How to get rid of bad smells?
Body odor is what you smell when your sweat comes into contact with bacteria on your skin. Sweat itself has no odor, but when bacteria on your skin mixes with your sweat, it causes odor.
Body odor can smell sweet, sour, pungent, or like onions. How much you sweat doesn't necessarily have an impact on your body odor.
This is why a person can have unpleasant body odor without sweating. Conversely, a person may sweat excessively but not smell.
This is because body odor is a result of the type of bacteria on your skin and how those bacteria interact with sweat, not the sweat itself.
In this article, we'll discuss the factors that can cause unpleasant body odor and how to reduce it, by implementing a few simple steps into your routine.
However, unpleasant body odor can be the result of an underlying medical condition, so it is always recommended to consult your doctor, if it does not go away.
What causes sweating?
Sweating is the secretion of fluids by sweat glands on the surface of your skin. There are two types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine.
The eccrine glands secrete sweat directly onto the surface of your skin. As sweat evaporates, it helps cool your skin and regulate your body temperature.
It does not produce an odor. When your body temperature rises due to physical exertion or heat, the evaporation of sweat from your skin produces a cooling effect. The eccrine glands cover most of your body, including the palms and soles of the feet.
The apocrine glands are responsible for the production of body odor. Apocrine glands open into your hair follicles. You can find apocrine glands in the groin and armpits.
These glands produce sweat which can smell when it comes in contact with bacteria on your skin.
Sweating is a natural bodily process, but due to certain foods we eat, hygiene practices, or genetics, sweat can smell bad once it comes in contact with your skin.
What are the factors that cause unpleasant body odor?
Body odor occurs when bacteria on your skin come in contact with sweat.
Our skin is naturally covered in bacteria. When we sweat, water, salt and fat mix with this bacteria and can cause odor. The smell can be bad, good or odorless.
Factors such as the foods you eat, hormones, or medications can affect body odor.
A condition called hyperhidrosis causes a person to sweat excessively. People with this condition may be more sensitive to body odor because they sweat a lot, but it's often the eccrine sweat glands that cause the most discomfort with sweaty palms and feet.
Every time you sweat, there's a chance you'll produce unpleasant body odor. Some people are more sensitive to foul body odor than others.
Other factors that can affect body odor are:
- Physical exercise
- Stress or anxiety
- Hot weather
- Being overweight
There could be several reasons why your sweat smells bad. For example, certain medications, supplements, or foods can cause your sweat to smell bad.
Remember that sweat itself is not what smells; it's the bacteria on your skin combined with the sweat.
Several medical conditions and illnesses are associated with changes in a person's usual body odor:
- An overactive thyroid
- Liver or kidney disease
- Infectious diseases
How to deal with bad body odor
- Keep your skin clean by bathing or showering daily with antibacterial soap. Focus on areas where you sweat the most, such as your armpits and groin. Regularly removing certain bacteria from your skin can prevent unpleasant body odor.
- Once you've showered, dry yourself off completely, paying particular attention to areas where you sweat a lot. If your skin is dry, it is more difficult for the bacteria responsible for body odor to reproduce there.
- Keep sweaty areas shaved, so sweat evaporates quickly and doesn't have as much time to interact with bacteria. Body hair is a breeding ground for bacteria.
- Wash clothes regularly and wear clean clothes.
- Wear loose, cotton clothing. This allows your skin to breathe. This rule also applies to underwear and bras. Moisture-wicking clothing (fabric that can wick moisture away from your skin) is also helpful.
- Use a topical antiperspirant, which works by drawing sweat back into your sweat glands. Sweat production decreases when your body receives a signal that your sweat glands are full.
- Find ways to reduce your stress level. Stress can activate your apocrine glands.
- If you eat foods high in sulfur, you may develop body odor. The sulfur smells like rotten eggs. When secreted by your body in your sweat, it can give off an unpleasant odor. Here are some examples of foods high in sulfur:
- Red Meat
Other common food triggers of bad body odor are:
- Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
- Spices like curry or cumin
- Hot sauce or any other spicy food
Eliminating or reducing these triggers can help improve your body odor.
Natural products to get rid of unpleasant body odor
If you want a more natural approach to dealing with body odor, there are plenty of proven options. Let's take a look at some effective and natural home remedies.
