Body odor, also known as ozochrotia, bromhidrosis or osmidrosis, is the unpleasant smell that bodies give off when an individual sweats. This is brought about by the breaking down of the protein by bacteria into certain acids.
- Types of Sweat Glands
- Who is likely to experience body odor?
- Remedies for body odor
- 12 Home Remedies For Body Odor
- Surgical Treatment
- Additional tips to fight body odor and reduce excessive sweating:
Types of Sweat Glands
These glands are spread across the skin and enable the body to regulate its temperature. This is because it cools the skin with sweat when the body gets hot.
These glands are found in the hairy parts of the body:- the armpits and genital area.They develop when the body is undergoing puberty.The sweat releases by these glands is odorless.
However, it may give off a smell if it is broken down by bacteria. The glands release pheromones, which are scented chemicals.Body odor is experienced by people who sweat excessively from these glands.
This is because there is a higher level of proteins in the sweat produced by the apocrine glands and the bacteria easily breaks it down.
Who is likely to experience body odor?
The intensity of body odor varies due to various factors such as lifestyle, gender, age and diet. However, the following groups of individuals may experience body odor:
Children undergoing changes brought about by puberty (females aged between 14-16 years old and males aged between 17-17 years old).
Individuals who experience hyperhidrosis, a condition which leads to one sweating too much.People who eat spicy foods or drink alcohol and caffeinated beverages. When eaten, garlic and onions may give an individual body odor.
Individuals who suffer from medical conditions such as diabetes have a higher chance of experiencing body odor.People on medications such as antidepressants.
Remedies for body odor
Having body odor is not an interesting affair. It makes the one experiencing uncomfortable- it also makes the one who he or she is relating with uncomfortable. Because one does not smell good, they might not feel great and this takes a hit at their confidence and self esteem. However, it is all not misery because every problem has a solution.
Some remedies are quite easy and may be done using products that are easily accessible. The remedies may be done as a routine on a daily basis in the comfort of your home. However, some extreme cases require medical attention and may even involve surgical procedures.
The following are the remedies that are considered for getting rid of body odor:
12 Home Remedies For Body Odor
1. Baking soda
This works like a natural deodorant. It has great absorption power which absorbs moisture and sweat from the skin, thus reducing body odor.
How to use it: Apply a mixture of baking soda and lemon juice to your underarms or the area on your body where you experience excessive sweating. After leaving it on your skin for a couple of minutes, wash it off and then take your shower.
An alternative method which is useful when you to avoid excessive sweating over a longer period of time is to apply an equal mixture of corn starch and baking soda directly to your underarms. This prevents bad odor and sweating.
2. Apple cider vinegar
This is known to be powerful in fighting bacteria. It balances the pH levels of the skin, thus eliminating body odor.
How to use it: Rub a cotton ball which was previously soaked in apple cider vinegar on your underarms. After 2-3 minutes, take a shower. For better results, it is recommended to do this remedy twice a day- in the morning and before you go to bed at night.
An alternative method of using apple cider vinegar is to add a cup of it into lukewarm bath water. You should then soak in the water for about 10 minutes.You may also drink it before taking your meals. A little honey and two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar should be added to a glass of warm water.
Rosemary has natural deodorant properties which give your body a good fragrance and neutralize strong body odor. The chlorophyll and menthol it contains gives it this property. It also contains zinc, and thus avoids body odors, which are brought when the body has a deficiency of zinc.
How to use it: Add half a cup of dried rosemary leaves which have been added to four cups of hot water and allow it to steep. After this, add it to your bath water and soak in it for almost half an hour. Dry your skin by patting it. Doing this remedy daily leaves you with a great and refreshing smell throughout the day.
An alternative method is applying rosemary as a deodorant. You simply need to mix 10 drops of it in an ounce of water and then apply it under your arms.
4. Lemon Juice
This is a great home remedy which may be used to reduce body odor and give you a sharp scent. Due to its acidic nature, the pH levels of your skin will be lowered, providing a condition which is not suitable for the survival of the bacteria on your skin.
How to use it: Cut a fresh lemon into two halves and then rub one half of it on your underarms. The juice should make contact with your skin. Leave it to dry and then shower. This remedy should be done once daily and may be stopped when the odor disappears.
The juice may be diluted if you have sensitive skin. Dilute the juice form half a lemon into half a cup of water and then apply this solution on your underarms using a cotton ball. Leave it on your skin to dry and then take a shower.
5. Apply deodorants and anti-perspirants
This is a common remedy which is done by people across the world. After a bath, one applies a deodorant or an antiperspirant on their dry skin, mostly on the underarm. Deodorants function so as to mask the smell of the bacteria which is on your skin. They do not prevent sweating.
Antiperspirants, on the other hand, often contain a deodorant and also prevent sweating. This is because they contain aluminum chloride. The antiperspirants and deodorants which are stronger have this indicated on their labels. You may choose these ones if the sweat and odor needs stronger ingredients to get rid of the issue. If these do not work, you may refer to a doctor so as to get better options such as prescription antiperspirants.
6. Hydrogen peroxide solution
A solution of hydrogen peroxide and water may destroy the bacteria that causes body odor. Mix 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide with a cup of water. Using a washcloth, wipe this solution on the affected areas.
7. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is able to give you an attractive scent as well as to kill the bacteria on your skin. It is a natural antiseptic and is effective in killing fungi and bacteria. This reduces the bacteria count on your body. You are also able to smell good as it gives off a pleasant smell when you apply it o your skin.
It is an astringent and is able to control sweating. What’s more, it acts as a beauty product and if you do not have sensitive skin, you may regain your flawless skin.
How to use it: It may be applied on your body as a deodorant after pouring a solution of two drops of tea tree oil into a spray bottle.
