Body odour is a universal and very natural human trait and can be due to a number of things. So what is our body doing to cause us to produce the smell that we do, and why are some of us smellier than others?
The human body has two types of sweat glands:
1. Eccrine sweat glands – these exist all over the body with the primary function of cooling you down by producing sweat mostly composed of water.
2. Apocrine sweat glands – these exist only in targeted areas of the body, such as the armpits, groin, and feet and do little to cool you down. Instead, these glands release proteins and lipids. Bacteria on the skin feed on these and disrupt them, resulting in body odour.
MAIN CAUSES OF BODY ODOUR
1. EMOTIONAL SWEATING
When you’re nervous, scared, agitated or in pain you produce more sweat from those body odour releasing sweat glands than the sweat you produce when your body is trying to cool itself down.
The microorganisms on our skin that react with the sweat our bodies produce to result in body odour are determined by our genes, so it is likely that if your mother or father has strong body odour, then you will too. The best way to combat this is to regularly shower, and wear breathable clothing such as cotton or linen to curtain your sweating and minimise body odour, not forgetting to apply antiperspirant deodorant.
3. HORMONAL CHANGES
Your monthly cycle, pregnancy, menopause, and puberty can cause hormone fluctuations and, thus, can increase your core body temperature causing you to sweat more. Particularly, women may experience an increase in sweating after pregnancy as the body releases excess fluid as hormone levels return to normal.
4. EATING CERTAIN FOODS
Foods that are fat soluble are dissolved into your body’s fatty tissue and produced in your sweat, making your sweat smellier. These include foods like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, cabbage, and fish. It’s important to eat fat soluble foods because they contain valuable vitamins and nutrients that the body needs to be healthy.
TIPS FOR PREVENTING BODY ODOUR
Ever had that moment where you wonder if you smell, well, not so great? It happens. But you can do a few things to make body odor go away.
1. KEEP YOURSELF SQUEAKY CLEAN
Shower at least once a day, and you’ll wash away sweat and get rid of some of the bacteria on your skin.
Sweat by itself is basically odorless. But when the bacteria that live on your skin mix with sweat, they multiply quickly and raise quite a stink.
Washing thoroughly, especially the areas where you tend to sweat, can help with body odor.
2. USE ANTIBACTERIAL SOAP
Washing thoroughly with an antibacterial soap bar will help get rid of some bacteria, which can help with the odor.
Look for the word “antibacterial” on the soap’s packaging.
3.TOWEL OFF WELL
Once you’ve showered, dry yourself completely, paying close attention to any areas where you sweat a lot.
If your skin is dry, it’s harder for bacteria that cause body odor to breed on it.
4. WEAR LIGHT CLOTHS
Another golden rule and especially for hot climates is to wear natural fibres such as cotton and jute. Avoid synthetic clothes that do not allow the skin to breathe and avoid tight-fitting clothes. Wear loose airy clothes that allow air circulation, thereby keeping you cool.
5. USE ANTIBACTERIAL SOAP
Bathing thoroughly with an antibacterial soap bar will help get rid of some odour-causing bacteria. Antibacterial soaps can target the bacteria on the body to lessen the foul smell they produce.