Body odour, just like mouth odour, is an unpleasant smell that nobody can cope with. Body odour is a perceived unpleasant smell our bodies can give off when bacteria that live on the skin break down sweat into acids – expert say it is the smell of bacteria growing on the body releasing malodorous chemical compounds in the process.
However, body odour is caused by a number of factors working in combination. These include chemicals in sweat, wastes excreted through the skin, the actions of bacteria that live on the skin, and dirty clothes.
Bacteria activities are more common in certain regions of perspiration which include the hands, feet, armpits and the groin area because of a relatively high concentration of sweat glands in those areas. Consequently, body odour is most likely to occur in those parts of the body and on the rest of the skin in extreme cases.
The individual himself/herself may be aware of it or a good friend or a member of the household may tell them about their body odour.
In the vast majority of cases of body odour, it is not necessary to see a doctor.
However, here are some self-care techniques that may help to successfully treat body odour.
1. Keep the armpits clean
Armpit hair slows down the evaporation of sweat, giving the bacteria present more time to break it down into smelly substances; shaving the armpits regularly has been found to help prevent body odour in that area.
Wash the armpits regularly using anti-bacterial soap, and the number of bacteria will be kept low, resulting in less body odour.
2. Deodorant or antiperspirant
Deodorants make the skin more acidic, making the environment more difficult for bacteria to thrive.
An antiperspirant blocks the sweating action of the glands, resulting in less sweating. Ask your pharmacist for special foot deodorants and antiperspirants. If you have athlete’s foot you should not use deodorants or antiperspirants, rather treat the fungal infection first with appropriate medication from a doctor.
3. Bathe daily with water and soap
Have a shower or bath at least once a day preferably with warm water. Remember that warm water helps kill off bacteria that are present on your skin. If the weather is exceptionally hot, consider bathing more often than once a day.
4. Always wear clean clothing.
Natural fibers allow your skin to breathe, resulting in better evaporation of sweat. Natural-made fibers include wool, silk or cotton.
Always wear clean clothes, dirty clothes soaked with sweat in a hot humid environment like in southern Nigeria stink.
5. Avoid some spicy foods
If you can, avoid spices such as garlic and curry.
6. Use Pumice stone
Bacteria thrive on dead skin. If the soles of your feet have patches of dead skin remove them with a pumice stone.
7. Wash your feet in warm water regularly.
This means at least once a day. Remember that warm water is better at killing off bacteria than cold water. Make sure you dry your feet thoroughly afterwards, including in between your toes.
8. Always wear clean Socks and Shoes
The best socks are those made of a combination of cotton and wool, they allow the sweat to evaporate.. Wear a clean pair of socks each day.
If you wear trainers or shoes with plastic linings make sure it is not for long. A leather lining is better for sweat evaporation.
If you have a problem with sweaty feet, do not wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row – shoes do not completely dry overnight.
9. Go around barefoot
Whenever you can, walk around barefoot or at least slip out of your shoes regularly.