Body odour or Bromhidrosis is a perceived unpleasant smell our bodies can give off when bacteria that live on the skin, breaks down sweat into acids. Sweat, itself, is virtually odourless to humans; it is the rapid multiplication of bacteria in the presence of sweat and what they do that eventually causes the unpleasant smell. Body odour is most likely to occur in our feet, groin, armpit, belly buttons, genitals, pubic hair and other hair, anus, behind the ears and to some lesser extent, on the rest of our skin.
It is the smell from rotted and decayed meat and other unhealthy things that people eat like dairy products (cheese, butter, ice cream, sour cream), refined grain and starches; and the plethora of junk foods and fast foods that are excreted from the body via the armpits (as well as the pores )
Applying deodorants and antiperspirants only mask the smell and besides, they are made with suspicious chemicals such as;
- Parabens (methyl, ethyl, propyl, benzyl and butyl) which are said to disturb the body’s hormonal balance and have been linked to breast cancer.
- Aluminium compounds (Aluminium chloralhydrate, aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly) within deodorants act as a plug within the sweat ducts and temporarily stop the flow of sweat. However, these compounds can be absorbed by the skin and promote growth of breast cancer cells with parabens by mimicking estrogen.
- Propylene Glycol is another common ingredient with health hazards. It may cause delayed allergic reactions and is considered a neurotoxin which may cause kidney and liver damage.
While these chemical and artificial-scent sprays contain harmful chemicals and only shield body odour for a short duration, they fail to treat the underlying causes of these body odour which is not just the breakdown of sweat by bacteria but also includes poor hygiene, nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, gastrointestinal problems like chronic constipation, and underlying medical problems such as genetic metabolic disorders, liver diseases or diabetes. Therefore, natural means, change of diet and lifestyle would go a long way to effectively take care of body odour.
- Shave your underarms: A lot of hair under your arms can create a swampy environment for bacteria. Hair is porous, meaning it can easily absorb body odours and can slow the evaporation of sweat.
- Wash regularly and apply vinegar under the arm as this can help lower the pH level of the skin for an anti-bacteria environment.
- Witch hazel and tea tree oil are natural sterilizers that can be applied on your armpits, since they are natural antiseptics. They lower the skin’s pH which makes it impossible for bacteria to survive.
- Change your diet: Sometimes, fatty foods, oils or strong-smelling foods can seep through your pores and cause body odour. Add a chlorophyll supplement to your daily vitamin routine. Such supplements act as natural deodorizers and can help keep you smelling nice, according to Columbia University’s Health Services.
- Check your digestion and gut health: About 7% of people complaining of body odour do not completely digest particular foods because of enzyme deficiencies or digestive problems. So for regular support, persons with body odour should take a probiotic supplement, as this will help boost intestinal flora quality.