Why You Shouldn’t Battle With Body Odour (And What to Do About It)
Body odour (B.O.) can be a very upsetting problem. Although it is incredibly common, the truth is that for those who suffer from it, particularly on a daily basis, body odours can be incredibly embarrassing to deal with. By making simple changes to your everyday personal hygiene routine, the smell of body odour can be greatly reduced, and in many cases, completely eliminated.
Reading this blog post will help you learn what body odour is, discover the most common causes and gain helpful advice to get rid of pungent smells from your body and ways to remove them from your clothes. It will also give you the opportunity to find out more about online communities that can offer additional support and advice in dealing with B.O.
What is body odour?
Sweat, itself, is actually completely anosmic - which essentially means it has no smell. So what causes the ripe, pungent smell in body odour? Well, there are millions of naturally-occurring bacteria present on the skin. When they come into contact with sweat, they begin to break down proteins into acid. It’s this process that creates the fetid, familiar smell we associate with B.O.
Which parts of the body are most prone to producing Body Odour?
Body odour is usually prevalent in the parts of the body closest to the apocrine gland. These areas are often the most hidden yet hairiest parts of the body, and you can probably guess where there are! Yes, we’re talking the armpits, groin and genitals. The apocrine gland is the one which produces the largest percentage of protein, and now that we know that body-odour bacteria thrive in protein, it becomes a little clearer to understand why these specific parts of the body generally give off the strongest and most pungent odours.
Common causes of Body Odour
It’s probably no surprise that the three most common causes of sweat, which is the precursor to sweating are physical exertion, stress and some foods and drinks. We’ll look at some of these in more detail below.
It’s worth noting that some medical conditions can also contribute to sweating including hyperhidrosis (Chronic Sweating), as well as the menopause. If you are concerned you may have an underlying condition contact your G.P for medical advice.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: How to get rid of Body Odours
Have you ever tried to reapply deodorant or antiperspirant when the sweat smells have begun to take hold? At best, it may momentarily mask the problem, but quickly, the pungent smell returns as soon as your skin produces more sweat-loving bacteria. You haven’t removed the problem. You’ve just put a sticking plaster over it. And one that isn’t likely to stay on too long for that matter. So, the key to controlling, reducing and eliminating body odour is to remove the bacteria from the skin, not just mask it.
The good news is that research is underway to develop more effective antiperspirants and deodorants. However, in the meantime, here is a list of relatively small changes you can consider to help overcome the issues you may have with fighting body odour.
Follow these easy-to-follow odour-management tips:
Simple changes to your daily personal hygiene
Wash at least once a day - Whether you choose charcoal, tea tree or antibacterial soap, nothing beats a hot shower or bath, or failing that a good flannel wash with fresh water in the bath, shower or sink. However, we know this isn’t always an option for many people.
When soap and water isn’t an option, use a body hygiene wipe
Yes, maybe we're a little biased, but using SwetWipes antibacterial body hygiene wipe is effective at removing the bacteria on the skin that produces body odour, and leaves skin feeling fresh with a light, coconut fragrance.
Shave regularly under your arms, and consider removing the hair along your groin and bikini line. Hair prevents sweat from evaporating and creates a perfect place for B.O.-loving bacteria to exist. By removing the hair, you created an environment that is harder for bacteria to attach itself too.
Change your clothes every day (more frequently when it’s warmer) and wear cotton or natural fabrics where possible. This reduces the opportunity for sweat to cling on to fabrics, and B.O. loves hanging out on synthetic fibres.
Reduce your intake of certain foods and drinks. Onions, garlic and cumin are some of the worst offenders, along with alcohol
Eat your greens. Leafy green vegetables contain high doses of chlorophyll, a powerful deodorising substance
Keeping it natural - There are some superb naturally occurring remedies available:
Nature’s own antibacterial heroes: Tea tree oil has naturally-occurring cleansing properties - be sure to do a small patch test first and avoid use on open skin as it can cause irritation.
The essential scents: Pine, lavender and mint essential oils are powerful, natural cleansers and have incredible scents
The wonders of witch hazel: Witch Hazel has superb drying and deodorising properties - simply dab on with a cotton pad
Get on top of the dusting: A light layer of bicarbonate of soda or cornflower on affected parts can absorb and neutralise problem areas. Alternatively a medicated talc can absorb sweat and remove odour at the same time
Consider using a 48 hour anti-perspirant deodrant which is applied after showering but BEFORE bed. This gives the product time to adhere to the skin and get to work overnight ready for when you start the day. Mitchum is a well known brand with great reviews.
Some of these tips were adapted from a very interesting and original article published by Reader's Digest How to get rid of body odours.
What about sweaty-smelling clothes?
Great, so you now know how to better manage and reduce body odour, but what about those persistent and lingering sweat smells from clothes, including t-shirts and tops? There are a few options:
Create a home-made overnight pre-soak using bicarbonate of soda or white vinegar solution - use a half cup of either in a bucket of warm water
If the label allows you to, wash all foul-smelling clothes at 60 Degrees Celsius, but for more delicate items you may need a laundry cleanser:
Use a specialist odour removing additive in your washing machine, for example Dettol Laundry Cleanser which removes 99.9% of bacteria - Simply add a capfull in with your Fabric Softner for sweet smelling, odour free clothes.
Online support groups and communities for sufferers of body Odour
A problem shared really can be a problem halved!
Hit ‘Like’ on the SwetWipes facebook page for competitions, offers and news from the team behind the UK’s biggest, thickest and wettest antibacterial body hygiene wipe. You may find joining a Facebook group helpful if you’re a chronic sweater, such as the Hyperhidrosis Support Group, Hyperhidrosis uk support group and Hyperhidrosis Anonymous.
The Sweet Smell of Success
By now you should be equipped with a better understanding of what body odour is, what causes it and most importantly, what you can do about it, plus some additional online resources for you to find further support and help.
Most of all, we hope you have found this post useful and informative! Can you think of anyone that may benefit from reading it too? Please do share it with them.
We’d love to hear from you!
We know we won’t have all the answers in this post - which is where the feedback and comments from our customers come in. Do you have any tips or advice on dealing with B.O? Have we got anything wrong? Whatever your comments are we’d love to hear from you - you can email us at email@example.com or alternatively Contact Us or message us on the SwetWipes Facebook Page. We really do respond to each and every comment, and look forward to hearing from you.
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