Body odor can be an embarrassing issue for many people. It can affect your self-confidence and make you feel uncomfortable in social situations. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce the problem and keep yourself feeling fresh and clean. In this post, we will discuss the root causes and provide tips on how to combat it. We will also look at some of the best products available to help you keep body odor under control. Finally, we will provide some general advice on good hygiene practices that will help you keep your problem in check.
Body odor is also known as sharir ki durgandh / pasine ki badboo (Hindi/Urdu), ghamacha vas (Marathi), Utal narrattai (Tamil), Huchou (Chinese), olor corporal (Spanish), cheiro corporal (Portuguese), sharirera gandh (Bengali), zapakh tela (Russian). Body odor starts with sweat. It comes from sweat, which is made up of water, sodium salts, lactic acid, sulfuric acid, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and urea. Sweat is secreted by the exocrine glands, which are located in the armpits, face, chest, pubic area, and anal regions. Sweat actually has a purpose, moisturizing the skin, maintaining a healthy acid balance, and preventing unhealthy proliferations of microbes. Apocrine glands, concentrated in your underarms and genitals, secrete a substance that bacteria feast upon, causing strong odors. The armpits are the usual source. Armpit sweat, which is richer in proteins and fats than secretions from the sweat glands covering most of your skin, doesn’t stink until bacteria that normally colonize your skin break down chemicals in sweat into acids.
Armpit Odor and Sweating
People do believe that deodorants are easy to use solution but keep in mind many deodorants contain aluminum chlorohydrate, a manufactured form of aluminum that many believe contributes to Alzheimer’s disease. It is known to accumulate in the tissues, especially when applied to broken skin. This is a real problem as many people apply it just after shaving. Many deodorants also contain synthetic fragrances and methyl-and propylparabens, both of which have been implicated in breast cancer. So better choose natural option where it works directly on root cause that is sweat.
Home Remedies for Body Odor
- Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil helps to fight bacteria. Apply tea-tree oil to problem areas, as long as it doesn’t irritate your skin. This oil, from an Australian tree, kills bacteria and also has a pleasant scent.
- Aloe Vera Gel: In a small, clean jar, mix 1/4 cup (115 g) Aloe vera gel with 6 drops eucalyptus essential oil and 6 drops lavender essential oil. Shake the jar vigorously until the ingredients are fully blended. With a clean pad or cloth, dab the mixture onto your armpits after showering for a zesty feel and deodorizing action. Aloe vera is antiseptic and soothing. The essential oils are antibacterial.
- Essential Oil: Smell like a rose with essential oils. Essential oils of lavender, pine, and peppermint fight bacteria. They also smell nice. Since some people have a skin reaction to certain oils, test the underarm area or a small patch of skin before using.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Place 1/4 cup (60 ml) apple cider vinegar and 6 drops lavender essential oil in a small, clean spray bottle, cap, and shake. Spritz on underarms after a shower or bath. Apple cider vinegar lowers the pH level of the skin, discouraging bacteria that turn body sweat into foul smell. Lavender discourages bacterial growth and adds a scentual lift.
- Sage: Delightfully fragrant, sage can fight bacteria and reduce perspiration. You can purchase a solution of sage tincture or diluted sage oil, or brew some sage tea that you cool and store in a bottle. Any of these liquids can be used in the underarm area, but not around the genitals. And after using sage, wash your hands before touching your face.
- Lemon: A citrus fruit like lemon changes the pH level of your skin, making it more acidic. All bacteria, including the odor causing kinds, have a hard time surviving in a highly acidic environment. Just rub on some lemon and pat dry.
- Betadine: Try betadine. Betadine, an antibacterial cleanser, is so effective that some formulations are used to clean patients before surgery. Since it can dry your skin, however, you should use it in the shower, where it will rinse off quickly, and only on high-smell areas such as the armpits and groin. Squeeze out a small amount of cleanser, wash the target areas first, then rinse off the Betadine and finish your shower with regular soap.
Sweat and Body Odor Prevention Tips
- Bathe regularly, paying special attention to your armpits and bottom. Pick an antibacterial soap. These leave ingredients on your skin that kill bacteria even after you’re finished bathing. If the soap doesn’t irritate your skin, use it daily. If you find that these soaps are too drying, use them only on your underarms and groin, where you need their antibacterial power the most. OR Use a mild soap with a natural (plant-derived) fragrance.
- Wipe rubbing alcohol, vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide onto your underarms during the day to cut down the numbers of odor-causing bacteria.
- Wear natural fabrics. These allow your sweat to evaporate freely. It’s when your armpits are hot, sweaty, and lacking in oxygen that odor causing bacteria thrive. In winter, you can’t beat wool for warm and wicking action.
