Body odour is any unpleasant smell that comes from your body. This includes bad breath, smelly feet, and even smelly hair. Body odour is particularly distressing because it can be difficult to get rid of. It is disturbing not just to you but to the people around you. Apart from the embarrassment, it causes you, it also takes away your confidence and makes it extremely difficult for you to relate with other people. If you find that people don’t want to be around you for long or they grimace whenever you open your mouth to speak, it may be because your smell puts them off. Body odour usually occurs from self-neglect over a period of time. It can be frustrating when you try hard to smell good and it’s just not working for you. As troublesome as the condition is, better personal hygiene usually is enough to cure body odour.
What causes body odour?
- Poor personal hygiene
- Health conditions- respiratory tract infections and mouth ulcers cause bad breath (halitosis). Liver disease can give a bad odour.
- Ingestion of spicy foods
Here’s how to get rid of body odour permanently:
- Wash your body twice a day
We live in a sunny and dusty environment so we tend to sweat a lot and accumulate more dirt on our bodies than in the temperate regions.
- Wash with soap and sponge
Water alone is not enough to wash off the dirt on our body. Using just water will only smear the dirt on your body the more.
- Do thorough washing of your armpits and feet
Wash until you smell only soap in those areas. Be careful however, not to use a sponge that is too harsh on your skin. Injury to your skin can also cause you to smell unpleasant.
- Shave your armpit regularly to allow sweat evaporate easily
Body odour is mostly caused by excessive sweat. Moisture plus heat gives room for bacteria to thrive and cause unpleasant odours.
- If you keep your hair long, wear a shower cap to protect your hair from water
Hair tends to smell bad when not well dried.
- Avoid using deodorant to mask body odour
You may use deodorant immediately after having your bath but using deodorant to mask the odour after it has set in, will only make it worse.
- Brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day
You should brush in the mornings and at night before you sleep. The bristles of your toothbrush should not be too hard or you will get mouth sores and develop bad breath. If they are too soft, they won’t be effective. Brush after eating fish, eggs or meals that have strong odours. Form the habit of carrying with you sweets that are minty (peppermint taste) because you may not always be able to brush after meals.
- Avoid eating spicy foods such as garlic
Garlic has a very strong smell and can be excreted in sweat. The odour also lingers in your mouth and on your skin days after you eat it.
- Always wear clean clothes
Do not reuse your underwear until you’ve washed it.
- Wear clothes that allow air to reach your skin
Air will dry up excess sweat and prevent bacteria from acting on your skin
- Remove your shoes (especially covered shoes) after a long day and allow them to dry under the sun before wearing them again.
- Don’t reuse your pair of socks before washing them.
- Eat healthily
Vegetables and fruits are rich in nutrients and vitamins. These will help prevent mouth ulcers and respiratory tract infection.
If you still have problems managing body odour after improving your personal hygiene, see a doctor. You may have a medical condition that causes body odour.
*Article by Iriyise Oloruntoba-Oju