Bad Body Odor: Causes and Ways to Fight Back

Battling Your Bad Body Odor

Body odor. It’s nothing new. In fact, it seems like you have been dealing with this almost every day of your life.

When it started, you figured it was a normal part of development, and with time, it would fade completely. Now, you’re an adult, and you’re not sure it will ever go away.

The problem is body odor. No matter what you try, you stink, and it is having a terribly negative impact on your happiness, your relationships, and your entire life.

What Causes Bad Body Odor?

You know that body odor is causing havoc in your life, but you don’t really know what creates the condition in the first place. Without knowing the cause, you cannot find the solution.

Many people think sweat triggers the offending odors. This explanation makes sense on the surface because areas associated with sweating, like the underarms, feet, and crouch, are some of the worst smelling places on the body.

Sweat is part of the problem, but this is only half the story. For many people, their hands are the part of them that sweats the most, but when is the last time you heard someone complaining about their stinky hands?

Would you immediately smell better if you quit sweating? Not necessarily.

The prime culprit here is bacteria. Bacteria plague the insides and outsides of your body causing many unwanted conditions.

Bacteria love to live and spread in places that are dark, moist, and warm. Qualities met by the smelliest places on the body, but not the hands, which are typically exposed to the light and cooler than most of the body.

Although the sweat alone is scentless, the when bacteria begin interacting with and breaking down the sweat, they produce a byproduct called thioalcohol. Unfortunately, thioalcohols smell like sulfur, stinky onions, and old meat.

This is why your body’s fragrance leaves a lot to be desired.

Tips for Fighting and Preventing Bad Body Odor

Regardless of the cause, bad body odor is a problem which, left untreated and unresolved, can have serious implications of your life. You might feel your body odor:

  • Reduces your self-confidence
  • Restricts your relationships
  • Excludes you from work or academic success
  • Increases the risks of stress and mental health conditions like depression and anxiety

So, what can you do to prevent the damage caused by body odor? Some possible body odor solutions include:

Talking to Your Doctor

The safest and most effective place to start with any health-related condition is talking to your doctor. Just explain what you have been experiencing and the impact it’s having on your life to gather recommendations from your physician.

There are some medical conditions known to affect the way a person smells, so your doctor will rule those items out initially. With a better understanding of your body and your body’s systems, you can decide on the next course of action.

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Changing Your Soap

Even though it might seem obvious, changing your soap is a solution many people do not consider. Just because you have been using the same soap forever does not mean it couldn’t be the problem.

Head to the store and purchase a sampling of soaps and use each for one week straight to study the results. You might be surprised to find different soaps can play a major role in your body odor.

When collecting your sample, explore all options from antibacterial to body washes to moisturizing bars. You’re in full science experiment mode, so all the data you gather are helpful in the end.

Changing Your Deodorant

The same process you employed with your soap can be applied to your deodorant. Survey the aisle for deodorants and antiperspirants in spray, stick, and gel options.

Along the way, check the ingredients on the label for what each contains. Do you respond better to natural products or do you need the heavy-duty, industrial grade protection?

Track your results to continue gathering your data.

Changing Your Grooming

Your hygiene and grooming habits can significantly impact your body odor. When you shower and how long you shower might lead to different levels of odor.

If you have been showering at night, try the mornings. If you have been showering in the mornings, try the night.

Another grooming change to consider is shaving. Hairs and hair follicles trap sweat and bacteria. By shaving your underarms, you can avoid that offending sweat breakdown.

Check Your Clothes

You may think that the odor’s main source is your body, but it could be coming from your clothing. Items like undershirts, underwear, and workout clothes have a way of catching bad smells and never getting thoroughly clean in the wash.

Try tossing the smelliest items, purchasing some new ones, and washing them more often to cut down on the smells.

Changing Your Diet

What you eat affects every part of your body and mind, including how you smell. As your body processes what you consume, it can produce smelly byproducts.

Foods and drinks like garlic, onions, curry, fats, oils, and alcohol can all end with an unpleasant smell. Inspect your diet for any obvious offenders.

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