Why Do People Have Unpleasant Body Odor Even After Taking a Bath?
What Causes Body Odor?
Even famous Hollywood stars have suffered legendarily bad breath and battled body odor, so you are not alone if your natural state smells a little bit more natural than your friends would prefer. Read through this Hub to understand what may be causing the smell and what you can do about it.
Facts about Body Odor
- Body odor, or B.O. as it is colloquially abbreviated, is referred to in medicine as bromhidrosis.
- It is not your sweat that smells but actually the bacteria in your perspiration. Sweat in reality is odorless, but the bacterial activity on your skin when you perspire causes the unpleasant odor and explains why the smell may persist even after a bath.
- Your skin produces two different kinds of sweat from two different kinds of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine. These glands secrete sweat in response not only to heat and humidity, but also to stress, anger, nervousness, sexual excitement, or certain foods. The apocrine glands in humans are located in the armpits, ear canal, eyelids, breasts, and genitalia, and the bacteria that thrive on secretions from the apocrine glands can grow and multiply. This produces an aroma that comes from the bacteria breaking down the fluids in sweat.
If the problem is causing you social embarrassment and damaging your self confidence, you need not panic. There are a lot of remedies and cures for men and women to get rid of the problem. Normal body odor caused by sweating can be treated effectively at home. It can usually be fixed by a change in your hygiene routine. If not, it may be a symptom of a medical condition, such as a skin infection (most commonly athlete’s foot), a liver disease, or a kidney condition. For this reason, if your body odor persists, see your doctor to get a diagnosis as soon as possible.
Home Cures and Suggestions
- Maintain high levels of personal hygiene by taking frequent showers using a scrubber or loofah with an anti-bacterial soap.
- Dry yourself well after baths and use antibacterial and antifungal powder.
- Wear clean clothes and make sure they are washed well to get rid of the odor. Never wear unwashed clothes.
- Use deodorants and antiperspirants, but be careful as they may cause skin irritation.
1. Sage (Salvia Officinalis)
Compounds found in sage can dry up perspiration, while the oils contained in sage are antiseptic and antibiotic. Use it on your skin to help lessen body odor caused by your perspiration or by infectious agents. You can use sage as a body powder, body wash, and tea.
To create a body powder, crush dried sage and apply it to your skin.
To create a body wash, brew some sage tea. Sage tea helps excessive sweating (steep 2 teaspoons of dried sage in 1/4 litre of hot water for 5 minutes). You can then use the sage tea externally as a body wash. Apply to underarms in the shower--avoid using the body wash on your face or genitals.
You can also internally drink sage tea to treat body odor. Drink small amounts as needed rather than drinking it routinely. Caution: Prolonged use can cause dizziness, hot flushes, and seizures. Do not take internally if pregnant or breastfeeding.
2. Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis)
This aromatic culinary herb contains agents that are antiseptic and antibiotic, and the piney scent is also refreshing. Similar to sage, you can grind the dried herb and use it as a body powder. You can also make a tea from rosemary to use as body wash by steeping 1/4 cup of dried rosemary in 1/2 liter (2 cups) of water. If irritation occurs, discontinue the use.
3. Fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare)
As early as the 10th century AD, the mystic Hildegard of Bingen recommended fennel seed as treatment for body odor. In some Indian restaurants fennel seeds are seen instead of after-dinner mints. This is because fennel seeds not only improve digestion, but also can reduce bad breath and body odor that originate in the intestines. Eat whole seeds after a meal, or drink one cup of tea per day.
4. Sweet-Smelling Body Powder
You can use this powder under the arms or wherever odor originates:
- 35 grams cornflour
- 35 grams bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tablespoon ground sage
- 1 tablespoon ground rosemary
Mix ingredients together.
Foods That Reduce Body Odor:
Your diet can also affect the smells emitted from your pores. Zinc deficiency may contribute to the body odor. To treat a zinc deficiency, try adding some of these zinc-rich foods to your diet:
- whole grains
Foods That Cause Body Odor:
Certain foods contribute to your body odor. For example, garlic and onions both contain volatile sulfurous substances, which causes the smell that comes out of your pores long after you eat them. Cabbage and cruciferous vegetables contain compounds that your body will later release as well. Some foods, like caffeine and spices, don't directly affect your smell, but increase the amount you sweat. As bacteria breaks down that sweat, you will smell like you just worked out.
- refined sugar
- white flour
- hydrogenated oils
- processed foods
- red meat (which releases toxins into your blood stream)
- very spicy foods (moderately spicy is okay)
What Medical Conditions Cause Body Odors
However, it is important to understand what really causes body odor for if the problem persists, there might be some underlying medical implications. As an old adage says, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." If you are unsure why your body odor will not go away despite the steps listed above, or if the amount you sweat suddenly changes for no apparent reason, it is worth consulting a doctor.
Live a marvellous life!