Now that we have covered bad breath in part one of this blog series, we can now touch upon the much larger issue of body odor. Body odor is typically caused by sweating when the sweat reacts to different bacteria on the body. Usually, the armpits and the groin have different bacteria that cause sweat to smell. In this blog, I’ll cover a few simple topics that will hopefully expand our knowledge of our bodies and enlighten us to some preventative measures.
How it works:
The two different types of sweat glands in the human body are the eccrine and apocrine glands. The eccrine glands are throughout a person’s entire body and allow sweat to go directly to the surface of the skin. The apocrine glands however are abundantly found on parts of the body where there is a lot of hair. The apocrine glands allow sweat to “empty into the hair follicle just before it opens onto the skin surface. The eccrine glands are the sweat glands that produce sweat when we are hot; this sweat is mostly water and salt and “cools your body as it evaporates.” The apocrine glands however, “produce a milky fluid that most commonly is secreted when you’re under emotional stress.” The sweat from the apocrine glands, combines with bacteria to produce a stench.
When is it an issue? :
Sweat is helpful for your body. It aids you in cooling down naturally… so at what point does sweat become a problem? Your body can have too many sweat glands causing excessive sweat and thus body odor. Another issue is a person’s tendency to panic. If you are a worrier, or frightened easily, you tend to sweat more easily as well. Sweating is really only a problem when “it causes a problem in your daily routine.” An overactive thyroid or diabetes can also cause excessive sweating. If one notices they are sweating excessively, they should seek medical assistance to insure it is not one of these problems.
How to cope:
The obvious solution to body odor, is deodorant which can reduce the smell but not stop perspiration. A person can also try an “antiperspirant” which “temporarily blocks the sweat pore.” Many deodorants have a scent and are antiperspirants. Of course, if it is a larger medical problem then follow medication as prescribed. Bathing regularly on top of eliminating foods and beverages that are caffeinated or spicy can also assist in eliminating odor.
What to take away:
Body odor is a personal matter, and if you find that you are sweating excessively talk to a physician. They can recommend stronger antiperspirants or ones that are gentler to the skin. When choosing how to address this issue, you should take into account what will be best for your own body. Try different products and do a little experimenting on your own. Body odor is a serious matter and should be treated as such, so don’t ignore it! Smell something, say something.