Does your pungent body aroma announce your presence in a room? Do people gift you deodorants every year on your birthday? Do people avoid sitting next to you? If the answer to the above questions is ‘Yes’ then you are gripped by the most unlikable thing – Body odor.
The salt level of their sweat is too high for the bacteria to break down – it depends where the excess sweating is occurring and which type of sweat
Sweat itself is virtually odorless to humans; it is the rapid multiplication of bacteria in the presence of sweat and what they do (break sweat down into acids) that eventually causes the unpleasant smell. The smell is perceived as unpleasant, many believe, because most of us have been brought up to dislike it. Body odor is most likely to occur in our feet, groin, armpits, genitals, pubic hair and other hair, belly button, anus, behind the ears, and to some (lesser) extent on the rest of our skin.
Two types of acid are commonly present when there is body odor:
- Propionic acid (propanoic acid) is commonly found in sweat – propionibacteria break amino acids down into propionic acid. Propionibacteria live in the ducts of the sebaceous glands of adult and adolescent humans. Some people may identify a vinegar-like smell with propionic acid, because it is similar to acetic acid, which gives vinegar its sour taste and pungent smell.
- Isovaleric acid (3-methyl butanoic acid) is another source of body odor as a result of actions of the bacteria Staphylococcus epidermidis, which are also present in several strong cheese types.
Causes Of Unusual Body Odor
The Children, Youth and Women’s Health Service explains that bacteria is one of the primary causes of body odor. Although sweat alone does not emit much of an odor, combine it with bacteria and bad odor may result. This is especially true for parts of the body that are covered by clothing. In damp places, like the socks or a sweat-drenched T-shirt, yeasts and bacteria can flourish and produce an unpleasant odor. The bacteria may even grow inside the clothing, making it smelly as well.
Food is often the culprit for bad body odor. A study published in the Oxford Journals in 2006 found that red meat can cause unpleasant body odor. Columbia University’s Health Q&A Internet Service Go Ask Alice! reports that strong-smelling foods like garlic, onions and curry can also alter the smell of the sweat, making it unpleasant. Caffeine, alcohol and an imbalance in magnesium or zinc can also cause excess sweating or strong body odor.
The Children, Youth and Women’s Health Service explains that poor hygiene can result in bad body odor. If you do not wash your body regularly, especially the armpits, feet and groin, a bad smell may occur. In addition, poor odor can occur if you do not change or wash your clothes often. Because deodorant can mask and prevent odor, refraining from its use can result in bad body odor.
- Body Odor can be caused by many of the factors including, Medicines, alcohol, smoking, prolonged illness, diseases, like kidney problems, liver problems ,stress, skin problems, gastrointestinal problems, weak metabolism, fungal infection, bacterial growth, deficiency of zinc mineral, cavities, toxins, poor hygiene, heredity factors, certain foods and beverages, like hot beverages, spicy foods, menopause, low levels of male hormones, low blood sugar or hypoglycemia, fever, overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism.
- Body odor usually becomes evident if measures are not taken when a human reaches puberty – 14-16 years of age in females and 15-17 years of age in males. People who are obese
- Liver or kidney failure, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, or diabetes, a condition that causes increased blood sugar levels ,tooth or oral conditions, such as cavities, periodontal disease, which is disease around a tooth, or gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gums. These are common causes of bad breath,infections, such as a lung abscess or pocket of pus, skin infections, vaginal yeast infections, sexually transmitted diseases, or urinary tract infections. These can cause odor in the area of the infection. For instance, a lung abscess can cause bad breath.
- Inborn errors of metabolism, such as a group of conditions known as aminoaciduria. These tend to be noticed in childhood.
- Tumors or cancer, which may cause an odor in the area of the tumor. For instance, tumors of the mouth or stomach may cause bad breath. Cancer of the cervix or uterus may cause a discharge from the vagina that has a certain odor to it.
- Drugs, toxins, or herbs, such as alcohol, arsenic poisoning, cyanide poisoning, or cigarette smoking
- Psychological conditions, which may cause a person to think they have a foul body odor when none exists.