Tropical heat and sultry weather increase sweat excretion, leading to unwanted body odor. The impact of body odor can be so intense that people traveling in crowded public transport try to scurry to one corner or cover their noses just to avoid the overwhelming smell.


The cause

Body odor occurs when bacteria on the surface of the skin break down acids while sweating. People with certain diseases and hormonal changes can invite body odor. Sweat is secreted from the sweat glands, and the human body has two kinds of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine. The apocrine glands are responsible for the body’s odor. Certain underlying conditions like diabetes may trigger body odor, and some can be attributed to the food being consumed, infections, medications, etc.


Sweat may not be the sole reason for body odor, and there are instances when an individual may not have sweated at all but has an unpleasant body odor. Other causes may be genetic issues, stress and anxiety, weather patterns, etc.


Preventing body odor

Following basic hygiene may help prevent body odor. Regular bathing using antibacterial soap and choosing the right cloth, preferably cotton, during hot and humid summer days will likely help prevent body odor. Using antiperspirants and deodorants can be helpful on certain occasions that are easily available. However, it has to be remembered that deodorants can bring itchiness to the skin, causing rashes, and may not be suitable for all.


A change in diet is also recommended for some individuals who suffer from body odor. Vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, onion, and garlic release sulfur-like compounds through skin pores at some point, leading to body odor. One can also note trimethylaminuria, caused by eating seafood, which releases a fishy smell.


In case of severity, approaching a medical professional is needed. The doctor may suggest going in for blood and urine tests to know whether extreme body odor may be due to some sort of infection, diabetes, or hyperthyroidism.


Doctors can suggest surgically removing sweat glands if the severity persists and there is little hope.


The outlook

Body odor, a health issue, is a nuisance in public places. The question of self-esteem goes down with people trying to avoid someone with a heavy body odor. Investigating the reason for it and taking measures as directed by a medical professional will help mitigate the crisis.