Despite the attempts of deodorant ads everywhere to convince us otherwise, people do not naturally smell like lilies and meadows. We all sweat, and we all smell to varying degrees in response to our perspiration. Ain't nothing wrong or weird about it. But unusual body odor from sweat can be a sign of various underlying bodily conditionschoices, and life stages — not just an indicator that you need to go and take a shower. Some of them are actually quite serious, too, so that stink that's bothering your roommate could be a cause for genuine concern.
Here's the basic way body odor works: in many cases, it's not actually something stinky being exuded from the pores in sweat form. That's because one type of sweat that our bodies produce is rich in fat. Bacteria that is naturally found on our skin breaks down this fat-rich sweat and produces the range of smells we associate with body odor.
In other cases, it's the result of certain substances emerging from the pores and causing a stink on their own terms, but that tends to be associated with either diet or certain medical conditions.
No, it's not a punishment from any deity for not doing the dishes that one time, and it doesn't come from nowhere. But it can indicate certain things if you know how to read it properly. Here are seven things that your body odor could be trying to tell you. Though to diagnose it, you may have to get up close and personal with some of your sweaty clothes, or at least ask your GP to do it for you. Get prepared to get stinky. The Mayo Clinic has a good explanation for why stress does actually make us sweat in a specific way that can increase body odor.
It turns out that we actually have two different types of sweat glands, the ecrrine and the apocrine. Eccrine glands excrete the sweat we use to cool down, which is mostly water. Apocrine sweat, on the other hand, is released when we're stressed or upset, and is very conducive to bacteria throwing a sweat-based pool party. So if you're finding yourself smelling strange after long, anguished meetings, you're not cracking up; your body's reacting to the heightened stress levels.
The Berkeley Wellness Center has a list of foods that may be contributing to body odor, from sulfurous foods like broccoli to red meat and alcohol the famous "booze sweat" during a hangover. The cruciferous veggies of the broccoli family, which also include cauliflower and cabbage, create sulfur build-up that's then excreted from the body in sweat form, but scientists recommend that you can actually reduce the odor after-effects by cooking them in water with salt.
These are all classed in the same category because they all place unfamiliar substances into your sweat because of a failure in the body's normal processes. Kidney failure puts urea into your sweat excretions, diabetes puts in acetone yes,the stuff in nail polish removerand liver failure means an uptick in methyl mercaptan.
All of these things smell faintly different, which means they can be used as diagnostic tools, and, as you can guess, they're all medical issues, so if you detect any of those smells, it's important to talk to your doctor ASAP.
A study found that up to a third of people with unexplained body odor might have a rare genetic disorder that fiddles with your metabolism, and is known as trimethylaminuria, or, charmingly enough, "the fishy-smelling syndrome".
The basic problem for people with this condition is that they lack the enzyme that breaks down a compound called trimethyamine, and so it builds up and comes out through the pores. The smell?
Why Do I Have Armpit Odor Now & I Didn't Before?
You guessed it: fishy. One of the unfortunate things that holds true about body odor is that if you're prone to sweating more, you're also likely to smell more. It's just the nature of the beast. And one particular thyroid issue, Grave's disease, is associated with excessive sweating. Grave's disease is basically a case of an overactive thyroidwhere the thyroid reacts to an immune system malfunction by going into overdrive. Thyroids are responsible for regulating the metabolism, so one going the speed of a race car can contribute to shakes, rapid heartbeat, poor sleep, and, yep, buckets of sweat.
5 Reasons Why Your Sweat Might Smell Bad All of a Sudden
Thyroid-related sweating often tends to happen at night, which, incidentally, is also associated with serious infectionslocated most commonly in the heart valves or bones.
The equation of more sweat making more odor is, unfortunately, pretty foolproof, and the sweat can also be caused by medication side effects. Some analgesic pain medications, SSRI antidepressants, hormonal medications, and heart-based medications have excessive sweating as part of their known catalogue of side-effects, so you'll have to be prepared for a bit of body odor increase if you're on a course of any of those meds.
Hormonal shifts are a big cause of sweating increases, from perimenopause the period right before menopause to the early teen years.But contrary to popular belief, sweat by itself is virtually odorless. Chronic smelly sweat is known as bromhidrosis — and there are many possible causes behind the condition.
