Body odor…

A pungent blend of locust beans, onions, and cheese with raw eggs…

Wait, what type of smell is that?

In humans, having a body odor can be frustrating, embarrassing, and undesirable. It can affect an individual emotionally, socially, and even psychologically. Some who have it may avoid or minimize interacting with people while others experience anxiety and low-self esteem.

Most of us can identify this unpleasant characterized smell known as body odor in just a second. If we’re going, to be honest with one another, we all probably experienced it.

The good thing about it is that there are things you could do to prevent it/get rid of it.

So, what causes body odor? Where does it come from? Why does it happen?

These questions would be answered. Just relax, take a deep breath and keep scrolling.

To start, you need to know that the body is covered in sweat glands, which perform an essential function known as THERMOREGULATION.

What is thermoregulation?

“Thermoregulation is the ability of an organism to keep its body temperature within a certain range when the temperature surrounding it is extremely different” – Goggle.

When our body temperature rises, our sweat glands release water, which evaporates, cooling our body.

Your body has millions of sweat glands and they come in two major types.

  1. Eccrine gland: they are found all over the body and produce most of our sweat. They secrete mainly water and salt and are also responsible for our body’s waste production.
  2. Apocrine gland: they develop at puberty and are found in the groin, genitals, and underarms. They secrete less sweat and the sweat they secrete is full of proteins and fat. Apocrine sweat is more viscous and odorless but can odor when mixed with bacteria.

How do they produce odor?

When these bacteria feed on the proteins and fat in apocrine sweat, they decompose and degrade the sweat into molecules that give a certain odor. Depending on the type of bacteria present, varied by-products are produced, which also causes differing smells.

For example, ammonia gives a urine-like smell. Another is carboxylic acids give a pungent smell like rancid cheese and sulfur-containing compounds give an oniony smell.

These molecules produce a smell in the armpit into our nostrils where they are detected by an array of specialized receptors.


The first to take in getting rid of body odor is to identify what’s causing it.

  1. Reduce bacterial count through proper hygiene.

(a) Take your bath twice daily; most body odor occurs when the sweat on the surface of your skin gets fed on by bacteria. Sweat is the breeding ground for most bacteria. When the bacteria come in contact with the sweat, it breaks it down, emitting body odor. You need to bathe frequently to stay clean and avoid having body odor. Also, pay attention to your toes, webs, axilla, and groin.

When you get out of the shower, make sure you dry off thoroughly.

Here’s why you need to clean up properly.

If you don’t dry off well, that area could be a breeding ground for bacteria. Just like accumulation can cause that effect, so the accumulation of water on your skin.

  1. Wash your clothes frequently

    When we sweat, most of them get trapped in our clothes. So, not just the body emitting odor, but your clothes are also doing the same.

If you suffer from body odor/sweat a lot you have to wash your clothes more frequently, especially clothes that have direct contact with your skin such as your underwear. They have to be washed after every wear. Also, your gym clothes need to be washed frequently.

If you’re the type that suffers from body odor, try to wear clothes made of natural fabrics. It’s been found that natural fabrics like cotton absorb sweat completely and do well not to create odor as opposed to synthetic fiber.

  1. Shave your underarm and trim your body hair

    The hair on your body can trap sweat and odor, especially those on your underarm. The more the hair on your underarm equates to you sweating more and serves as a breeding ground for more bacteria. This could lead to you having body odor. That’s why you need to shave/trim the hairs on your underarm and groin areas.

  2. Make use of antiperspirants and deodorants;

    Never step out of your house without making use of deodorant/antiperspirant. This is something you should never forget because it could save you from embarrassment and also save those around you from discomfort.

Deodorants help inhibit bacterial activity and mask odors at the same time. Antiperspirants work by forming tiny gel plugs that block sweat glands, drying out the armpit.

  1. Avoid certain foods that could cause body odor;

    There may be some foods you’re consuming that are emitting foul odors through your skin. Foods like onions, garlic, and cruciferous veggies( broccoli, Brussels sprouts) contain sulfur. We know sulfur smells pretty bad, so eating these foods causes sulfur to be emitted through the skin and also avoids other spicy foods.

PS; you could eat them but reduce your intake.


Excessive sweating + bacteria that decompose the component of sweat= body odor.

Move your bowels regularly and urinate. This is because when you do them regularly, it helps to remove undesirable metabolites and body waste that contribute to body odor or smelly sweat. Also, make use of anti-bacterial soap.

If you’ve done all this and there’s no result, then visit a dermatologist.

Hope you enjoyed reading?