Achieve body odor control
The root cause of most body odor (or bromhidrosis, as it is officially known) is bad hygiene or excessive sweating, but beyond that, doctors don't know much about the condition. An interesting fact to note is that perspiration itself is odorless – it's the bacteria that live on your body and comingle with your perspiration that actually creates the unpleasant smell.
Causes and Symptoms of Body Odor
Beyond simply not washing enough, there are some medical conditions that can cause body odor, including:
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Fungal infections
There is even a rare condition known as trimethylaminuria (or "fish odor syndrome") that causes sufferers' sweat, breath and urine to produce a distinctive and pungent fish-like odor. Hyperhydrosis, or excessive sweating, is another condition that can lead to bromhidrosis, as sweat encourages the growth of bacteria and fungi that release the foul-smelling chemicals associated with strong body odor.
How to Eliminate Body Odor
It's important that you report any sudden or unusual change in body odor to your doctor, as it could be a sign of a serious medical condition. If you're simply looking for body odor control tips for day-to-day life, the best methods include:
- Bathing frequently. Showering and bathing frequently (and using soap to scrub) can help remove bacteria from your skin. Skin care supplements might also provide some symptom relief.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing. Loose clothes and sweat-wicking clothing allow your body to breathe. Be sure to wash your clothes frequently.
- Make dietary changes. Foods like meat, onions, garlic, spices, coffee and alcohol can lead to body odor, so try to eliminate or restrict your intake of these items for a couple weeks to see if you experience a positive change.
- Quit smoking. Smoke clings to the outer layer of your skin, but a malodorous tobacco byproduct can also be released through your skin.