The cause of body odor varies from person to person. But most body odor originates from your apocrine glands, a type of sweat gland concentrated in the armpits and groin.
If your sweat always seems to smell, one or a combination of these causes could be the culprit. Poor personal hygiene can cause an overgrowth bacteria and encourage smelly sweat. Do stressful situations like project deadlines and family gatherings make you smell? Stress sweat actually smells worse than other types of sweat. Synthetic fibers like rayon, polyester and nylon trap moisture on the surface of your skin, creating a breeding ground for sweat-loving bacteria.
To keep smelly sweat at bay, buy clothing made of natural fibers like cotton, wool and linen — these materials soak up sweat and allow it to evaporate. Certain medical conditions can cause a sudden change in body odor. These include:. If you think you might have a medical condition that is causing body odor, you should consult with your doctor to determine the best treatment option. Choline is a type of B vitamin found in fish, meat and eggs that has a naturally fishy smell.
Millions of people have a genetic defect that causes them to produce a fishy body odor after eating foods with choline — these people can secrete choline in their sweat for up to a day. It might be time to toss out that secret candy stash in your desk drawer. Eating too many sweet treats can cause an overgrowth of yeast, which converts sugars into alcohols, which contribute to body odor. Increased sweating and body odor are potential side effects of Tylenol, allergy medications and some prescription medications like ADHD and birth control pills.
Make sure you read the fine print to determine if sweat and odor are side effects of your medications. High-fat, low-carb diets like the Atkins diet can actually cause smelly sweat and bad breath.
When the body enters a state of ketosis, it starts burning fat instead of carbs for energy and produces a high level of ketones in your blood. Ketones — a type of acetone — can give your breath and body odor a fruity smell. Magnesium is a vital mineral for your heart, muscles, nerves and kidneys.
But an estimated 80 percent of Americans are deficient in magnesium. Research shows that people who are magnesium-deficient have stronger body odor than people who get enough in their diet. Eating magnesium-rich foods like dark chocolate, raw almonds, flax and sesame seeds can help you get your magnesium fix and eliminate excessive B. Here are some easy ways to fight back against smelly sweat.
Change your diet. Stay away from foods packed with spices, onion or garlic and eat more foods high in magnesium. Reducing your alcohol intake can also reduce B. Wear a sweat proof undershirt. The more sweat on your skin, the worse your body odor becomes. Wearing a sweat proof undershirt can help keep your pits dry and ward off smell-causing bacteria.
The Thompson Tee is the only sweat proof undershirt guaranteed to block sweat and odor from reaching your outer layer. Every Thompson Tee is armed with patented Hydro-Shield technology in the underarms, keeping you dry and odor-free in any situation. Adjust your personal hygiene routine. Try an antibacterial soap and avoid scented products, which can worsen body odor.Discover five common reasons why your sweat suddenly smells bad and what you can do to combat it.
However, sweat itself is odorless. The unpleasant smell actually comes from bacteria breaking down proteins in your sweat. The real question, then, is this: Why do you suddenly have large colonies of bad bacteria feasting upon your sweat? What might be causing your awful BO?
Changes in diet are often the cause of sudden changes in body odor. Spicy foods and alcohol are notorious for changing the scent of body odor. Even your juicy steak can have an interesting effect on body odor. In a study published in Chemical Sensesresearchers separated guys into two groups: One that consumed red meat and another that ate a non-meat diet.
Your body has two main types of sweat glands: apocrine and eccrine glands. When you feel stressed or anxious, your body activates the apocrine glands, which produces the more odorous sweat. Though we know that trying to feel calm and relaxed is easier said than done, it may be key to smelling pleasant once again. A sudden change in body odor may be caused by certain medical conditions. For instance, hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating and happens to be a very common and frustrating disorder.
Sudden BO can also be an indication of a serious, underlying medical condition. People with diabetes may notice that they smell worse, while bad BO can also point to liver and kidney problems. After ruling out every other source of the stink, consider seeing your primary care physician. Did you recently get a new wardrobe?
