There was a young woman who was just from honeymoon after her wedding to the love of her life. One day as she was washing outside in the open while her husband had gone out, a little boy from the neighboring house who was used to her husband came over to her (as he used to do) to inquire who she was. After chatting with the boy, she picked up her husband’s shirt and before dipping it in water passed the shirt before her nose. The little boy became curious and asked what was wrong with the shirt. The boy’s question somehow startled the woman; she did not realize that the boy was watching as she did that. She answered the boy very innocently; ‘it smells good’. That is it. That is what body odour can do. Your body odour can be pleasant or smelly (pungent?). It happens that body odour can be used for identification where necessary and animals such as dogs use body odour often to identify themselves.
Body odour is influenced by various factors including
- Your Diet
- Your Lifestyle (your odour will simply be that of cigarettes!)
- Your Gender (female of course)
- Your overall health condition
- Any medications you take (long-term medications).
While these factors will influence your body odour, it comes about because of a natural process that involves sweat from within your body, ending up on your skin. The sweat that ends on your skin is however odourless. The odour develops because bacteria on your skin feed on the sweat, hence breaking it down into chemical substances hence causing the odour, which can be pleasant or smelly, depending on the above stated influencing factors.
Not all areas of your body may produce smelly body odour. Particular areas such as your underarms and genital areas are the most likely places to produce smelly body odour because such areas produce a lot of oily substances and proteins that bacteria feed on. Other areas of your body may just produce salty sweat, which is inhabitable to bacteria. A special area of consideration is your feet, which can produce a different smelly body odour. This is because your feet are at most times covered with socks or in shoes, making them warm and humid, perfect conditions for fungal and bacterial infections (without proper care).
Generally, children below puberty age may not have smelly pores and their body odour may just be that of sweat. This is because their specialized glands do not develop until they reach puberty. Once they reach puberty, they are bound to have very strong body odour, which can be pleasant or smelly. This is because apart from diet and other possible factors, theirs becomes complicated with inclusion of hormonal changes associated with puberty. It is very interesting to note that you may not be able to ascertain your own body odour and determine whether it is pleasant or smelly. This is because you are already used to it. It is comments by others that will make you determine whether you stink or not. The fact that your odour is not smelly does not mean that it is pleasant. What do you do to know if yours is pleasant? Well, watch where he directs his nose when in his arms!
Although you may consult your doctor because of smelly body odour, diagnosis is always unnecessary. It is however good to consult for the valuable advice you are likely to receive. In any case, medications are available that inhibit the growth of bacteria, hence ridding smelly body odour. Apart from medications, you may need to have a look at your diet and avoid spicy foods. Such increase the degree of smell. Personal hygiene becomes a priority and you have to take regular baths (at least twice a day) with change of clothing after every bath session. You may also use deodorants, antiperspirants and scented dresses to cover the smelly odour in case you have not found a lasting solution.
Tips to Prevent Body Odour
You can use the following tips to prevent smelly body odour:
- Avoid refined foods including hydrogenated oils.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Consider taking charcoal tablets at least once a week. They are effective in absorbing body waste (chemicals).
- Restrict yourself to wearing cotton clothes. They easily absorb sweat.
- Apply apple cider vinegar on your underarms.
- Always use antibacterial soap when bathing to kill available bacteria.
- Consider adding either a cup of tomato juice or camphor oil to your bathing water.