Poor hygiene or medical condition? 16 tips to overcoming body odour

by @MHealthsolution

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 Processed food items like refined sugar, hydrogenated oils and white flour may cause body odour. Avoid them as much as you can.

It’s a fact that men sweat more than women. Thus it’s no news that we are the major offenders as regards body odour.  It’s also a fact that as strange as it may seem, many people with bad body odour are unaware that they smell…so you should start getting worried when you get perfumes as random gifts from different people.

Body odour, also known as bromhidrosis, is the unpleasant smell that can occur when you sweat. The sweat itself does not smell. The unpleasant odour is produced by bacteria on the skin that break down the sweat. Body odour is most likely to occur in our feet, groin, armpits, genitals, pubic hair and other hair, belly button, anus, behind the ears, and to some (lesser) extent on the rest of our skin.

The causes of body odour ranges from excessive sweating and poor hygiene to medical conditions. Such medical conditions include thyroid disease, characinoid syndrome, and urinary tract infections e.t.c. Side effects of some medicines e.g antidepressants can also cause excessive sweating which might lead to body odour when bacteria break it down. Genetic predisposition is also a major factor. Thus, if your granddaddy had a body odour, chances are you will have too.

Tips to avoid getting body odour:

– The best way to is to keep areas of your body prone to sweating clean and free of bacteria. The use of antiperspirants, deodorants or baby powder should be routine.

– Take a warm bath or shower once a day paying particular attention to areas that sweat most, such as armpits, genital area and feet. If you sweat a lot or on hot days, you may need to bath twice a day. After your bath, add a tablespoon of honey to tepid water for the final rinse. This will help keep body odour in check.

– Never wear yesterday’s clothes. However clean your body is, the clothes will retain the smell of yesterday’s sweat. Wear natural fibres, such as wool, silk or cotton so that sweat can evaporate quicker.

– Shave your armpits regularly to allow sweat to evaporate quicker giving the bacteria less time to break it down. Wash underarms with hydrogen peroxide, its drying effect helps control sweating and neutralize odour.

– Use tea-tree oil as natural body spray. It is an antibacterial herb, it would act favourably in preventing body odour.

The dietary considerations:

Limit your consumption of red meat spicy foods, such as curry or garlic. Evidence  suggests that eating a lot of them tends to make body odour worse.

Eat diet containing whole grains, leafy vegetables, fruits, soy products and raw nuts.

Processed food items like refined sugar, hydrogenated oils and white flour may cause body odour. Avoid them as much as you can.

Drink plenty of water. It will ensure that you smell fresh and sweet.

Take one or two tablets/spoonful chlorophyll (tablet or liquid) with each meal. It may also help. Chlorophyll is a great deodorizer.

Magnesium: Between 200-500 mg of magnesium have been recommended. It can be combined with zinc, vitamin A and high potency vitamin B for augmented effect.

Treatment options include the following:

Aluminum chloride: Aluminum chloride solutions(e.g Anhydrol Forte,Driclor) are usually applied every night before bed and washed off in the morning.It reduces how much you sweat the next day. As the solution begins to take effect, it can be used less often (every other night or once or twice a week)

Botulinum toxin: Works by blocking signals from your brain to the sweat glands, reducing the amount of sweat produced. The procedure takes 30-45 minutes, and the effects of botulinum toxin usually last 2-8 months. After this time, further treatment will be needed.

Chlorhexidine 0.05%: Applied daily, it significantly reduces the number of bacteria, although it has no effect on sweating itself.

Coconut oil: There are serious claims that coconut oil applied topically removes all odour from sweating

Surgery: This may be recommended for severe body odour that cannot be treated by self-care measures and over-the-counter products. A common one is endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS), which uses keyhole surgery to destroy the nerves that control sweating.


You will need to see your doctor if :

– You start sweating much more than you normally do, without any logical reason.

– You have cold sweats

– Sweating disrupts your daily routine

– Your body smells differently – if it is a fruity smell it could be due to diabetes, liver or kidney disease often makes the individual have a bleach-like smell.

Folks (especially my fellow brothers), lets kick out body odour!


MHS is an innovative and budding health organisation which specializes in providing basic health needs and tips. Follow @MHealthsolution on Twitter.


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

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