Body Odour: Possible Causes, Prevention & Treatment
Everyone has a unique body odour, either pleasant or subtle. Unfortunately, most of us only associate body odour with an unpleasant smell.
A large number of world’s population showers regularly with anti-bacterial soap or body wash, especially to stay fresh in the summer, thinking it will help them avoid body odour. But, body odour is something that everyone will experience in one way or another.
Changes in your body odour can be due to various factors, including puberty, sweating, and poor hygiene. Environment, medications, and the food you consume also impact sudden body odour changes.
This article will focus on the possible causes, prevention, and treatment you can adopt for the different types of body odour that you might be producing.
Body Odour: Possible Causes
Contrary to popular belief, your sweat doesn’t have its own smell. Instead, when the bacteria on your skin comes in contact with sweat, salt, and fat, it produces body odour.
Food, hormones, or medication can affect your body's odour. However, for most people, just like acne, puberty is also responsible for causing body odour because their sweat glands and hormones become more active during those times.
Without antiperspirant, health, and food hygiene habits, sweat can mix with bacteria, resulting in an unpleasant smell. Here are a few things that can make body odour worse:
- Heavy exercise
- Warm or hot weather
- Being overweight
- Certain health conditions such as diabetes, food poisoning, liver or kidney diseases
- Some medications
Body Odour: Prevention
Here are some common prevention tips for preventing body odour:
- Antiperspirants and deodorants are the most common method to manage and control sweating and body odour.
- Make sure your feet don’t stay in a wet environment for long. In addition, always use anti-bacterial soap and body wash to wash your feet.
- Adopt good oral hygiene. Medical experts recommend brushing your teeth and tongue twice daily for at least two minutes.
- Thoroughly wash your sensitive areas. Cleanse your genital area, anus, and ears with warm water to keep them healthy and odourless.
- Adopt a shower routine, whether in the morning or at night. Showering or bathing using an anti-bacterial body wash removes dead skin cells, dirt, germs, bacteria, and oil. Showering with a body wash has a lot of benefits for your skin and overall health hygiene.
- Wash your clothes using antiseptic liquid to kill 99% of germs and bacteria that, if left alive, can cause skin irritation and body odour. Bacteria-free clothes require a deep clean using a washing machine. Here’s how you can correctly clean your washing machine for hygienic washing.
Body Odour: Treatment
Body odour and excessive sweating treatment depend on the cause, which can be determined through either physical, blood, or urine test.
Treatment for body odor could include:
- Remove bacteria on your skin, especially the armpits and groin area; washing it thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap and body wash can eliminate the unpleasant body odour.
- Regularly shave your armpits so the sweat can evaporate quickly and doesn’t have much time to interact with the bacteria.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes and undergarments made of cotton. This allows air to pass through your clothes and prevents sweat from being produced.
- Stop or reduce food consumption that is overly smelly such as garlic and onion. Ensure proper food safety and hygiene so that your sweat and breath don’t smell unpleasant.
Body odour is a common occurrence, usually a byproduct of bacteria breaking down protein in your sweat. However, through proper and continuous showering, washing, use of deodorant, and shaving, you can manage the unwanted body odour.
Body odour and excessive sweating also hint at an underlying health condition. Therefore, if you experience unexpected changes in your body odour or sweat volume, you should consult a medical expert immediately.