Body odor, or sometimes referred to as B.O., is the unpleasant smell that our bodies can give off when we sweat and the bacteria on the skin breaks it down to become acids. During the initial stages, body odor may not be as prominent as how it can become when left untreated. Body odor usually occurs during puberty stages – for females it usually occurs during the 14th to the 16th year, and for males it occurs between the ages 15 and 17.There are different causes for body odor and to know more about its causes, read on below.
What Causes Body Odor?
Although the cause of body odor has been simplified time and again, it is still important to go through the scientific process in order to really explain how this kind of condition comes about.
First of all, let us establish the fact that sweat in itself is odourless and that sweating and body odor comes from the temperature regulating system of our own bodies. It all comes internally and what we smell as odor is just a by-product of this kind of regulating system. We have two kinds of sweat glands in the body: eccrine glands and apocrine glands.
- Eccrine glands can be found in all surfaces of the body and is open to the main surface of the skin. When the temperature in our bodies rises, eccrine glands will secrete sweat to the surface of the skin. This sweat is mostly made of water and salt and can easily evaporate when your body starts to cool down.
- Apocrine glands can be found in different parts of the body wherein there is an abundance of hair follicles. These are the areas in the head, armpits, scalp, and groin. The sweat it secretes, however, is made of fatty fluid. When your body heats up or when you go through emotional stress that may cause you to sweat, this gland will release its sweat which the bacteria on the skin will break it down. This process is what usually causes for the unpleasant odor that can come from the body.
What are Some Risk Factors of Body Odor?
Although having body odor occurs naturally, there are still some factors that can contribute to making this condition more prominent.
1. Not Towel Off after Showering
Some people like to air dry after a shower but this can actually increase the risk of having body odor because it gives bacteria to nest in spots in the body that has not been completely dried out. Make sure to completely dry your body after every shower to make sure that there will be little or no room for bacteria to penetrate.
2. Eat Spicy Foods
Every person has their own personal scent, and every race have their own distinct scent, which can be obvious especially to someone who is of a different race. Your body odor may depend then on the kind of food you eat. If you are the type who like to eat spicy food all the time, its residues can come off through sweat and when the bacteria in the skin interacts with it, it may give off an undesirable smell. To avoid this, try to be careful with the food you eat as this may greatly affect the way you smell too.
3. Neglect Brushing Your Tongue
Having bad breath is also a form of having body odor. When you neglect brushing your tongue where bacteria usually tend to rest, it will give off an unpleasant smell that resembles everything that you have eaten during the day. Make sure that you practice good hygiene and that this includes brushing your tongue really well.
4. Be Under Serious Stress
When you are under serious stress your body tends to sweat a bit more. In order to prevent body odor, make sure that you put on the right kind of deodorant that can control sweat especially in the armpit area.
5. Take Too Much Fiber
When you take too much fiber from fruits and vegetables, it can leave you a little bit gassy. In order to prevent flatulence, try to take these fiber rich foods ahead of time to give your body time to adjust.
6. Use Deodorant Only
Overall hygiene is important to make sure that you prevent acquiring body odor. It is not enough to just put on deodorant and skip on the shower. Make sure the taking a bath or having a shower is included in your daily itinerary to ensure proper hygiene.
7. Have Dandruff
Dandruff is caused by dirt, shampoo residue, and dry scalp. When you have dandruff, your scalp tends to produce bacteria that can cause body odor. In order to treat this, take the right kind of anti dandruff shampoo.
8. Be in Between Periods
Being in between the menstrual cycle can make a woman feel uncomfortable. The use of sanitary napkins or tampons is obviously needed to aid in this cycle. Proper hygiene and cleanliness must be observed to ensure that the genital area is clean and will not give off any bad smell.
9. Take Prescription Drugs
A big factor that can sometimes play in body odor is the food and medications that we take in. Particles from these medications may be secreted through the sweat glands which in turn can give off an undesirable smell. What can help in preventing body odor when this happens is making sure that you drink plenty of water so that these particles will naturally be flushed out from the system.
10. Wear Spandex when Exercising
Spandex is a type of fabric that kind of resembles a plastic material. This kind of fabric does not absorb sweat really well so when this is used during a vigorous exercise and you are sweating a lot, the sweat just runs down the body and dries there instead of getting absorbed by the cloth. This can lead to having body odor. To prevent this from happening, try to use clothes that can absorb sweat when exercising.