Body odor: An unpleasant smell produced after perspiration. Body odor occurs when sweat contacts bacteria that normally reside on the skin. Sweat itself is almost odorless, but the combination of sweat with skin bacteria can produce an offensive odor. Good hygiene and antiperspirant or deodorant products can be used to manage the condition. In some unusually severe cases, prescription strength deodorants or antiperspirants may be required. Also known as “B.O.”
Signs & Symptoms:
Some people naturally sweat more or less than other people. Body odor also can vary from person to person. But you should see a doctor if:
You suddenly begin to sweat much more or less than usual
Sweating disrupts your daily routine
You experience night sweats for no apparent reason
You notice a change in your body odor
Your skin has two main types of sweat glands: eccrine glands and apocrine glands. Eccrine glands occur over most of your body and open directly onto the surface of the skin. Apocrine glands develop in areas abundant in hair follicles, such as your armpits and groin, and they empty into the hair follicle just before it opens onto the skin surface.
When your body temperature rises, your eccrine glands secrete fluid onto the surface of your skin, where it cools your body as it evaporates. This fluid is composed mainly of water and salt.
Apocrine glands, on the other hand, produce a milky fluid that most commonly is secreted when you’re under emotional stress. This fluid is odorless until it combines with bacteria found normally on your skin.
How To Cure:
- Baking Soda
As baking soda helps absorb moisture from the skin, it can absorb sweat and reduce body odor. Plus, it kills bacteria and works like a natural deodorant.
Mix one tablespoon each of baking soda and lemon juice. Apply it to your underarms and other body parts where you sweat excessively. Leave it on for a couple of minutes and wash it off with water; do not scrub. Then take a shower or bath. Do this once daily for a few weeks.
Alternatively, mix equal amounts of baking soda and cornstarch. Apply it directly onto your dry underarms to prevent sweating as well as bad odor. Use this remedy when you need protection for several hours.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a powerful bacteria-fighting ingredient. It also helps eliminate body odor by balancing the pH level of your skin.
Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and rub it on your underarms. Wait two to three minutes and then take your shower. Follow this remedy twice daily, once in the morning and again before going to bed, until you notice improvement.
Alternatively, add one cup of apple cider vinegar to lukewarm bath water. Soak in this water for 10 minutes once daily.
You can also add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar along with a little honey to a glass of warm water. Drink it three times daily before eating your meals
- Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is great for treating body odor. The acidic property of lemon juice helps lower the skin’s pH level, which in turn makes it difficult for odor-producing bacteria to survive.
Cut one fresh lemon into two halves. Rub one half of the lemon on your underarms. Make sure the juice gets onto your skin. Allow it to dry on its own, and then take your shower. Follow this remedy once daily until the odor is gone completely.
If you have sensitive skin, you can dilute the juice from half a lemon in one-half cup of water and apply it to your underarms using a cotton ball. Leave it on for 10 minutes, and then wash it off with water. Do this once daily until you notice improvement.