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How To Treat Excessive Body Odor

Updated on August 27, 2009

What causes excessive body odor

Everybody sweats, it's a fact of life.  Sweating becomes a problem when your excessive body odor becomes intolerable even to yourself.  Body odor, or bromhidrosis, is caused by bacteria multiplying on your skin when you sweat.  It's not the sweat that smells, it's this bacteria.  The bacteria thrives in moist environments, which is why we are most likely to smell in areas such as the feet, the armpits, the groin, or the breasts. If we were dry all the time, we probably wouldn't smell as much.

Some body odor is normal.  Most people sweat when they exert themselves, are in a hot environment, are nervous, anxious, or under stress. With good hygiene and deodorants containing antiperspirants, body odor should remain under control.  It is when body odor cannot be controlled with standard methods that you should seek the help of a medical professional or look for products designed especially for excessive body odor.

Treatments for excessive body odor

Excessive body odor can be caused by a variety of things including certain foods, medical conditions, medications, improper hygiene. If you eat too much protein, your sweat smells like ammonia – gross! Hyperhidrosis is the condition of excessive sweating. This creates excessive body odor as well, because you will provide the bacteria with more moisture to multiply in. Unfairly, some people inherit a tendency to sweat more.

You have two types of sweat glands on your body. You have eccrine glands that occur over most of your body and open directly onto the skin, and you have apocrine glands that develop in areas of abundant in hair follicles, such as scalp, armpits, and groin. Most often its the bacterial breakdown of the fatty sweat from the apocrine glands that causes all the pungent body odors.

If you notice a sudden change in your normal body odor, then you should see your doctor as soon as possible. Sometimes, an extreme change in body odor can be a sign of a medical condition such as diabetic ketoacidosis or kidney failure.


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