- Dab on witch hazel. You can splash it directly on your skin or apply it as often as necessary with a cotton pad. The clear, clean-smelling liquid has drying and deodorizing properties.
- Dust baking soda or cornstarch on any odor-troubled part of your body. Both of these powders absorb moisture, and baking soda also kills odor-causing bacteria. Also try this homemade natural odor eliminator – fill an empty box of your favorite scented powder with baking soda. Use the puff to apply the newly scented baking soda to underarms.
- Shave regularly under your arms. Underarm hair can increase the problem because it traps sweat and bacteria. Hair holds the bacteria that mix with sweat to create body odor. however, we recommend that if you use aluminum-containing antiperspirants, you shave at night and hold off on using the antiperspirant till morning, giving your body overnight to heal tiny nicks. Or simply to shower at least once a day to wash away bacteria that collect on your skin, as well as on pubic and underarm hair.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. Eat plenty of spinach, chard, and kale. Green, leafy vegetables are rich in chlorophyll, which has a powerful deodorizing effect in your body. Vegetarians are said to smell sweeter than people who eat a lot of meat.
- If you have stinky feet, sprinkle them with moisture-absorbing cornstarch after your shower. Change your socks often – and go barefoot whenever you can to air out your feet.
Q. What are some ways to reduce body odor?
- Take a shower or bath daily.
- Wash your clothes regularly.
- Wear breathable, natural fabrics like cotton and linen.
- Use an antibacterial soap or body wash.
- Use an antiperspirant or deodorant.
- Avoid certain foods that can make it worse, such as garlic and onions.
- Change your diet to include more fruits and vegetables.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Keep your skin clean and dry.
- Practice good hygiene, such as washing your hands regularly.
Q. Does body odor change with age?
Yes, it can change with age. As people age, their sweat glands become less active, and their bodies produce fewer natural oils, which can lead to a decrease in body odor. Additionally, a person’s diet, medications, and hygienic habits can also affect their situation.
Q. Does veganism reduce body odor?
Veganism does not necessarily reduce it A person’s body odor is determined by many factors, such as genetics, diet, hormones, and hygiene. Eating a vegan diet could reduce the severity by reducing the amount of foods that are known to cause body odor, such as processed meats, dairy products, and garlic. Additionally, a vegan diet is generally higher in fiber, which helps keep the digestive system running smoothly and can reduce body odor.
Q. If you have really bad body odor, how do you get rid of it?
- Take a shower at least once a day with an antibacterial soap.
- Change your clothes every day and use antiperspirant or deodorant to reduce sweat.
- Avoid spicy and pungent foods that can contribute to the problem.
- Use an over-the-counter deodorant or antiperspirant that is specifically formulated for body odor.
- Wash your hands often, especially after eating.
- Consider using a topical antiperspirant that contains aluminum chloride.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash to help reduce the bacteria in your mouth that can contribute to it.
- Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces that may have bacteria that can contribute to the condition.
- See a doctor if you have severe problem that doesn’t seem to be responding to over-the-counter treatments.
Q. What factors determine body odor?
- Hygiene: Poor hygiene can cause an accumulation of bacteria on the skin, which can lead to an unpleasant body odor.
- Diet: Certain foods such as garlic and onions can cause it due to their strong odors.
- Stress: Stress hormones can cause the body to produce more sweat, which can lead to the condition.
- Hormones: Hormones can influence the production of sweat and oil, which can lead to body odor.
- Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions such as diabetes, kidney failure, and liver disease can cause body odor due to a build-up of toxins in the body.
- Genetics: Genetics can play a role in it, as some people are naturally more prone to body odor than others.
Q. Does shaving pits make body odor worse?
No, shaving your armpits does not make it worse. In fact, it can help reduce body odor because it removes the hair that traps sweat and bacteria. Without the hair, sweat evaporates more quickly and bacteria have less to feed on, leading to less body odor.
Q. What foods help to reduce body odour?
Eating these foods can help to reduce body odor –
- Foods Rich in Vitamin C: Foods like oranges, lemons, grapefruits, tomatoes, and other citrus fruits contain high levels of vitamin C.
- Foods High in Zinc: Zinc-rich foods include oysters, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, seafood, nuts, and legumes.
- Foods Rich in Chlorophyll: Chlorophyll-rich foods, such as spinach, kale, parsley, and other leafy green vegetables.
- Probiotics: Probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt, miso, and kimchi.
- Foods High in Fiber: Eating plenty of fiber-rich foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Q. Does someone’s diet affect their body odour?
