Body Odor

How many times have you been plagued by the unpleasant smell of stale sweat in crowded trains, crammed elevators or while waiting on a line in a busy store? Or how many times have you been the culprit, facing a pungent situation that was out of your control?

Body odor is a major concern for most individuals. Contrary to popular belief, body odor is not synonymous to sweating. Sweat itself is nearly odorless but body odor is the offensive odor of bacteria that lives on the surface of the skin and rapidly multiplies in the presence of perspiration. Body odor is typically associated with the areas of the body that experience excessive sweating or the areas wherein the sweat becomes trapped such as between the skin folds. Hair, armpits, groin, anus, genitals, and feet are considered to be particularly odorous.

To cleanse, control body odor and reduce excessive perspiration

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Causes and Risk Factors

The human body is equipped with a cooling mechanism that enables a decrease in the body temperature when the outside temperature rises.

The two types of sweat glands on the human body are eccrine glands and apocrine glands. Eccrine glands are present throughout most of the body and they primarily secrete water and salts. Apocrine glands are located on areas that are abundant in hair follicles, such as armpits, groin or scalp. These glands secrete fats and proteins on the skin surface that are broken down by the bacteria growing on the body. This bacterial breakdown is the root cause of most body odor issues.

The quantity and smell of perspiration are determined by a number of factors. Some of the common causes that result in excessive sweating and that are associated with body odor are

GeneticsSome individuals have a tendency to sweat excessively, especially on the palms and on the foot soles, because of hereditary causes.

Certain foods and drinks – Some foods and drinks are believed to cause excessive sweating in addition to an offensive odor.
Drugs and medications – Certain drugs such as antipsychotic medications, hormone therapies and analgesics such as aspirin cause excessive sweating.
Hormonal changes – Menopause, puberty and menstruation cause hormonal imbalances and may cause excessive or irregular sweating in addition to a body odor pattern.

The utilization of poor hygiene practices, such as wearing unclean or unwashed clothing and the improper and ineffectual cleaning of the armpits, groin and genitals, also lead to body odor.

Eliminate Body Odor

Body odor and its social repercussions have caused the emergence of numerous hygienic products that guarantee the elimination and solution for body odor. However some products, like deodorant, only mask the odor and some products, like anti-perspirants, block the sweat producing pores. Anti-perspirants interfere with the body’s cooling mechanism and are recommended to be avoided on a routine basis. Consider an overall approach in eliminating body odor by following a few simple steps:

Follow good hygiene habits. Shower regularly, use a medicated or mild soap, thoroughly wash armpits, groin and genitals and wear clean clothes.
Wear ventilated footwear so that the feet can breathe. If wearing socks, wear cotton instead of synthetic fabric.
Drink plenty of water. Water aids in the elimination of toxins from the body and assists in maintaining a young and supple feeling of the skin.
Alter your diet. Avoid or minimize the intake of strong-smelling foods, alcohol, animal products (including dairy products) and spicy foods
Lower the intake of coffee and tea. Caffeine can stimulate the autonomic nervous system, which regulates sweating. Do not consume more than two cups of coffee or tea each day.
Increase the intake of fiber and consume more fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables.

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