How to remain fresh and get rid of body odor? This is a common problem we face with the onset of summers. No one likes the foul odor to emanate from our body. But, like it or not, we have a unique body odor which is a result of bacterial reaction with our sweat and other secretions.
Sweating is biological way of our body to cool down and maintain its thermostat during summer. Sweat is a salty liquid which oozes out of our body through sweat glands. Sweat itself has no smell but when it is acted upon by the bacteria, it gets an unpleasant odor.
There are two types of sweat glands:
Eccrine glands: These glands are spread all over the body. They act as mini air-conditioners to maintain the “homeostasis” or keep the body cool.
Apocrine glands: These are mainly concentrated under armpits and groin. They have nothing to do with cooling. They respond to conditions such as anger, nervousness and arousal. The sweat from these parts is rich in organic substances which attracts bacteria and produces typical body odor.
WHAT CAUSES FOUL BODY ODOR?
- Unhygienic habits: not taking daily bath or using the used clothes enhances the foul body odor.
- Medical problems: Certain medical problems like thyroid, obesity and skin problems (probably fungal growth) also cause the foul body odor.
- Food habits: Excessive intake of garlic and onion also contributes to foul body odor.
- Synthetic clothes: Synthetic clothes trap the sweat and don’t let it dry. This gives bacteria favorable conditions to grow and react with sweat resulting in foul body odor.
HOW TO PREVENT FOUL BODY ODOR
1. Taking shower with an antibacterial soap and cleaning armpits and groin area thoroughly, the areas which cause maximum foul body odor.
2. After taking bath use some deodorant or antiperspirant to reduce the smell. They both works differently: deodorant works on bacteria that produce odor whereas antiperspirant blocks the pores on our skin and thus reduces sweat.
3. Shave your armpit hairs. It will reduce body odor significantly.
4. Change your clothes daily, especially undergarments, which come in contact with sweat.
6. Wearing loose fitting cloths, preferably cotton ones, helps reduce the body odor.
7. Avoid diet rich in garlic or spicy one. Excessive intake will make your sweat more pungent.
8. To get rid of problem of smelly feet, wash your feet with lukewarm water. Dry them properly between toes also. Wear well ventilated footwear.
9. Intake of certain drugs also increases sweating. Consult your physician in case you feel so.
10. Avoid smoking and drinking. It has been found they increase sweating and bad body odor.
HOME REMEDIES TO REDUCE BODY ODOR:
- Cleaning your armpits with half a lemon before shower will keep you odor-free and fresh for the day.
- Boil some mint leaves in some water and let it cool. Mix this water in your bathtub. It is also helpful in keeping the foul odor away.
- Drinking plenty of water is necessary in case one suffers from fould body odor.
- Adding half a cup of vinegar in the bathtub is also a good option to remain fresh and avoid body odor.
- Baking soda in powder form when applied to foul smelling areas in the body also reduces body odor as it is a good absorbent.
- If nothing helps, consult your doctor.