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How to tell a friend they have Body Odor

Updated on October 20, 2014

Body Odour

What Causes B.O

Perspiration or sweat, is usualy blamed for odour, but the actual cause of body odour is dead skin cells and bacteria which is decomposing on your body, usualy under the arms or in the groin area. sweat just enhances the smell of them. sweat actually has no smell.

People who have body odour, don't have a clue about it, they cant smell it on their own body and go about their daily lives unaware of the unease that they are causing friends and colleagues.

Being a True Friend

If your best friend had a huge pimple on her nose that she hadn't noticed, would you tell her about it? Of course you would, you wouldn't let her go out in public without her knowing that the spot on her nose could erupt at any minute.

You would do the same if she had a dirty stain on her shirt, or even if there was a bit of fluff in her hair,

So why is it so difficult to tell a friend that she has body odour?

The answer is easy, you don't want to embarrass your friend, you don't want to hurt her and most of all you don't want to risk your friendship with her.

Treating Body Odour

There are a few ways to treat body odour,

You can deal with the bacteria that cause the odour and you can deal with the amount of sweat that you produce.

Wash daily with soap, ensure that you include under your armpits, your pubic region, rear end, under your arms, and your feet washing cuts down the amount of bacteria that cause the offending smell as well as removing the sweat that has built up on your skin.

buy some anti-persrirant and deodorant.

Anti-persrirants help to reduce the amount of sweat that you produce.

Deodorants, mask the smell with their perfumed fragrance.

shave your armpits. Armpit hair provides a greater surface area for sweat to adhere to and gives the bacteria a fertile breeding ground.

Never wear yesterday's clothes. However clean your body is, the clothes will retain the smell of yesterday's sweat.

You can get an antibacterial and antiseptic solution called chlorhexidine 0.05% solution from pharmacies. Applied daily, it significantly reduces the number of bacteria, although it has no effect on sweating itself.

How to Tell Him/Her That They Smell

Hey jimmy you are absolutely revolting, you smell like a pigs not a good way to tell someone that they have a personal hygene problem.

Use a little tact and tell the truth, but be sympathetic without being patronising, sounds difficult and it is, but you are this persons best friend and this friend needs to be told that they have B.O before someone starts spreading the news around and her life is made hell by the nasty snide comments.

tell your friend that you have noticed recently that she is sweating a lot, ask her if anything is wrong, sweating can be brought on by a lot of factors, stress, puberty, heat, hormonal changes and many others, it could be that your friend is having personal problems and she has stopped caring for herself properly.

Then delicately inform your friend that because of the sweating, she has a little body odour and some of your other mutual friends have noticed it too.

Explain that you didn't want to tell her but because she is your friend you felt you had to for her own benefit, that you don't want to hurt her and you don't want her to become a target of ridicule.

She might get angry and lash out at you but she will soon calm down and realise that you have been a good friend.

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    • profile image

      Chris Hugh 

      6 years ago

      Huh, well, I wouldn't add the part about how you and your friends have been talking about it and how they all agree that the person stinks! LOL.

      Maybe just start a conversation about body odor and talk about what you do to combat it? They'll probably get the message.

      I wrote a Hub about how to completely get rid of body odor. You could send them a link:)

    • profile image

      Mike M. 

      7 years ago

      What if my GIRLFRIEND has B.O. she got new deodorant one day and I told her how much I liked it and idk if she just doesn't use it anymore or what the issues is.... I am afraid to tell her but something needs to be done... She just hugged me and my COAT SMELLS LIKE BO now

    • Mrs. J. B. profile image

      Mrs. J. B. 

      7 years ago from Southern California

      I come right out and say okay who's got the funk going on! However it is best to say it in a playful attitude! The guilty will admit to the funk and go wash up or put the clothes in the wash

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      hey great comment!!! uhmm still hesitating to tell my frnd she has b.o. though... im really not good in confrontations... but anyway, thanks....