If your new clothes are tight-fitting or made from non-breathable fabrics, it could be trapping your sweat and making you smell worse. While it may not be cheap, buying new clothes of the breathable variety can go a long way in improving your natural scent. The next time you go shopping, be sure to check your clothing tag and look for fabrics such as cotton, linen and merino wool. There is a growing body of research to suggest that stopping the use of antiperspirants after using them consistently for years may lead to worse body odor.
Although deodorants and antiperspirants have both received a decent amount of criticism in recent years, research has shown that both are safe to use long-term. Maintaining good hygiene and a good skin care routine is crucial for all guys.
Even the most diligent of men deal with unpleasant body odor at some point in their lives, though. They can walk you through available treatments to help you combat the stink. Learn More. Here are three things worth knowing about your sweat: Eating spicy foods and red meat can change how you smell, and not for the better.
Sudden changes in body odor can also be caused by underlying medical conditions. Diet Changes in diet are often the cause of sudden changes in body odor. Medical Conditions A sudden change in body odor may be caused by certain medical conditions.
Clothing Did you recently get a new wardrobe? Take the skin care quiz 5.Armpit odor usually first occurs in puberty, when sweat from your apocrine glands combines with bacteria on your body.
According to WorsleySchool. Many people begin using underarm deodorant or antiperspirant in puberty or early adolescence. Deodorants inhibit the bacteria that cause your armpits to smell.
Your skin contains two types of sweat glands, known as eccrine and apocrine glands. Most armpit sweat comes from the eccrine glands, has no odor and serves the function of cooling the body. Eccrine sweat is mostly water and salt. According to MayoClinic. Keeping your body clean becomes especially important as you enter the teenage years.
You may find that you can't go as long without a bath or shower before your body starts to smell. A daily shower with hot water and soap may be enough to keep you smelling fresh, although you may need to shower more often if you are very active or tend to sweat a lot.
If you are worried about body odor, try a deodorant bath soap. Antiperspirants contain aluminum to help block your sweat glands, preventing you from perspiring. If you don't sweat, it is likely that your armpits will not smell bad. Some people prefer not to use antiperspirants due to worry over aluminum content. Deodorant does not prevent you from sweating but does inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria.
Natural deodorants contain ingredients such as sage, ammonium alum and baking soda. You may find that you need to reapply deodorant more often during the day than you do antiperspirant. Your diet may play a role in the aroma of your armpits. According to NaturalNews.After first coming to terms with our body odor during puberty, most of us find ways to keep ourselves from smelling icky. We bathe regularly, wear deodorant, and spritz ourselves with perfumes and body sprays — though sometimes our body stench gets so bad that it makes us wonder if something is seriously wrong.
Just remember, though, that there are definitely some explanations for why your body might be smelling differently. Thumbnail Source: Flickr. If you notice that your other body parts — like arms, legs, chest, etc. If you ever notice any of the following smells, you should monitor your health more closely and consider consulting a doctor. According to Redbookurine is usually odorless. If it has a scent at all, it is normally very subtle and ammonia-like.
If you go to relieve yourself and notice that you can actually smell your pee, that may be cause for concern. Usually, smelly pee will be accompanied by a burning sensation or pain, which can be a sign of a urinary tract infection UTI.
Luckily, UTIs are easily treatable. So, if you have pain, burning, or notice that your pee suddenly starts to have an odor, make an appointment with your doctor. Everyone gets smelly breath on a daily basis. Although dry mouth and sleep apnea are more common causes for bad morning breath, there are also other reasons your breath might stink, including infections, bronchitis, liver or kidney disease, and more.
However, everyone is susceptible to this. But if your poop or gas smells extremely pungent, it may not be normal. One reason for horribly smelly poop is lactose intolerance. For some people, lactose intolerance may cause more severe symptoms, like nausea, cramping, and vomiting.
For some, it may just cause worse-smelling gas and poop. If you notice that your bowel movements smell terrible after eating a lot of dairy, bring it up with your doctor.
One of these acids can leave a fruity smell on your breath. Although you may not notice it, your doctor might smell it as soon as they see you.
According to Redbooka rancid scent is a sign of digestion problems. Talk with your doctor about changing your diet so your digestive tract can properly process your food.
If you notice that your discharge smells strange, bring it up with your doctor. There are a variety of reasons why you might be smelly down there. Redbook claims that if your discharge smells sour or musty, it could be bacterial vaginosis.Every once in a while, you develop a health symptom so bizarre—like suddenly emitting a truly offensive body odor—that it sends you into a total shame spiral.
