don't work, talk to your doctor. A prescription antiperspirant / deodorant may be helpful.
Wear breathable fabrics
Natural fabrics like cotton resist body odor better than polyester, nylon, and rayon. Natural fibers breathe. This allows sweat to evaporate.
Avoid fabrics that trap sweat on your skin. They create the best breeding ground for body odor. Choose fabrics that absorb moisture when you exercise.
Change your diet
Eliminate or reduce the amount of spicy or spicy foods from your diet. This includes products such as:
- Chilli Peppers
- Brussels sprouts
These foods can make you sweat more. Even alcohol can change the smell of sweat.
If you eat these foods regularly, try to eat less or stop eating them altogether. It can help improve your body odor.
Shave or wax
Apocrine glands are concentrated in hair-covered areas. This includes the armpits and the pubic area.
Hair retains sweat and is a good home for bacteria. Waxing helps control body odor.
Try shaving your armpits. If you don't want to be naked, try cutting your hair. It will also help reduce body odor.
A daily shower, antibacterial soap, and the right underarm lotion can help control body odor. You can also try wearing breathable fabrics, avoiding certain foods, and shaving or trimming your body hair.
Body odor treatments
If you've tried these tips and haven't noticed any improvement, call your doctor. Something else, like a yeast infection, could be causing the body odor. Or it may just need a stronger treatment .
Some options include:
- Prescription antiperspirants / deodorants are stronger than the ones you can buy without a prescription. This is usually the first step in eliminating body odor.
- Topical or oral antibiotics can help reduce bacteria on the skin.
- Botox (onabotulinotoxin A) injections It can reduce the ability of the sweat glands to produce sweat. However, this is not a permanent solution. Treatment should be repeated every few months.
- Laser treatment shrinks hair follicles. However, this may not help with body odor.
- In extreme cases, surgery may be done to remove the sweat glands.
Body odor is caused by bacteria that break down sweat from the apocrine glands in the armpits, groin, and pubis.
You may be more prone to body odors if you are overweight, eat certain foods, have certain health problems, or are under stress. Genetics can also play a role.
You can prevent body odor by making lifestyle changes, such as showering daily and choosing the right underarm remedy.
If you still have body odor after trying these things, ask your doctor about prescription medications or medical procedures that might help.
Get the word of drug information
Your body produces body odor naturally. Sometimes everyone feels the body odor. You can't get rid of it completely. Most of the time, body odor is more noticeable to you than to anyone else.
If body odor is affecting your life, call your doctor. Treatments can help reduce unpleasant body odor and help you feel confident again.