Body odour, also known as bromhidrosis, is the unpleasant smell that occurs from a sweaty or unclean person. The sweat itself doesn’t smell but the unpleasant odour is produced by bacteria on the skin that break down the sweat into acids.
Body Odour is usually associated with the armpit but bacteria can also produce odour in the groin, anus area, mouth, upper thighs and feet among others. Offensive body odour is an embarrassing problem.
Body Odour affects both men and women. It usually becomes evident in females age 14-16 and in males aged 15-17 years respectively, because the body experiences physical changes (Puberty).
CAUSES OF BODY ODOUR
- Sweat: Our body has two sweat glands which are Eccrine and Apocrine. The Eccrine produces sweat that is responsible for cooling the body system and is in most parts of the body but is much smaller than the Apocrine. The Apocrine is mainly underneath the armpits, groin and around the eyelids. The Apocrine is dominant in the body and secretes sweat that is thicker; and contains much of what bacteria feeds on. As the bacteria breaks down, different odour compounds are produced.
- Poor hygiene: Not bathing properly, brushing properly, wearing damp socks and underwear, repeating clothes or underwear without washing them properly or not even washing them at all can cause body Odour.
- Food: It is a common knowledge that eating a diet heavy in onions and garlics can make the mouth have an offensive odour. They cleanse the body. But foods that smell, is broken down to compounds that would smell and circulate in the blood stream and come out either through your breath, sweat or urine.
- Genetic disorder: Trimethylaminuria is an uncommon genetic disorder. It is described as smelling like rotten fish, rotten egg, garbage or urine. It causes people with the disorder to give off a strong unpleasant odour in their sweat, urine and breath.
TIPS TO REDUCE BODY ODOUR
- Taking a shower at least once a day is a good way to start reducing body odour. Bathing reduces the bacteria on the body surface, dead cells and toxins. It is very important to wash every part of the body. Bathing also reduces tension so it’s like killing two birds with one stone. Antibacterial Soap will help reduce body odour. Learn to keep yourself clean.
- It is important to clean the body with a clean towel after taking a bath and ensure that you keep areas where you sweat a lot dry. If you keep your skin dry, it’s harder for bacterium that causes body odour to breed.
- Also make sure you wash your clothes and underwear properly and leave them in the sun to dry before you wear them again. Fresh clothes help reduce body odour. Endeavour to keep your wardrobe clean.
- Application of deodorants under the arm twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening would help reduce body odour.
- Wear more of clothing from natural fiber such as silk and cotton. They allow airflow and keep your skin dryer.
- Shave your under arm hair regularly. It helps to prevent accumulation of bacteria and reduce odour
- For men, change your socks as often as possible to avoid foot odour. Also, you can make use of deodorant powders in your shoe.
- Maintaining a balanced diet also helps in reducing body odour. Balancing your diet is also important for your overall wellbeing.