1. Drink enough water
The first effective home remedy for body odor is to drink plenty of water. Being an excellent solvent, water removes toxins from your body and helps eliminate bacteria and pathogens that can lead to body odor.
In addition, water is also the best neutralizer that prevents the formation of bacteria in your intestines.
2. Apply coconut oil to your skin.
Coconut oil is one of the best and most effective remedies that can help the body smell nice. The antimicrobial properties (an agent that kills microorganisms or inhibits their growth) in coconut oil help limit the growth of odor-causing bacteria.
Coconut oil also supports digestive health, an important factor in the fight against body odor and bad breath.
Applying coconut oil to the skin and consuming it in your food will help stop the growth of bacteria in your body, thus preventing body odor.
3. Rub lemon on your armpits
The natural, antiseptic (agents that slow or stop the growth of microorganisms) and antimicrobial properties of lemon help eliminate unpleasant body odors and control bad breath caused by bacteria.
The acidic properties of lemon juice help reduce the growth of harmful bacteria on the skin. Moreover, as an immune booster, lemon eliminates harmful toxins including bacteria present in the body.
You can rub half a lemon on your armpits to prevent sweating and prevent body odor.
4. Eat Fenugreek Seeds Regularly
The antioxidant properties of fenugreek seeds can help flush out toxins from your body and the antibacterial properties they contain can prevent the spread of bacterial infections.
Consuming fenugreek seeds is believed to naturally combat body odor from its root cause.
You can also choose to drink fenugreek tea. Boil a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in about 250ml of water. Drink this tea regularly on an empty stomach to eliminate toxins and thus fight body odor naturally.
5. Use Neem Leaf Paste
Neem is an effective herb in Ayurveda with many medicinal values. The antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties of neem leaves help eliminate harmful bacteria and odor-causing toxins from your body.
You can apply neem leaf paste (add water to neem leaf powder) on your armpits, leave on for 15 minutes and rinse.
The simple act of adding a few twigs of neem leaves to hot water and taking a bath can also be beneficial.
6. Tomato juice for body odor
Tomato juice is an effective remedy for body odor. The antibacterial and antiseptic properties of tomatoes can help limit the number of odor-causing bacteria in the body. It also helps control excessive sweating.
Dip a cloth in tomato juice and spread it on your armpits. Drinking tomato juice can lower body temperature, thereby reducing sweating.
7. Wash your armpits with baking soda
Baking soda helps absorb moisture from the skin, reducing odor. Apply baking soda to your armpits and rinse after a few minutes.
Baking soda mixed with equal parts cornstarch can act as a natural deodorant. If you feel a burning sensation when applying baking soda, do not continue and rinse immediately.
8. Use green tea bags
Famous for their antioxidant and detoxifying potential, green tea bags are a blessing for treating smelly armpits or stinky feet.
Dip a few tea bags in lukewarm water and once completely soaked, press against armpit area and feet for 5 minutes each and rinse, to regulate sweat glands.
9. Use witch hazel as an antiperspirant
Witch Hazel (a natural remedy made from the bark and leaves of a plant called Hamamelis virginiana) acts as an astringent, an agent that contracts skin pores by shrinking sweat production.
Witch hazel, when applied to your armpits, acts as an antiperspirant (a substance that reduces or prevents perspiration or perspiration) and thus helps reduce body odor.
10. Dab apple cider vinegar on your armpits
Apple cider vinegar has acidic properties that help eliminate toxic microbes from the body.
Soak a few cotton balls in apple cider vinegar and dab on armpits, feet and other parts of the body to eradicate bacteria and reduce body odor.
11. Use rock salt
Rock salt or sendha namak has powerful cleansing properties, which eliminate excess sweat and influence the action of microbes living on the surface of the skin.
Simply add a few rock salt crystals to a tub or bucket of warm water, mix well until completely dissolved, and take a relaxing shower to control sweat and body odor.
While it can be difficult to deal with unpleasant body odor, fortunately there are many natural remedies to help you deal with the situation. We hope this article has helped you better understand the causes of body odor and how to control it. Please keep in mind that this article is written for educational purposes and does not replace a visit to the doctor, who will help you better understand the root of this problem and provide you with medication, if necessary.