Common causes of body odour

You may feel the obvious answer is to just take a shower every day. However, in some cases, body odour can be exacerbated by some conditions. Here is what may cause you to need a bit more deodorant than your peers.

What actually causes your sweat to become smelly?

It is not actually your sweat that produces a strong smell. In fact, your sweat may have a salty smell to it, but not much more. The cause of the strong smell is the bacteria that lives on your skin. It consumes your skin cells and sweat, and then excretes it. Yes, you are smelling bacteria faeces. That is why an “old sweat” smell is so much more potent.

Protecting the good bacteria

When we take antibiotics, we irradicate good bacteria in the gut. That is why we take probiotics as well. The same thing happens when we use lots of soap. We wash all the bacteria off our skin, the good and the bad. Good bacteria keep bad bacteria in check. Many intimate washes will contain probiotics. This does not mean that you have to forgo soap. You can opt for a mild soap, or take a daily probiotic to help your skin stay healthy.

Using the correct deodorant

Not every deodorant will work for everybody. You may love the scent of a certain brand, but it can clash with your natural body chemistry. This will turn that smell you love into something very unpleasant in a few hours. If a product promises 12, 24 or even 48 hours of body odour management and cannot live up to their promise, it may just be that you have chosen a fragrance variant that clashes with your own scent. Experiment with different ones until you find the correct one. This same principle can also be applied to your chosen fragrance in soap.

Double up

If you shower at night, apply some deodorant right after. In the morning, apply some again.


It is said that with hormone fluctuations comes a stronger body odour. Just imagine any teenage boy’s room. The teen can be freshly showered, his clothing and bedding can be laundered. Yet, there is just an odd smell coming from the bedroom. There is nothing wrong with that, it is just part of growing up.

Women may also have certain hormonal conditions that can flare up a bit of excess sweat, such as PCOS. If you are concerned about this, speak to your doctor about it, a simple hormonal treatment to balance everything out can do wonders.


What we eat and drink will affect our smell. The most obvious example of this is alcohol. If someone drank a lot of hard liquor  the previous night, it may be evident in their body odour the next day, even if they took a shower.

The same goes for your general diet. It is said that those who consume a lot of sugar and carbohydrates will have a less than pleasant smell. Some research indicate that a healthy diet of fruit and vegetables have better body odour, even if they sweat a lot.

Athlete’s foot

Fungal infections of the feet can cause a terrible smell. It is best to treat any fungal infections as soon as they show up.

Your shoes are also a breeding ground for all sorts of fungi and bacteria. You should wash your shoes regularly, and pour foot powder or bicarb of soda in them. Some believe that a teabag in each shoe overnight will also help to eliminate smells.

You simply sweat a lot (Hyperhidrosis)

Some people simply sweat a lot. There are some treatments for  this, such as Botox, injected to block the nerve signals that induces your sweating. You should speak to your doctor to find the best solution to suit your needs.

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