6 Causes of Body Odor
Body odor (BO), also known as bromhidrosis, is an unpleasant scent that can be produced by bacteria on the skin. The primary cause of body odor is sweat, which can accumulate in areas such as the armpits and groin. Sweat itself actually does not have a smell, but when bacteria on the skin feed on the sweat, producing volatile compounds that contribute to an unpleasant odor.
Also, not washing your bra can cause bacteria to accumulate on the fabric and give off an unpleasant smell. Here are six common causes of body odor:
1. Poor Hygiene
The first and most common cause of body odor is poor hygiene. Not showering regularly, not cleaning your body properly when you shower or wearing clothes that aren’t washed often enough all contribute to body odor. Therefore, proper hygiene is key to controlling body odor.
2. Excessive sweating
As I mentioned, sweat is the leading cause of body odor. It’s normal to sweat a bit, but if you have excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), it can lead to body odor. The reality is that a lot of sweat doesn’t necessarily mean more body odor. It just means that the sweat can mix with bacteria on your skin and cause bad smells. How can I stop sweating? Using an antiperspirant or deodorant can help, but if it doesn’t work, you should see a doctor.
3. Synthetic Clothing
Surprisingly enough, synthetic materials such as nylon, polyester, and rayon can play a role in causing body odor. According to a few experts, these materials do not allow your skin to breathe and trap sweat, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to grow.
4. Eating Certain Foods
Believe it or not, what you eat affects your body odor. Eating foods like garlic, onions, and spices can cause your sweat to have a more pungent odor. It is believed that when you eat these foods, they are broken down in the body, and their compounds are secreted through the skin. Aside from these, alcohol and caffeine beverages can also cause you to sweat more and thus increase your body odor.
5. Hormone imbalance
Most females with strong body odor suffer from a hormonal imbalance, especially when other symptoms such as night sweats, hot flashes, and irregular periods are present. Hormonal imbalances can be caused by menopause, pregnancy, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and other hormonal disorders.
6. Medical Conditions
Certain medical conditions can also contribute to body odor. These include diabetes, kidney disease, menopause, liver disease, and thyroid problems. You should consult your doctor if you’re experiencing persistent bad body odors that don’t go away with regular showering and proper hygiene habits.
Also read: How To Get Rid of Body Odor