After a hard workout or spending a long time outside in the heat, have you ever noticed a strong odor? Some people emit a stronger or more pungent smell than others.
Most often, body odor will disappear quickly with a shower. If you notice an increase in sweating or a change in your body odor, you may need to seek medical treatment.
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What is Body Odor?
Although sweat doesn’t smell by itself, the bacteria on your skin can cause an odor. Body odor can be sweet, sour, or tangy, and it can also smell like onions.
Your body odor doesn’t depend on how much you sweat. This is why it’s possible to have an unpleasant body odor and not feel sweaty. A person can also sweat too much but have no body odor; the reason is that body odor can be caused by the bacteria present on the skin and how it interacts with sweat.
What Causes Body Odors?
The bacteria in our sweat can react with fat, water, and salt to create a stench. It can smell bad, pleasant, or even completely absent. The odor can be affected by hormones, medications and foods. Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes excessive sweating. Hyperhidrosis can make people more sensitive to body odor. However, it is often the eccrine sweat cells that cause the most discomfort.
There’s a possibility that you will produce unpleasant body odors every time you sweat. Some people are more prone to bad body odor than others.
Other factors can influence body odor:
- Stress and anxiety.
- Hot weather
- Being overweight.
- Hormonal changes
How to Get Rid of Body Odor
Your healthcare provider can determine the underlying cause of excessive sweating or body odor through a physical exam blood or urine tests.
The following treatments could be used to treat body odor:
1. Keep Yourself squeaky clean
It would be best if you showered at least twice per day to wash off sweat and remove some bacteria from your skin.
The smell of sweat is almost inert. The bacteria on your skin can multiply quickly and cause a lot of stinks if they are mixed with sweat.
Body odor can be reduced by washing your hands well, particularly in areas where you sweat a lot.
2. Antibacterial soap is recommended
An antibacterial soap bar can be used to wash your body thoroughly, reducing the bacteria and odor.
Look out for “antibacterial” written on the soap’s packaging.
3. Take your ‘towel off’ well.
After you have washed, towel off, and pay attention to areas that you sweat the most.
Dry skin makes it more difficult for bacteria to grow on it.
4. Use ‘Industrial Strength’ Antiperspirants
After you are dry and clean, apply a strong antiperspirant to your underarms.
They contain aluminium chloride, a chemical that keeps sweat away and often acts as a deodorant. It should be used twice daily: once in the morning and in the evening.
To get powerful antiperspirants, you don’t have to be prescribed. Look for stronger antiperspirants.
Ask your doctor if you feel you may need additional help.
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5. Make sure to keep your clothes clean
When you sweat heavily, change your clothes frequently. Refreshing clothes can help reduce body odor.
If you have a tendency to get foot odor, make sure to change your socks. Deodorant powders can be used in shoes. Insoles should be replaced frequently.
6. Reduce or eliminate certain foods or drinks
Your body odor is affected by what you eat. Body odor can also be caused by foods that make you sweat more, like hot peppers and other spicy foods. The aromas of garlic and onions can also be carried in your sweat. You may also sweat more if you drink caffeine or alcohol.
Bacteria on the skin cause body odor. It is normal for your body to produce a natural odor; this doesn’t necessarily depend on how much you sweat. Bad body odor can be caused by certain medical conditions, genetics and eating certain foods. If you are self-conscious, there are ways to mask or reduce body odor. You can try using a stronger antiperspirant and shaving or washing your skin with antibacterial soap multiple times per day. Contact your healthcare provider if none of these options works. You may be referred to a doctor for a prescription or run tests to rule out other conditions.