If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to smell a man with bad body odor, you’ll know that the stench can be almost unbearable. Now imagine that man is you inflicting that unpleasant smell. Do you want to be the man that smells so bad that people can’t bear to be around you? We thought not and that’s why we’ve created this essential guide for dealing with body odor.
What is Body Odor?
Body odor is a mixture of sweat and bacteria. You’ll be surprised but sweat is actually odourless. It’s actually the bacteria that causes the bad smell.
There are two types of sweat that we generate – apocrine and eccrine sweat.
Eccrine sweat is generated to lower our temperature, usually after exercise or when it’s really hot. Its produced all over the body and doesn’t smell.
Apocrine sweat is a special type of exudation that is produced in places like the armpit, groin, hands and feet. It’s this type of sweat that causes the trouble. Although it doesn’t smell, once mixed with bacteria it does. Bacteria feeds off apocrine sweat and once consumed they defecate. It’s this consumption of our perspiration that makes us smell.
Causes of Body Odor
Poor hygiene – One of the main reasons why men stink is because they don’t wash enough.
Stress – More and more men suffer from stress, especially at work. With higher expectations, tight deadlines and increased workloads, this all contributes towards stress and anxiety that causes perspiration and, in turn makes us smell.
Diet – Eating certain foods can also affect how you smell. Some foods are so poignant, its smell can seep through your pores. Garlic and curry are the main culprits.
An imbalance of sugar and caffeine can also alter the amount and type of perspiration. Zinc deficiency is also thought to cause body odor as it regulates detoxification in the body – controls how the body handles waste.
Health problems – Some body odors may reveal certain health problems. An ammonia smell is a sign of liver disease and a nail polish smell may be a sign of diabetes.
Body Odor Solutions
Wash regularly – You need to stay clean, and having a shower should already be part of your daily grooming routine. Showers are better at preventing body odor compared to baths as more dirt and bacteria run off the body with the constant flow of water. Use body wash and concentrate more on your armpit and groin areas.
Use a good deodorant / antiperspirant – Many cheap deodorants simply cover up smells rather than actually fight bacteria. Effective deodorants contain aluminium or zinc which are the key ingredients that fight bacteria – only buy deodorants that contain these elements. Antiperspirants work differently by clog up your sweat glands, so the bacteria has nothing to interact with.
Have a healthy diet – Cutting down on caffeine reduces body odor – so reduce your intake of coffee, cola, energy drinks and chocolate. Caffeine contributes to body odor because they stimulate the apocrine sweat glands.
Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day to keep the eccrine sweat glands active, which dilutes apocrine sweat which reduces body odor.
Wear clean clothes – Certain fabrics like cotton, easily absorb bad odors. It doesn’t matter if your body is clean, if you wear clothes that are soaked in body odor, you’ll stink no matter what. Always wear clean clothes. Also be aware of the scent of your laundry detergent. Many people find the cheap fragrances in detergent to be intolerable. It’s safest to stick with non-scented detergent or a high quality detergent with a mild fragrance.
Talk to your doctor – If you’ve tried everything you can to control your body odor but nothings working, you may need to consider medical help. A doctor will be able to prescribe a high strength antiperspirant, and will be able to tell you if your bad body odor is related to other serious health problems such as diabetes.