Body odor is a fairly common issue that can affect a person’s quality of life. It occurs due to bacterial processes in sweat and not due to sweat itself.
It is a common misconception that sweat itself causes body odor. In actual fact, human sweat is almost odorless.
Body odor occurs due to bacteria on a person’s skin breaking down protein molecules within sweat and producing odor as a result.
Body odor is a common problem, but it can severely affect a person’s quality of life. Although its root causes are often down to a person’s hygiene practices, body odor can indicate a more serious underlying condition in some instances.
The body can produce odors in the mouth and other cavities, as well as in bodily fluids. However, this article focuses on odors originating from a person’s skin and the bacterial processes in sweat.
What is Skin Odour? (body odor)
Body odor is an umbrella term for natural smells originating from a person.
The human body can produce a range of substances that carry a smell, known as odorants. Many of these are important for regular bodily function and, in small quantities, do not lead to unpleasant odors. However, an excessive accumulation of these compounds on the skin can cause noticeable smells.
Body odor usually becomes more evident during puberty, as hormones and sweat glands become more active at this time. People with obesity and individuals with certain medical conditions, such as Diabetes, are also more susceptible to having body odor.
Sweat itself is virtually odorless to humans. However, the rapid multiplication of bacteria and their breaking down of sweat into acids can cause unpleasant smells. As a result, people who sweat a lot — such as those with hyperhidrosis — may be more susceptible to developing body odor.
Body odor is most likely to occur in the following places:
- the feet
- the groin
- the armpits
- the genitals
- pubic and other hair
- the belly button
- the anus
- behind the ears
A person’s diet, natal sex, health conditions, and medications help create a unique body odor. Some research suggests that people, and more so, animals are adept at identifying individuals by these smell profiles.
Causes of Skin Odour (Bad odour)
A person’s skin contains both eccrine and apocrine sweat glands.
Apocrine glands start to function at puberty and are associated with hair follicles in the underarms and groin. These glands produce a viscous, protein-rich sweat that is initially odorless. However, as bacteria break down the abundance of proteins, they will produce odorant molecules in greater concentrations, causing body odor.
In contrast, eccrine sweat glands predominantly regulate body temperature through perspiration and are not as strongly linked with body odor.
Having a large concentration of apocrine glands in the armpits and groin makes these areas susceptible to the rapid development of body odor. However, body odor can occur almost anywhere on a person’s body.
Although there is no universal treatment for the causes of body odor, taking the following steps may help control body odor:
- Washing: A person should wash regularly with soap and ensure that they dry themselves thoroughly. Deodorizing soaps are available to purchase online. Longrich Antiperspirant Dew in Cameroon.
- Shaving: Having hair in areas such as the armpits can slow down the evaporation of sweat, giving bacteria more time to break down proteins and create odorants. Shaving can help body odor control in that area.
- Using antiperspirants: Antiperspirants can reduce the intensity of a person’s body odor by changing sweat volumes and altering the amount and activity of odor-causing bacteria.
- Use medicated and organic deodorizing soaps. Longrich Natural Essence White Tea Nourishing Soap In Cameroon, Longrich Natural Essence Bamboo Charcoal Soap in Cameroon, Longrich Rose Moisturizing Body wash in Cameroon
Deodorants and antiperspirants with natural ingredients are available to purchase online. Longrich Antiperspirant Dew in Cameroon.
A person may also experience noticeable body odors in areas that are often covered by clothes, such as the feet. in this case, the anion strip of a medicated liner can be of great help. A combination of increased humidity and sweat trapped in the fabric can promote bacterial multiplication and activity. This can lead to body odor.
To prevent this, a person may wish to pay extra attention to these areas when washing and ensure that they are completely dry before putting on clean clothes. Wearing natural fibers may also help with the evaporation of sweat and help reduce bacteria buildup.
Consuming chilies, onions, garlic, and other potent foods can also make some people’s sweat more pungent. If a person consumes excessive amounts of protein, this may also affect their body odor.