But guess what: We all have weirdo body issues that creep up and freak us out.Body Odor and Sweating [Dermatology]
That's why we asked an expert to solve them in the March "Confessions" issue of Women's Health. Here's what you need to know if you've suddenly got a case of bad B. Why you can stop spiraling: It's temporary. Sudden, super-strong odor can have surprising causes. The first? Your body has two kinds of sweat glands.
Eccrine glands, which are located all over, let out non-stanky fluid when you need cooling off. But apocrine glands, mainly in your pits, go into hyperdrive when you're anxious—and they spew out a fatty, protein-rich sweat that turns rank when it mixes with bacteria on your skin, explains Hooman Khorasani, M. If you're not frazzled, your odor might be from certain foods. Spices such as curry and garlic, and veggies like onion, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus, can leak compounds like sulfur into your sweat glands, resulting in musty or urine-y B.
What to do now: Stress-related funk will disappear as soon as you feel less sapped. Until then, use an antiperspirant with 19 to 20 percent of an ingredient called aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly a less irritating version of the typical sweat-blocking aluminumsuggests Lauren Eckert Ploch, M.
If you sweat excessively on the reg, a dermatologist can write you an Rx for a more powerful pit stick or an oral med. Not tense? Back off the offending foods and work in some fruit. A recent Australian study found that people who ate more of it had better-smelling sweat. Type keyword s to search. Today's Top Stories. Getty Images. Cassie Shortsleeve Freelance Writer Cassie Shortsleeve is a skilled freelance writer and editor with almost a decade of experience reporting on all things health, fitness, and travel.
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Body odor is the perceived unpleasant smell our bodies can give off when bacteria that live on the skin break down sweat into acids. Some say it is the smell of bacteria growing on the body, but it is actually the result of bacteria breaking down protein into certain acids. Body odor usually becomes evident if measures are not taken when a human reaches puberty. People who are obese, those who regularly eat spicy foods, as well as individuals with certain medical conditions, such as diabetesare more susceptible to having body odor.
People who sweat too much, such as those with hyperhidrosismay also be susceptible to body odor. However, often the salt level of their sweat is too high for the bacteria to break down.
It depends on where the excess sweating is occurring and which type of sweat glands are involved. Sweat itself is virtually odorless to humans. It is the rapid multiplication of bacteria in the presence of sweat and their breaking down of sweat into acids that eventually causes the unpleasant smell. Body odor can have a pleasant and specific smell to the individual and can be used to identify people, especially by dogs and other animals.
Body odor is caused by bacteria breaking down sweat and is largely linked to the apocrine glands. Most body odor comes from these. These glands are found in the breasts, genital area, eyelids, armpits, and ear. In the breasts, they secrete fat droplets into breast milk. In the ear, they help form earwax. Apocrine glands in the skin and the eyelids are sweat glands.
Most of the apocrine glands in the skin are located in the groin, armpits, and around the nipples. In the skin, they usually have an odor. They are scent glands. The apocrine glands are mainly responsible for body odor because the sweat they produce is high in protein, which bacteria can break down easily.
Most of us wear shoes and socks, making it much more difficult for the sweat to evaporate, giving the bacteria more sweat to break down into smelly substances. Moist feet also raise the risk of fungi developing, which can also give off unpleasant smells. A large concentration of apocrine glands is present in the armpits, making that area susceptible to the rapid development of body odor. Shaving the armpits regularly has been found to help body odor control in that area.
Reusable razors are available to purchase online. An antiperspirant blocks the sweating action of the glands, resulting in less sweating. Some studies, however, have indicated that antiperspirants may be linked to breast cancer or prostate cancer risk. This study suggests that current research is inconclusive on the risks of antiperspirant sprays. Deodorants and antiperspirants with natural ingredients are available to purchase online.
Smelly feet are less of a problem socially than underarm B. However, the smell may become obvious if the person with smelly feet visits a home where shoes are taken off before entering, as is the custom in various countries and homes. Make sure you dry your feet thoroughly afterward, including in between your toes.
The best socks are those made of a combination of man-made fibers and wool. Wear a clean pair of socks each day.
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