Is body odour a problem?

© Licensed to 12/04/2019 Peterborough, UK.
The Green Goddess, Diana Moran
Photo credit: Simon Jacobs

The good news is men are more likely to have body odour and sweat more than we women! However when girls reach puberty they produce body odour when the apocrine sweat glands develop.

Apocrine sweat is produced in the groin, armpits, and the areola of the nipples, mouth, feet and hair. Bacteria on your skin feed and break down the acids in your sweat, and bacterial by-products cause a change in body odour (bromhidrosis). Excessive sweating and body odour is unpleasant and can affect a person’s confidence and self-esteem. So what can we do to help ourselves?

Being overweight can make sweating worse. Spicy foods such as curry or garlic can make your sweat smell, and eating a lot of red meat tends to make body odour unpleasant. Also some types of medication such as antidepressants and certain medical conditions can produce odours. A fruity smell may sometimes be a sign of diabetes, while a bleach-like smell can indicate liver or kidney disease.

Smelly feet (bromodosis) are usually caused by wearing shoes and socks that prevent sweat, which attracts bacteria, from evaporating or being absorbed. Some people sweat excessively, much more than the body needs to regulate temperature, this could be due to a condition called hyperhidrosis.

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