Body odor can be an embarrassing problem, but the good news is that it doesn’t have to be permanent. With a few simple steps, you can get rid of embarrassing body odor quickly and effectively so you can feel confident again.
How to Get Rid of Body Odor Permanently
Nobody really likes body odor. Even if it’s from the summer heat, post-workout, or nervous sweating, the aroma of body odor can be strong and overpowering. Whether you’re trying to impress someone special or just want to bask in a less pungent fragrance, managing body odor requires some modifications. Below, you’ll find some recommendations on identifying the causes of body odor prevention and cure.
What is the main cause of body odor?
The main source of body odor comes from the bacteria that feed off of the secretions from the apocrine and eccrine glands responsible for producing sweat. More often than not, the more that you sweat, and the more sweat that accumulates on your body, the more likely you will develop a body odor. This, of course, is not always true and varies from person to person. Likewise, other causes of body odor may produce a noticeable response regardless of how much one sweats.
Practice Good Hygiene
A key part of reducing body odor is practicing good hygiene habits. This doesn’t just mean showering daily but also making sure to keep your clothes fresh and clean. Change out of sweaty clothes as soon as possible and make sure you’re wearing clothes that aren’t too tight so sweat can evaporate quickly and easily. Additionally, use an antiperspirant or deodorant on a regular basis to control moisture and odors.
Choose Your Clothes Carefully
The type of fabrics you’re wearing can also have an effect on body odor. Sweat-absorbing fabrics such as cotton, linen, and rayon are the best at wicking away sweat and lowering odors. Try to avoid synthetic materials like polyester, as these tend to trap sweat close to your skin and prevent it from evaporating naturally. Natural fibers such as silk, wool, hemp, and bamboo are also helpful in keeping body odor under control.
Don’t sweat the body odor
Sweating is the body’s natural response to maintaining a stable body temperature. In short, when one generates more heat, the body naturally cools itself through sweating.
Sweating itself is not the cause of body odor, as noted above. However, once one reaches puberty, the apocrine glands begin to develop and produce sweat through hair follicles (as opposed to the eccrine glands which are found all over the skin). Since apocrine glands tend to be concentrated in the armpits and groin area, you’re more likely to smell body odor coming from these areas, especially if you have been sweating.
The best remedy to deal with body odor in the above-mentioned areas that are the result of sweating is to bathe regularly. You don’t have to shower every day, but if you have or are concerned with body odor, showering more regularly will remove the sweat that accumulates in these areas, reducing the odor produced by the bacteria on your skin.
As we tend to notice our body odor after activities that involve heavy sweating, showering after exercise or working outdoors will reduce and even eliminate the smell of body odor.
Body odor may also arise if you are experiencing a medical condition that causes excessive sweating. Excessive sweating may arise from conditions including hyperhidrosis, menopause, obesity, pituitary disorders, excessive alcohol consumption, or diabetes.
In the case of diabetes and even if you are suffering from a kidney disorder, you may notice a distinct aroma coming from your skin. With regard to underlying medical conditions that can cause excessive sweating that may be accompanied by a strange aroma, it’s best to see a medical provider diagnose and treat the underlying condition.
With any condition that causes excessive sweating, wearing clothing made from ventilated fabric or even using corn starch to absorb moisture helps to reduce the presence of sweat-affiliated odors.
You are what you eat
Some people may find that they have a particularly pronounced body odor after eating specific foods. Some of the foods that can cause body odors to include asparagus (famed for also causing one’s urine to produce an odor), cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, garlic and onions, alcohol, and certain spices such as cumin.
With many plant-affiliated body odors, sulfur compounds, as are found in asparagus, cruciferous vegetables, and garlic, result in the production of hydrogen sulfide when digested in the colon. Aside from being released through the digestive tract, the aroma may also be permeable through one’s pores depending on how much one has consumed and how well it is digested.
In the case of alcohol, the production of sweet-smelling acetate that results from alcohol digestion may permeate through the skin; very often, one can smell alcohol that is undigested after a night of heavy drinking. In the cases of food-based body odor, reducing consumption or eating smaller amounts helps to reduce the production of odor.
Since these foods are also full of healthful compounds, minerals, and nutrients, avoiding them entirely is not necessary, though it does help to cook foods more thoroughly to break down the fiber found in plant-based foods to improve digestion and reduce odors.
In the case of alcohol consumption, drinking in moderation and simultaneously drinking water helps to reduce odor after effects. Hot peppers and caffeinated beverages may lead to excessive sweating, prompting those who suffer from more intense body odor to cut back on these foods.
Some people may find that they produce more body odor after eating abundant carbohydrates, while excessive meat consumption has been linked with more intense body odor. In such instances, reducing or eliminating these foods will help to reduce sweat production and body odor production. Someone who notices a very pronounced fishy smell after eating may be experiencing trimethylaminuria, the condition where the body cannot break down the odiferous trimethylamine.
This compound is more abundant after eating dairy products, seafood, and legumes, so reducing or avoiding these foods may be necessary to manage this condition; reducing stress and taking charcoal or vitamin B2 supplements have also been shown to help in reducing odor production in trimethylaminuria.
Don’t Go Overboard With Fragrance Products
While using fragrance can help you combat unfavorable body odor, it should not be an alternative for proper hygiene. It’s important to note that fragrances can also mask the underlying problem. The key is to strike a balance between masking existing odors and providing enough fragrance to give off an inviting scent. How strong your deodorant smells will greatly depend on how much you apply and the type of product itself, so experiment with different options until you find the right fit.
When in doubt, use deodorants
Whether you are looking to reduce sweat production or mask odors, deodorants and antiperspirants are typically recommended as hygiene measures to reduce the presence of body odors. Deodorants work by impeding the bacteria on the skin from digesting sweat and associated compounds, usually through aluminum compounds, while antiperspirants work to prevent sweat production entirely.
Without sweat-digesting bacteria or sweat, to begin with, there is less of a likelihood to produce body odor. For those who experience rashes or negative reactions to aluminum-based deodorants, a variety of options include coconut oil, baking soda, and charcoal as ingredients to neutralize sweat-consuming bacteria or mask any odors they may produce.
Fortunately, reducing and eliminating body odors is not as complicated as dealing with other body responses. If you or someone you know has a problem with body odor, proper hygiene and diet are usually enough to eliminate the problem;
in rare cases, seeking medical intervention may be necessary to respond to a medical condition that is causing sweating or odor to be produced. Now that you’re more familiar with the causes of body odor prevention and cure, you don’t have to sweat body odor anymore!
Try Natural Remedies For Deodorant
If you’re looking for a natural alternative to traditional deodorants and antiperspirants, there are several options. Applying baking soda directly to the skin is one remedy – just make sure it’s completely dry before putting on clothes as it can leave behind white powder stains. Other options include applying witch hazel extract under your arms, as this supposedly reduces sweat production. Finally, absorbing sweat with botanical powders like arrowroot or cornstarch is also effective in keeping smells at bay throughout the day.
With everything said above, I believe you now understand how to remove body odor permanently naturally, how to prevent body odor and the foods that eliminate body odor.