Embarrassed by body odour? Here are some tips to get rid of it

May 7th, 2011 - 5:09 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 7 (IANS) Bharti Malhotra, 24, has been going through acute embarrassment due to her body odour. It has also crushed her confidence, especially after she was gifted a pack of deos on her birthday. Many people like her suffer from body odour, but there is no need to despair, say experts who give their reasons for the predicament and suggest helpful tips.

Sweating is not the only reason for body odour, but lack of hygiene, stomach disorders and eating too much non-vegetarian food could also cause it. So, a few changes in diet and lifestyle can help one deal with this problem too, say experts. A botox jab could also help tackle excessive sweating.

“One has to make some lifestyle improvements, like eating a healthy diet and avoiding pungent food items such as onion and garlic and bathe twice a day. One can also use products that contain aluminium hydroxide, which help in absorbing sweat,” Mumbai-based dermatologist Madhuri Agarwal told IANS.

In some people, pungent body odour is part of their genetic makeup.

“The presence of odour indicates an underlying condition, which could be either bacterial overgrowth or triggered by hormonal changes in the body. The former is caused due to lack of proper hygiene. The latter, however, is a natural process in case of teens and young adults,” dermatologist Vandana Chatrat told IANS.

“The type of body odour is also characterised by the type of bacteria present. This problem is fairly common in summers because sweating increases during hot and humid weather, which are favourable for bacterial growth,” she added.

Agarwal says the bacteria present on our skin surface, such as under arms, produce enzymes called lipases that break down lipids in the sweat. The breakdown products produce the odour in sweat.

There are some who sweat in winter as well.

“Normally, a healthy person’s sweat is odorless, but in some the sweat has a sharp, uneasy odour. They also have the problem of getting sweat stains on their clothing, like brown or yellowish stains and their clothes smell a lot. This is called Bromhidrosis and the person suffering from it will have body odour throughout the year irrespective of the season,” she said.

Sweating also depends on underlying medical conditions.

Maya Vedamurthy, Chennai-based dermatologist from RSV Skin Clinic, said: “People suffering from typhoid emit a characteristic body odour, diabetic people have a fruity body odour and there are some who suffer from Fish Odour Syndrome (Trimethylaminuria).”

“Obese people also tend to sweat more and produce more body odour. In all the above-mentioned conditions, it is important to get to the root of the problem and identify what exactly causes excessive sweating,” she added.

Excessive sweating is not only embarrassing for the person, it troubles the person sitting close to them.

“Unpleasant body odour leads to embarrassing situations. It can mar your pleasing personality,” Mumbai-based dermatologist Satish Bhatia told IANS.

“People don’t like to socialise because they find it embarrassing to have sweat patches on their shirts. Some refrain from shaking hands because of sweaty palms,” he added.

So how can one deal with this issue?

“It is important to identify the exact cause behind the body odour. Reducing body weight in case of obese people helps in dealing with this problem. On a daily basis, one can use anti-perspirants or deodorants. In case of severe sweating, one may be given prescription oral medication to curb it,” said Vedamurthy.

Apart from this, one can take the route of botox injections as well.

“One can take botox injections for treating one’s sweat problem. It reduces sweat production by decreasing the ability of sweat glands to produce in the particular area (where it is injected). The results last anywhere between six to nine months and the person can remain carefree after just one session,” said Vandana Chatrat.

“So, with just one session of botox treatment the patient gets relief for almost a year from excessive sweat and body odour. This can cost about Rs.15,000 to Rs.20,000 and the results appear from the second week of taking the injection,” she added.

(Shilpa Raina can be contacted at shilpa.r@ians.in)

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