8. Witch Hazel
This can be used as an antiperspirant. Is is able to reduce the production of sweat because its astringent property makes the skin pores to contract. It can also kill bacteria on your skin or lower their chances of survival as it has a low pH level.
How to use it: Dab a cotton ball which was soaked in witch hazel under your arms. This may be done whenever your body emits an odor.
This is a herb that may be used to reduce sweating s well as body odor. This herb has a delightful fragrance and antibacterial properties. The bacteria will thus be unable to thrive in such conditions.
How to use it: As a natural deodorant: Make a deodorant by mixing 5 drops each of lavender essential oil, sage essential oil, coriander essential oil and 2 ounces of distilled witch hazel. You may them put this in a spray bottle and use it daily.
An alternative way of using it is to rinse your underarms. You should add dried sage (2 tablespoons) to 4 cups of hot water and allow it to steep. Use the cooled solution to rinse your underarms.
Sage may be drank in the form of sage tea. Steep a teaspoon of dried sage in a cup of hot water and then strain the leaves. Enjoy your cup of sage tea and the great results it brings about. However, you should not drink more than 2 cups of sage tea in a day.
They are able to kill the bacteria that cause bacteria and combat body odor. This is because they contain vitamin C and have antibacterial properties.
How to use it: Cut and blend 2 or 3 pieces of turnip. The paste should then be sieved with a spoon so as to extract the juice. Apply the juice to the affected areas of your body. Rinse it off with lukewarm water after you have allowed the paste to dry.It is also advisable to do this remedy daily, preferably in the morning so as to stay odor free for a minimum of 10 hours.
11. Tomato juice
Tomatoes may help you fight this condition because they are able to reduce sweating by shrinking the pores and also kill bacteria, as they have antiseptic properties. So as to extract the juice, do the following:Crush 7-8 tomatoes gently and then press the crushed tomatoes on a sieve so as to extract the juice.
To a bucket full of water, add the extracted juice and then use it to take a bath. A daily bath using the tomato juice will help you to control your body odor.Additionally, you may control the body odor by drinking a glass or two of tomato juice on a daily basis.
12. Wheat grass
Wheatgrass helps to eliminate toxins and also has a deodorizing effect, as it contains a lot of chlorophyll.How to use it:Make wheatgrass juice by a mixing two tablespoons of wheatgrass juice into a cup of water.
You should drink this juice in the morning and on an empty stomach.This routine should be done until the body odors clears off.However, it may be nauseating to some people as it has a very strong taste.
Severe cases of body odor which cannot be treated with home remedies or other types of remedies may require surgery. There are a number of surgical procedures that may be done:
This is the shortened name for Botolinum toxin, which is a popular cosmetic procedure. It is treatment for excessive underarm sweating. Although Botolinum toxin is a powerful poison, minute doses of it can be used safely.
The affected areas on the body may be injected in a procedure that lasts less than an hour. Botox reduces the amount of sweat excreted by blocking signals from the brain to the sweat glands. This effect lasts over a duration of 2-8 months.
14. Removal of the sweat glands
The sweat glands may be got rid of by removing a small area of skin under the armpit and the tissue below this later.Liposuction is usually done so as to remove unwanted fat from the body. This procedure may be done so as to draw out the sweat glands from the deeper layers of skin.
15. Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS)
This is a surgical procedure in which the nerves that control sweating are destroyed. An endoscope enables the surgeon to see the nerves in your underarm and then cut them. An alternative way of destroying the sweat controlling nerves is to use a thin electrode which emits an electrical current.
However, this may lead to compensatory sweating, whereby other parts of your body emit sweat. Another risk to be considered is damage to nearby nerves or arteries.
Additional tips to fight body odor and reduce excessive sweating:
So as to keep body odor at bay, personal hygiene and other lifestyle practices are of utmost importance, even if one is taking all these preventive measures. As thus, you should do the following:Wash the areas that are prone to emit body odor thoroughly.
The use bacterial soap while bathing is recommended. This will keep such areas bacteria free and clean. Pay attention to such areas while bathing: the feet, underarms and genital area. Warm baths help in killing the bacteria on your body. During hotter days, you may bath twice a day so as to keep the odor at bay.
Change and wash your clothes regularly. Sweaty clothes provide good conditions for bacteria to thrive. After breaking a sweat while working out or doing tasks, be sure to clean and dry your clothes. It is recommended to wear ‘breathable’ clothes which do not trap the sweat produced by your body. Such clothing is that made from natural fibers such as cotton, wool or silk.
Apply deodorants or antiperspirants to avoid sweating or mask the odor. The armpits have a large number of the apocrine glands and thus you should keep them clean and dry so as to avoid excess sweating or underarm odor.
Shave the hair on your armpits regularly. The hair provides good conditions for the bacteria to multiply because it traps the sweat and odor. Shaving of the hair makes the sweat evaporate faster. Thus, the bacteria does not get a chance to break the proteins down.
Watch your diet. You may have to make a change in your diet and reduce the amount of red meat that you eat, as it makes the body odor worse. Your sweat may smell if you eat spicy foods, garlic or curry and thus, you may want to go slow on such foods. So as to flush out the toxins form your body, it is recommended to drink plenty of water.
An overall healthy lifestyle is going to assist you in combating excessive sweating and bad body odor. If you eat good food, use good products and drink a good amount of water, you are going to experience great results- good smell and great confidence!
Do not keep to yourself if you have such a condition. There are ways to make it bearable or to get rid of it completely. Also, it may be a sign of an underlying medical condition and you should thus seek medical attention. Kidney or liver disease may be indicated by a bleach- like smell while a fruity smell may be a sign of diabetes. Therefore, do not be all shy about this condition.
After trying out different remedies that may not seem to be effective, do seek medical attention so as to attend to the real issue. Hope this article will help you move in the right direction.