Body odour can be a menace. Here are some creative ways to get rid of body odour.
Creative Ways Of Saying No To Body Odour
How would you feel if you tried having a conversation with someone and the person keeps away?
You would feel slighted, of course. I mean, you look good but do you smell good?
Body odour has become an increasing menace in today’s society. This article addresses the meaning, common causes, and creative ways of avoiding and getting rid of body odour.
So What is Body Odour?
Body odour is a pungent, distasteful smell emanating from the skin due to a combination of sweat and bacteria found on the skin. It could also be due to hormones, the food you eat, infection, medications, or underlying conditions.
The human body produces a range of substances known as odorants. Most are necessary for small quantities for regular body functions, but the accumulation of these substances can cause noticeable smells.
Body odour can affect a person’s daily life. Although commonly associated with sweat, body odour is caused by bacterial processes in sweat; human sweat is almost odourless. The root cause of body odour is traceable to a person’s hygiene practices. However, in some instances, it can indicate the presence of a more serious health problem.
Body odour is more pronounced in some parts of the body. This includes the feet, the groin, the armpits, the genitals, pubic and other hair, the belly button, the anus, and behind the ears.
Common Causes of Body Odour
1. Sweat glands
There are two types of sweat glands. These include – the Apocrine glands and the Eccrine glands.
The Apocrine glands start to function at puberty and are associated with hair follicles in the underarms and groins. These glands produce a viscous protein-rich, initially odourless sweat. The action of bacteria on proteins produces odorant molecules in greater concentration thereby causing body odour.
The Eccrine glands majorly regulate body temperature through perspiration and are not so strongly linked with body odour.
2. Hyperhidrosis also known as excessive sweating.
Hyperhidrosis, also known as excessive sweating, is another common cause of body odour. Sweat may arise due to weather conditions, engagement in any strenuous physical activity, and spending time in a sauna. It is also common amongst people who are overweight. Naturally not a cause for concern except
when accompanied by lightheadedness, chest pain, or nausea. If any of the above symptoms occur, it is advisable to seek medical help.
3. Hidradenitis suppurativa also called acne inversa.
Another known cause of body odour is the Hidradenitis suppurativa, also called acne inversa. Hidradentis is a chronic skin condition featuring lumps in places such as the armpits or groin. The skin lesions develop as a result of blocked hair follicles. According to research, experts believe this condition could be related to hormones, genetic predisposition, cigarette smoking, and excess weight.
Symptoms of hidradenitis suppurativa include pus, skin ulcer, and body odour.
4. Poor Hygiene
What is hygiene? And what constitutes poor hygiene?
Hygiene technically refers to the dos and don’ts of self-care. The rules we follow are to appear neat and fresh at a maximum at all times.
Bad hygiene is having poor or non-existent self-care that can lead to a messy appearance and health concerns. Although often caused by laziness, poor hygiene can arise due to medical conditions like Alzheimer’s, PTSD(Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and lack of access to clean water and other cleaning supplies.
Despite all the doom and gloom, body odor can be effectively expelled.
Getting Rid Of Body Odor
Since it is not sweat but lingering bacteria on the skin that causes body odour, what you really need is something that can kill the bacteria while being gentle on your skin.
It is better to eliminate than repress body odour. People often feel masking body odour with heavily scented perfumes is a remedy, but this is an erroneous assumption. Body odour can be remedied at home using some tips that require nothing other than a conscious dedication to self-care. In other instances, however, medical advice is required. Whatever the case, results will not appear overnight but over time.
The following steps, if practised, may help to curb body odour.
⮚ Washing: washing daily with good antibacterial soaps at least once every day followed by thorough drying is a good start. This reduces accumulated bacteria and helps to prevent excessive concentration of odorant molecules.
⮚ Shaving: Having hair in areas such as the armpits can slow down the evaporation of sweat, giving bacteria more time to break down proteins and create odorants. Regular shaving can help to reduce body odour and control the retention of sweat on the skin as the lesser the hair present on the surface, the faster the rate of evaporation of sweat.
⮚ Use of Antiperspirants: Antiperspirants can reduce the intensity of a person’s body odour by changing sweat volumes and altering the amount and activity of odour-causing bacteria.
Be careful not to use antiperspirants to mask body odour. Use it after washing up to retain freshness and a good smell.
Some perspirants are known to cause bumps in the areas of the underarms. Discontinue use immediately if you observe such symptoms.
Other natural ways of getting rid of body odour include:
Use vinegar, lemon, tea, tomatoes, and baking soda.
⮚ Vinegar: Take a cotton pad and dab some vinegar over areas prone to sweating. Vinegar helps in balancing the pH of the skin and kills any bacteria that produce odour.
⮚ Lemon: Like vinegar, lemon equally balances the pH of the skin. Cut a lemon in half and apply it to the underarms. Wash out after 10 minutes.
⮚ Tea: Take water in a vessel, and bring it to a boil. Then add some green tea leaves. Once cooled, dip a cotton pad into the mixture and apply to sweat-prone areas. Tea helps the skin remain dry and Odor free. Do this 2-3 times a week.
⮚ Tomatoes: Add 2 cups of freshly squeezed tomato juice to a bucket of water. Bathe with this or soak in it for about 20-30 minutes. Its antiseptic properties will help destroy any odour-producing bacteria.
⮚ Baking soda: This helps absorb moisture and reduces bacterial growth. There are two methods of usage.
- Like talcum powder: apply to underarms and between toes
- Like a mist: mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with water. Fill liquid in an old washed-out mist bottle. Spray daily to underarms. Make sure the area is dry before wearing clothes to avoid stains.
Writer: Daramfon Etim
Reviewer & Editor: Chinyere Nwosu