Bromhidrosis or body odor is the unpleasant smell caused by the mixing of perspiration or sweat and bacteria on the skin.
Sweat, generally an odorless body secretion. When bacteria multiply on the skin and breakdown these secretions, the resulting by product, however, may have a strong and disagreeable odor.
Generally, bromhidrosis happens at puberty because of increasing hormones called androgen. These hormones are not active until puberty, which is why body odor is not a problem among children.
Our body produces sweats that are classified into two, eccrine and apocrine. Eccrine sweat glands are concentrated in the armpits, the palm of the hands, the soles of the feet and the forehead. Eccrine sweat glands secrete a mixture of water, salt, urea and lactic acid onto the skin.
When you are overheated, sweet seeps over your body, especially where the eccerine glands are numerous. As the sweat dries off, the skin is cooled by the surrounding air. Eccrine glands do not release any tissue cells or cell contents into their watery secretions.
In contrast, apocrine sweat is a heavier liquid containing various organic substances, including pheromone hormones. These glands are found mostly under the arms and around the groin. They develop during puberty, and are thought to serve a biological function in sexual attraction.
Oftentimes, bromhidrosis is due to poor personal hygiene. As such experts have suggested a program of daily bathing, changes in diet, and changes in clothing. Bathe daily to remove bacteria from your skin, especially the arm pits and the groin area where the bacteria are most prevalent.
Dietary changes by eliminating various sources of odor such as fatty foods that may contain rancid fats and oils that lead to body odor. Strong smelling foods like onions, garlics and other exotic spices can seep through the pores and cause body odor.
Wear loosely fitting clothes, allow the body to breathe than tight clothes. Don’t use synthetic fabrics that don’t allow our body to breath and instead use the natural ones such as cotton. Most, importantly change your clothes with clean ones regularly.
According to medical experts, there are several factors that may contribute to chronic body odor aside from poor hygiene, these may include coffee and other stimulants which increases apocrine gland secretion and increasing the possibility of unpleasant body odors.
States of high anxiety and stress these can stimulate perspiration and may increase the risk of body odors. Chain smoking and heavy drinking, alcohol and nicotine increase the rate of perspiration.