Everybody sweats; it’s a natural phenomenon and not a big issue. Although sweating can be minor issue for most individual, unpleasant body odor like smelly armpits can be a matter of considerable concern for both the sufferers and to others around them as well. Although sweating is naturally odorless, it can sometimes cause an unpleasant smell when it comes into contact with bacteria on your skin.
Our body has two types of sweat glands; the eccrine glands and apocrine glands. Apocrine sweat glands mainly activated only after puberty and located predominantly on underarms and ano-genital region, and the rest of the body is covered by eccrine glands. We have all experienced that it’s the area of apocrine sweat glands that smells, not the eccrine sweat glands. How does this happen, let me explain; the eccrine sweat glands produce clear, odorless and watery fluid that primarily contain water and salts. On the other hand, apocrine sweat glands produce oily fluid rich in protein, lipids and steroids that the bacteria love to feed on. Although the sweat is odorless, but when it reach to skin surface, bacteria that normally live on the skin feed on the sweat and excrete the strong smelling waste that is associated with smelly sweat.
Body odor usually starts with the puberty as a result of increase in androgen hormone. When you were just a kid these hormones were not active so you had no problems with the odor. Experts say that any unusual change in body odor and sweating may also be a sign of medical problem and need immediate attention. However, for normal body odor and sweating, change is lifestyle and few home treatments might work wonder. In some severe cases prescription medications might be needed.
Today there are vast majorities of products and home remedies that can effectively fight smelly armpits. Below are some lifestyle changes and home remedies in the management of abnormal body odor or bromhidrosis
Shower or bath every day; especially your underarms, groin and feet where there are more sweat glands. Regular washing with antibacterial soap removes sweat and reduces bacteria. For people who sweat a lot, two times daily shower might be beneficial.
Always dry yourself before wearing any undergarments or clothes. Also remember to dry the area before you apply deodorant.
Always keep your armpits and groin area dry. Bacteria love dump and moist areas, don’t give them the chance. You may use over the counter powders to help absorb the sweat.
Avoid fatty foods, garlic, onions curry and other strong spices. Avoid cigarette, caffeine and alcohol. These foods and beverages tend to increase body odor.
Apply antiperspirant before bed on regular basis. This gives the product a chance to work while you sleep and are not sweating. Both antiperspirants and deodorants should be routinely used. Make sure to use extra strong deodorants that can overcome your smell. Keep in mind that deodorants do not prevent sweating; they just mask the smelly sweat.
Shave your armpits that will prevent sweat to accumulate in the hair for longer time.
Wear natural fabrics, such as cotton, wool and silk, which allow your skin to breathe. When you exercise, you might prefer high-tech fabrics that wick moisture away from your skin.
Wash your clothes thoroughly especially undergarments and shocks that comes in frequent contact with sweat.
If you are prone to excessive sweating, avoid wearing yesterday’s clothing. How much you clean your body yesterday’s clothing will ruin your body odor.
Try to avoid stress and anxiety that might aggravate perspiration. You may try some relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation or biofeedback.
Get some antibacterial or antiseptic solution (chlorhexidine 0.05%) from your nearest pharmacy and apply on regular basis. Although it won’t prevent sweating, it will prevent bacteria colonization that causes the smell.
Mix 1 teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide with 1 cup of water and wipe the armpits, groin and feet using cotton. This may help destroy some of the bacteria that creates odor