By Benedict Masade

A. Introduction:

Body odour, just like mouth odour, is an unpleasant smell that nobody can cope with. Body odor 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.


It is mostly active in certain regions of perspiration include the hands, feet, armpits and the groin area because of a relatively high concentration of sweat glands in those areas. Consequently, body odor is most likely to occur in those parts of the body and on the rest of the skin in extreme cases. Body odor 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.
Body odour usually becomes evident if measures are not taken when a human reaches puberty – 14-16 years of age in females and 15-17 years of age in males. People who are obese, those who regularly eat spicy foods, as well as individuals with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, are more susceptible to having body odour. This is so because most cases of excessive sweating tend to start during a person’s teenage years, and that in order to ward off possible negative consequences such as body odour, the adolescent must be scrupulously hygienic, especially because of the various, progressive and unrelenting biological and hormonal changes that attend that important decade of a growing youngster’s life. The truth is that the crucial steps that individuals take at this point in time may determine their overall skin health as time goes on.”
People who are obese are likely to develop body odour.  This is because the extra energy exerted by obese people can increase the production of sweat and lead to the ideal environment for odour-causing bacteria to form and thrive. “Obese people have more skin surface as a result of the crevices that come with rolls of body fat. The crevices serve as avenues for moisture to accumulate, with the attendant increased possibility for bacteria growth in those rolls of flesh.”

B.Recognising body odour

In the vast majority of cases of body odour it is not necessary to see a doctor. 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 odor.

C.Causes of Body Odour

1.Medical Conditions
Some medical conditions may change how much a person sweats, while others can alter how we sweat, subsequently changing the way we smell. For example, hyperthyroidism (an over-active thyroid gland) or menopause can make people sweat much more, while liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes can change the consistency of sweat so that the person smells differently.

2.Unkempt Armpits:
Armpits – a large concentration of apocrine glands exist in the armpits, making that area susceptible to rapid development of body odor.

3.Unwashed Body
Unwashed body has unpleasant odour, have a shower or bath at least once a day. 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.Dirty Clothing
Natural fibers allow your skin to breathe, resulting in better evaporation of sweat. Natural-made fibers include wool, silk or cotton.   Dirty clothes owing to sweat smell a lot.

5.Spicy foods
Curry, garlic and some other spicy (piquant) foods have the potential to make some people’s sweat more pungent. Some experts believe a diet high in red meat may also raise the risk of developing more rapid body odour.  Some spicy foods also have unpleasant smell which follows the consumer or present in the breath of the consumer.

6.Unkempt Feet
Smelly feet (bromodosis) -are less of a problem socially than underarm B.O. because the unpleasant odor is usually contained by shoes and socks. However, the smell may become obvious if the person with smelly feet visits a home where shoes are taken off before entering, as is the custom in various countries and homes.

7.Dirty Socks
Dirty socks smell especially if wet.  The best socks are those made of a combination of man-made fibers and wool. Wear a clean pair of socks each day in hot and humid environment.

8.Dirty Shoes
Dirty wet shoes have unpleasant odour and can contribute to the body odour of an individual.

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