Yes, what a person eats can affect their body odour. Eating a lot of garlic, onions, or spicy foods can give a person a stronger body odour. Diets high in processed meats, like bacon and sausage, can also cause an increase in body odour.
Q. How do I get body odor smell out of my clothes?
- Pre-treat the clothes with a laundry detergent designed for removing smells and stains.
- Wash the clothes in hot water and a strong detergent, making sure to add a scoop of baking soda to the wash cycle.
- Hang the clothes outside to air dry in the sun. The sun’s UV rays are a natural deodorizer.
- If the smell still lingers, add 1 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle.
- If all else fails, try a specially formulated odor-eliminating laundry detergent.
Q. What kind of doctor should I turn to if I have a body odor problem? I occasionally smell like feces and I don’t know what to do.
You should turn to a dermatologist or a gastroenterologist. A dermatologist can help diagnose any skin conditions or infections that may cause body odor. A gastroenterologist can evaluate any digestive or intestinal issues that may be causing the odor.
Q. What foods make the body smell?
Certain foods can cause the body to emit odors. These include onions, garlic, asparagus, fish, and cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Spicy foods, alcohol, and processed foods also have an effect on body odor.
Q. Does isotretinoin cause body odor?
No, isotretinoin does not cause it
Q. What home remedy can I use for smelly armpits?
- Apply a thin layer of baking soda or cornstarch to your armpits. This will absorb any moisture and help neutralize odors.
- Make a paste of 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of water. Apply the paste to your armpits and leave it on for 5-10 minutes before rinsing off.
- Try using a few drops of an essential oil such as tea tree, lavender, or lemongrass in your armpits. The natural antibacterial properties of these oils can help reduce body odor.
- Take a shower or bath with a mild soap and warm water. Be sure to dry your armpits thoroughly afterwards.
- Wear breathable, natural fabrics such as cotton or wool. These fabrics will allow your skin to breathe and can help reduce body odor. Avoid wearing synthetic fabrics such as polyester.
Q. Does swimming stop body odor?
No, swimming does not stop it. Body odor is caused by sweat and bacteria on the skin. Though swimming may temporarily reduce the problem, but it does not stop it. To reduce body odor, it is important to practice good hygiene such as showering, using an antiperspirant/deodorant, and wearing clean clothes.
Q. Does garlic cause body odor?
Yes, garlic can cause it. Eating garlic can make your sweat smell like garlic, and this odor can linger on your body for several days.
Q. How can body odor remove permanently?
The best way to permanently remove the problem is to practice good hygiene. This includes regularly showering and washing your body with soap, shampooing your hair, and changing your clothes regularly. Additionally, you can use deodorants, scented body washes, and antiperspirants to help mask body odor.
Q. What foods make body odor worse?
Certain foods such as garlic, onions, spicy foods, and processed meats can make it worse. Alcohol can also increase the production of sweat, which can make body odor worse.
Q. Do hormonal changes cause a body odor to smell?
Yes, hormonal changes can cause it to smell differently. Hormonal imbalances can cause increased sweating, which can lead to an unpleasant body odor. Additionally, certain hormones, such as androgens, are responsible for producing certain pheromones which can affect body odor.
Q. How do doctors treat bad body odor?
It is usually treated with a combination of good hygiene practices, antiperspirants and deodorants, and, in some cases, prescription medications. A doctor may also recommend lifestyle changes, such as avoiding certain foods that can make body odor worse, or avoiding clothing made from synthetic materials. In more severe cases, a doctor may prescribe topical or oral antibiotics.
Q. How did ancient people deal with body odor?
Ancient people likely dealt with body odor in similar ways as modern people – by washing regularly, using fragrant oils and herbs, and wearing clothes made of natural fibers that are more breathable than modern synthetic fabrics.
Q. What deodorant or soap is best for body odor?
The best deodorant is a product designed to fight body odor, such as an antiperspirant or deodorant. For soaps, look for products that contain natural ingredients such as tea tree oil, witch hazel, and baking soda, which can help reduce body odor.
Q. Why does my sweat smell bad?
Sweat itself doesn’t smell bad, but when sweat mixes with the bacteria on the skin, it can create a foul odor. If you find that your sweat smells particularly bad, it could be caused by certain foods, medications, or hormonal changes. It could also be a sign of an underlying health condition such as a thyroid disorder, diabetes, or an infection. If you are concerned about the smell of your sweat, it is best to consult your doctor for further evaluation.
Q. Why has my body odor suddenly changed?
There are many potential causes for a sudden change in body odor, including changes in diet, medications, hormones, health conditions, and hygiene habits. If you have noticed a sudden change in your body odor, it is best to speak to your doctor to determine the cause.