- Why does sweat stink?
- Can you avoid body odor?
- What if the body odor doesn’t go away?
- So do you have a funny body odor story to share?
The minute we hear the acronym BO for body odor, we just can’t help involuntarily wrinkling our noses…it is as if the smell has already invaded our senses. ugh!
Being around someone who stinks is never a pleasant experience. It is crazy how something as simple as body odor can rule our lives especially if we happen to work with colleagues or mingle with people who stink.
I remember, years ago, there was one parent at my son’s school who stank. She had the habit of making gestures that involved raising her arms as she spoke, sending out waves of nausea for the rest of us. Mind you, I am very fond of her – she’s a gem of a person; but that smell…freaked us all out. We so wanted to tell her but were wary of hurting her feelings.
The thing I find really funny, though is how babies put up with all their mama-smells.
Body odor usually comes from sweat. Some people sweat a lot, some sweat less. Some people’s sweat stinks and some people’s, not so much.
Just so you know, sweating is absolutely healthy and in fact, essential. We must sweat to cool our body. Still, hanging out with someone who just stepped out of the gym on a really warm day can make you gag. It won’t be an experience you want to keep repeating!
Why does sweat stink?
It doesn’t. Sweat is just water plus salt and is odor-free. The smelly part comes in when it mixes with the skin’s bacteria. That’s when it makes its presence felt on your nose. And incidentally, your armpits do not hold the copyright to your body odor. There are other parts of your body that share the credit. These include:
- your feet (ever been near a schoolboy who took off his shoes and socks and swung them around?)
- the groin (enough said)
- the upper thighs
There are other areas, but these three are the winners.
Other causes of body odor include:
- kidney disease
- synthetic fabrics
- lack of magnesium and zinc
- garlic and onions
- spicy foods
Can you avoid body odor?
To a very large extent, yes. You can start with personal hygiene, which involves staying clean and dry. Then there are lifestyle changes you can make.
Here are 9 tips to minimize body odor
On the hygiene front, bathe every day. At least once. If you sweat profusely, you may want to bathe more often. When you wash your skin, you give that bacteria a run for its money, causing you to sweat less and therefore, stink less. You certainly do NOT want that sweat staying on your skin like an invitation for bacteria, do you? Didn’t think so!
Use antibacterial soap
To wage the war against bacteria, use an antibacterial soap to control how you smell.
Dry yourself completely
After you bathe, dry yourself completely, especially in those areas where you tend to sweat the most. Think between the toes, fingers, behind the knees, the neck – you know where you sweat. The drier your skin, the harder it is for bacteria to set up their home there. Bacteria prefer warmth and moisture.
If you are hirsute, consider removing your underarm hair to prevent bacteria from setting up shop there.
Invest in a natural deo or antiperspirant of your choice. Remember that deos only mask the stink and do not prevent sweating. Antiperspirants have aluminum-based chemicals to control sweating – you don’t really want to stop sweating and hold those toxins back in your body – so look for a combination of deo + antiperspirant.
Pick your fabric
What about your clothes? Opt for natural fibers like cotton, silk, and wool that allow your skin to breathe freely. If you’re a gym nut, choose fabrics that absorb the sweat so your skin stays dry, not clammy and wet.
Do your laundry
Wash your clothes regularly. What? You’d be surprised how some people wear the same clothes over and over. So wash those garments, especially the ones you use for your workout. During summer, change often to stay fresh and fragrant.
Pay attention to your socks and shoes
Next, socks and shoes. Use socks made of absorbent materials, preferably cotton or wool to keep your feet dry. Do change socks often. Use foot powders that absorb sweat. Use shoes made of materials that breathe. If you are blessed with super-sweaty feet, make sure your shoes dry completely before you can use them again. Best thing to do is gift yourself an alternate pair (or two) so that one pair can catch its breath while you use the other one. Don’t forget to air your feet occasionally to keep them fresh.
Watch your diet
Did you know your diet makes a big impact on how your sweat smells? Spicy and fatty food, especially. Fatty foods – that’s a whole new post! Include plenty of fiber in your diet. Drink lots of water to flush out your system and stay hydrated.
What if the body odor doesn’t go away?
Sometimes, body odor can be because of an underlying cause. If you sweat so much that your normal routine gets messed up, you must consult your doctor. If you suffer from night sweats and have no idea why, your doctor may be able to uncover an underlying medical condition that causes it and needs to be treated.
The main thing with body odor is to be clean, dry, and smell good. It is a health issue. And one that is important.
Come on, out with it in the comments!
Let’s smile together!
And if you’ve been trying to read what’s in the featured pic…