How Do I Eliminate Body Odor?

Mallory Hall

A widespread problem for both teens and adults, body odor typically starts when children reach puberty and might continue through adulthood. Male body odor is more common, although women can experience it as well. Depending on the severity of the condition, there are various treatment options and products available to help you prevent and reduce body odor. Taking baths or showers on a regular basis and using deodorants can help eliminate body odor. Eliminating certain foods in your diet also might help reduce your body odor.

A stick of deodorant.
A stick of deodorant.

To get rid of body odor, bathing regularly is a necessity. The apocrine glands produce sweat that is almost entirely to blame for body odor and is subsequently washed off when you take a bath or shower. Your skin contains natural bacteria that break down and consume the proteins and oils in apocrine sweat, and the resulting byproduct is the distinct aroma of body odor. Use an antibacterial soap to reduce the colonies of bacteria that linger on your skin.

A good soap or body wash and regular showering can often combat body odor.
A good soap or body wash and regular showering can often combat body odor.

You can eliminate body odor by using deodorants. These products contain fragrances that are designed to mask the unpleasant odor that is produced by the bacteria when it breaks down your sweat. Deodorants are available in a variety of forms, including sticks, gels and sprays, so applying them to the affected areas is extremely easy.

Bathing or showering with soap on a daily basis will alleviate body odor in most circumstances.
Bathing or showering with soap on a daily basis will alleviate body odor in most circumstances.

Some people might confuse deodorants with antiperspirants. Antiperspirants contain fragrances that work similar to those found in deodorants, but the difference is that they also have specific active ingredients — such as aluminum chlorohydrate — that are formulated to prevent the sweat from coming to the skin’s surface. People who use antiperspirants frequently report a noticeable difference in the amount of body odor.

Some women use body spray after showering to prevent body odor.
Some women use body spray after showering to prevent body odor.

Choosing the right fabric for your clothes can also help to eliminate body odor. Natural fibers such as wool, cotton and silk permit better circulation of air underneath your clothing, which allows your body to cool itself more efficiently. By maintaining a lower body temperature, your body will not sweat as often, thus resulting in a reduction of body odor.

Some people are not aware that certain foods affect the smell of your sweat. For instance, strong-scented foods such as onions and garlic, if consumed in excess, can lead to an increased and more pungent body odor. To eliminate body odor or reduce its smell, stay away from foods such as these or consume them less frequently.

If you believe that you have tried all these options and you have not been able to effectively eliminate body odor, you might need to seek medical intervention. Doctors can prescribe special antiperspirants or even request medical procedures that can decrease the amount of sweat that your body produces. Some common procedures include removing the sweat glands or receiving onabotulinumtoxinA injections.

Sweat must be washed away with soap and water to prevent bacteria from producing foul odors.
Sweat must be washed away with soap and water to prevent bacteria from producing foul odors.

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