A Must Read- Why Are So Many Nigerians Repulsed By Body Odors?

Body odor is the perceived unpleasant smell our bodies can give off when bacteria that live on the skin break down sweat into acids, some say it is the smell of bacteria growing on the body, but it is actually the result of bacteria breaking down protein into certain acids.

Excessive or unpleasant body odor can also be extremely common amongst Nigerians and this can be a source of great discomfort to others and a source of extreme embarrassment to the concerned individual. While all of us have had the unpleasant experience of being subjected to someone else’s foul body odor, you very often don’t realize it when the source of that foul smell is yourself.

There are a lot of misconceptions in Nigeria when it comes to body odor, and a common belief is that perspiration (the process of sweating) is the cause and source of the nauseating smell. Scientifically, sweat is said to be odorless. Body odor is caused by the activity of bacteria on sweat. Perspiration is a normal biochemical process in human, we all perspire, but sweat does become a problem when you find yourself suffering from excessive body odor.

  • Symptoms of Body OdorBeing nervous or anxious could be a symptom of body odor. Heavy sweating due to strenuous physical exercise should tell you that you are going to smell badly. You may feel the unpleasant odor yourself.
  • Causes of Body Odor**   Women often complain that some men tend to smell a lot and this really isn’t untrue. So what causes body odor in men, women, toddlers and young children?The human body actually secretes two types of sweat, the eccrine and apocrine;Eccrine sweat being secreted to regulate and control body temperature such as when the weather is hot or if you exert a lot. This type of sweat is rarely responsible for any body odor. Apocrine sweat however, which is type of exudation is secreted in certain areas like the armpits, groin, hands, and feet is actually the source of the trouble.This type of sweat doesn’t smell either but it has a high fat and protein content and the bacteria reacts with this type of sweat to release the foul odor. This type of sweat is not produced in children which is why you are unlikely to come across the problem of strong body odor in children. Production of apocrine sweat only begins with rising levels of testosterone from puberty.

    **   Certain foods are also believed to be possible body odor causes, but their effect on body odor is debated.  Blood sugar imbalances can also have an effect on body odor.

    **   Body odor may be due to serious illness. Body odor may be due to kidney disease, fungal infections liver disease and so on If you take some strong medicines then the smell of those medicines may be present in your body odor. Diabetic patients may smell of acetone because of insulin that they take. If you drink alcohol, smoke cigarette or cigar you will have an unpleasant body odor.

  • Remedies for Body Odor·         Use antibacterial soap or deodorant soap to combat body odor due to sweating.·         Wear cotton clothes during summer so that the sweat is soaked up.·         Instead of using deodorant, wipe your sweat producing areas like armpit using white vinegar or alcohol.·         Avoid using antiperspirant because they clog sweat glands, use alum instead.

    ·         Apply some baking soda on arm pit, it will absorb sweat and kill bacteria.

    • If your body odor is caused due to any medicine that you are on, then you need to talk to your doctor.·         Soak yourself for 15 minutes in bath water with couple of cups of tomato juice in it.·         Use baby powder to keep areas of heavy perspiration dry.·         Apple cider vinegar can be used to combat under arm odor.
    • Diet for Body OdorThere is a direct relation between what a person eats and his body odor.·         Avoid refined sugar, white flour, hydrogenated oils and other processed foods.·         Avoid red meat because it releases many toxins into the blood stream.·         Avoid foods that lack fiber.

      ·         Avoid alcohol, caffeine, cumin and garlic.

      ·         Eat a healthy diet which contains whole grains, lots of leafy vegetables, sprouts, fresh fruits, soy products, raw nuts and so on.

  • Recommendations for Body Odor·         Never repeat unwashed clothes, especially undergarments during summer, it will aggravate the odor.·         Wax your armpits regularly.·         People who wear shoes for long time complain of foot odor. It is caused by rapid bacteria growth due to excess sweating of feet.·         To avoid foot odor wear cotton socks, never use socks repeatedly.

    ·         Wash your feet properly. If possible wear open foot wear like leather sandals.


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The information provided through these articles is for educational purposes and is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.


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5 Responses

  1. Hayzed says:

    What a great talk… People will actually need this

    Keep this up

  2. Biodun says:

    Tried baby powder on shaved armpit and it works fine…Thanks, most people would need this.

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