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      i have a friend that i care for very much , he has a little B.O but not all the time, i am very confused about the way i should tell him, specially that he has a depressive case , but i m very sad every when every talks about his smell and i can't do nothing for him

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      b.o is body odour!!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I have a friend with it it is so bad but I know she would get so depressed over it . She is a very heavy girl and has many Physical ailments due to being so overweight I would hate to bring her down anymore. But when we go out she gets up off her chair and wow it's just discusting. Others have said something but I don't think they realize it's her. It's really hard to deal with....

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      what is b.o.??

    • vreccc profile image


      10 years ago from Concord, NH


      This is good information. I didn't know that the smell was caused by bacteria. I learned something today!

      Do you know of any methods through diet that can minimize the amount of bacteria that grows in the underarm area


    • profile image


      10 years ago

      In one of my previous incarnations as a Restaurant Manager I had to once sit down and have a delicate conversation with an employee who suffered from terrible B.O. The person was serving food and the customers didn't appreciate the odor. That was majorly awkward.

      Telling a friend would be way easier than talking to an employee! Luckily I haven't been in that position again. Guess all my friends just naturally smell good. Hahahaha. Great Hub.

    • PeteMaravichFan profile image


      10 years ago

      Jimmy - I'm new here on hubpages, your good Jimmy, real good.....

    • Whitney05 profile image


      10 years ago from Georgia

      This looks great Jimmy.

    • soyelude profile image


      10 years ago from Lagos - Nigeria

      "...and her life is made hell by all the nasty snide remarks..." Before my life is made hell by the pung, i'll definitely tell my friend straight up!! Heck what are friends for Jimmy? Good times and bad right? Great hub buddy.

    • Peter M. Lopez profile image

      Peter M. Lopez 

      10 years ago from Sweetwater, TX

      Great hub jimmy. Hillarious.

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 

      10 years ago from Portugal

      When telling someone about his/shes BO you are doing them a favour as well as to others and even to yourself :-))

      Thumb up hub.

    • manoharv2001 profile image


      10 years ago from Bangalore - 560097, Karnataka, India

      Thanks for sharing a nice post

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I hate telling anyone unpleasant things. That puts me at a disadvantage often. I'd make terrible management. Good hub, though. :)

    • Kenny Wordsmith profile image

      Ashok Rajagopalan 

      10 years ago from Chennai

      I think the same tips may be used for bad breath. I have many friends who have that!

      Thank you, Jimmy! 

      (By same tips, I don't mean shave your armpits; I meant tell them kindly!)

    • Jackilyn profile image


      10 years ago

      This has happened to, I guees everyone is in a spot like this. =D good hub.

    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 

      10 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      I'm at a bar last weekend and I meet this guy that has unbelievably bad body odor. I say, "dude you stink." He sniffs his pits and says "Really." I say, "Yes, really." and he leaves it at that. But he still wants to hang out with us. I tried to stay up-wind, but it was no use. Today I get on the train and I see this other guy we met that night who was very nice and he says "Your friend the other night was inappropriate with one of the girls I was out with." I'm a bit confused. Then he says, "You know, the one with the bad BO." Ugh. I tell him I don't even know him. He says, "Sure." And laughs.

      Anyway, I was a bit rude to the guy, but he didn't care. Although. I felt a bit bad about it. But. It turns out, he was stinky and rude...

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Well put! Jimmy! I had a similar problem with trying to tell a friend that he had terribly bad breath. I agonized over it for months; before I finally couldn't take it anymore and came right out with it. He was upset with me for weeks but I really had no choice...

      Great HUB regards Zsuzsy

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      10 years ago from Seattle

      I agree--the best thing to do is tell your friend.

    • thooghun profile image

      James D. Preston 

      10 years ago from Rome, Italy

      I saw this post on the requested list and my finger hoevered over the button awhile. I think you did a great job!

      "Then delicately inform your friend that because of the sweating, she has a little body odour and some of your other mutual friends have noticed it too."

      I think the term "little" would send me into hysterics though.

    • MrMarmalade profile image


      10 years ago from Sydney


      As per usual have hit the nail on the head.

      Use a little tact and tell the truth, but be sympathetic without being patronizing,

      I like the comment.

      Val has no hesitation with me, she goes out and buys a great big bunch of Parsley. I like it and it taste great and really works.


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