New Telegraph

The scene

Mrs OB is a coach of Etiquette, she came to take her class as usual, but the now familiar stench accompanied her, the students cringed as usual, some hissed, some chuckled, some covered their nostrils, some took the exit door…………. it was a case of ‘’teacher, don’t teach me nonsense’’, one of ‘’teacher, where is thy etiquette’’? It was indeed one of ‘’physician, heal thyself’’…

What it is

Body odour, is the unpleasant smell that can occur when one sweats. The sweat itself does not smell. The unpleasant odour is produced by bacteria on the skin that break down the sweat into acids.

The genesis

There are 3-4 million sweat glands on the human body. The two types of sweat gland are: • eccrine glands – which are spread across the skin and regulate body temperature by cooling the skin with sweat when one gets hot

• apocrine glands – mainly found in hairy areas of the body, such as the armpits and genital area; apocrine glands develop during puberty and release scented chemicals called pheromones Sweat produced by the eccrine glands is usually odourless, although it can smell if bacteria start to break it down. It can also take on an offensive odour if one consumes certain food and drink, such as garlic, spices and alcohol, as well as some types of medication, such as antidepressants.

However, it is the apocrine glands that are mainly responsible for body odour because the sweat they produce contains high levels of protein, which bacteria find easy to break down. People who sweat excessively from their apocrine glands, or have a lot of bacteria on their skin, tend to have worse body odour.

Factors responsible

• Being overweight. Skin folds can hold sweat and bacteria, making a more hospitable home for body odor.

• Eating spicy, pungent foods.

These don’t actually make your sweat any smellier, but the scents of pungent foods can permeate through your skin, making body odor seem worse.

• Excessive sweating. A condition called hyperhidrosis can cause you to sweat a lot, as can menopause. And some people just naturally sweat more than others.

• Certain medical conditions. Diabetes, kidney or liver problems, overactive thyroid, and (extremely rare) genetic conditions can cause a change in the normal body scent. In some cases, an odd body odor can be a sign of something more serious. For example, a bleach-like or urine-like smell may mean kidney or liver problems. If you notice an odd change in your normal body odor, or feel something is just not right, contact your doctor.

• Stress. Stress causes your appocrine glands (the glands that cause smelly sweat) to work overtime. So, you may notice a sudden breakout of body odour right before your interview, a presentation or after a particularly hair-raising event.

• Genetics. Some people are just more prone to developing body odor than others.

• Sweet Tooth ;If you are guilty of indulging in sugary sweets, it could cause you to smell…well, not so sweet. Eating too many sugary snacks causes the body to overproduce yeast, which turns the sugars into alcohols, which contributes to odor.

What to do

Shower at least twice daily. Use soap or shower gel and lather up thoroughly, especially in areas prone to body odour In especially hot, humid areas, a twice-daily shower may be in order. It goes without saying—shower as soon as possible after working out or sweating. Use an anti-bacterial soap.

If regular showers aren’t doing the trick, use an anti-bacterial soap or body wash. These washes can help reduce the number of bacteria on your skin so there is less to turn sweat into stink. Get the right products Did you know there are differences? Deodorants make your underarms a less hospitable home for bacteria. They also help mask body odour with fragrance. Antiperspirants, on the other hand, block the sweat glands to reduce perspiration. If you don’t sweat much but get body odor, deodorants are the way to go.

If you’re a sweater, make sure you get a product that is labeled both an anti-perspirant and deodorant. Wear breathable fabrics. Natural fabrics, like cotton, are better than polyesters, nylon, and rayon at keeping body odour at bay. Natural fibers breathe, allowing the sweat to evaporate away. Avoid fabrics that trap sweat against the skin. These allow for a better breeding ground for body odor to develop. When working out, opt for moisture-wicking fabrics. Eliminate or reduce spicy or pungent foods from your diet.

Strong smelling foods like curry, garlic, spicy peppers, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and onions can cause a more pungent sweat. Even alcohol can even have an effect on the smell of your sweat. If you eat these types of foods regularly, try reducing them or eliminating them altogether and see if that doesn’t help sweeten your sweat.

Shave or wax. Appocrine glands (the glands that cause smelly sweat) are concentrated in areas covered by hair, namely the armpits and the pubic area. The hair holds sweat and makes a good environment where bacteria can thrive. Removing hair can go a long way in controlling body odor. Yes, guys, that means you may want to consider shaving your underarms. If you prefer not going completely bare in any area, trimming the hair up short can also help reduce body odour.


• wash your armpits, groin and feet at least twice a day with soap and dry thoroughly

• shave your armpits regularly

• use antiperspirants and deodorants

• change and wash your clothes regularly

• wear natural fabrics like cotton, wool and silk

• wear antibacterial socks Don’t

• do not eat too much strong smelling or spicy food

• do not drink too much coffee or alcohol

• See your doctor if none of these works.

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