Body odor is the perceived unpleasant smell our bodies can give off when bacteria that live on the skin break down sweat into acids.
Body odor usually gets intense when a person reaches puberty. People who are obese, those who regularly eat spicy foods, as well as individuals with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, are more susceptible to having body odor.
Body odor is a discomfort to people around you. It may make you uncomfortable as well. This may reduce your self-esteem and cost you friends. Body odor could also be a result of recklessness in one’s personal hygiene.
Ahumuza, a student, notes that he thought he had a natural bad breathe until he was guided on how to better his oral care and hygiene.
“I used to brush my teeth constantly but the odor persisted, this was so until a friend who I think had tolerated me enough taught me how to brush my teeth well. He told me to give much attention to the tongue and the back teeth, this is when I realized that my smell was due to my poor hygiene,” he says.
Just like him, so many people are suffering with bad breaths and body odors in silence, here is a guide on how to reduce or completely heal that bad irritating body odor or breathe.
According to Betty Mbabazi, a nurse, the unpleasant smell is produced by active bacteria’s found on a human body (skin) that over powers the acids in your sweat.
She adds that everyone who has reached puberty is bound to get a bad body odor as long as you don’t pay attention to your health. She notes that men are more likely to get bad odor than women because they sweat more and on the contrary give their bodies less time.
Excessive intake of alcoholic, caffeine drinks and strong spices like garlic.
Medical conditions like diabetes
Excessive sweating also known scientifically as hyperhidrosis is a condition where a person sweats excessively and much more than the body needs to regulate temperature.
This can also cause smelly feet once the sweat is trapped inside the shoes and socks where it cannot evaporate.
Body parts prone to body odor include;
- pubic hair and other hair
- belly button
- behind the ears
- the rest of the skin, to a lesser extent
How to manage a body odor
Body odor can be controlled by reducing on the excess skin bacteria that causes the body to smell.
This can be done by regular body washing and scrubbing (atleast twice a day).
- Keeping the armpits and the private parts area well shaved will also render help in reducing body odor.
- Use of anti bacterial soaps will help reduce the amount of bacteria on your body.
- Use of deodorants after showering helps your body keep fresh by reducing the rate of perspiration. If your body sweats extremely fast especially men, look out for strong deodorants.
- Wear loose clothes and cotton fabrics that give your body a chance to breathe. Cotton is good at sucking in sweat which will leave your skin dry.
- Avoid repeating clothes! Whether it’s the under garments or outer normal clothing, they should be changed after every wear.
- Brush your teeth well giving ample attention to your tongue, and the teeth sides.
- Reduce on the amount of spices or alcohol intake.
Some kinds of body odors, Mbabazi says, are due to medical complications and need to be reported to a medical doctor especially if they persist even after proper hygiene practice.