Body Odor can sometimes leave you very embarrassed. In the summertime, while it can be pretty bad for the side travelers, it can also make you feel bad too. But ever wondered, why you have a bad body odor while some people do not have odor despite sweating profusely. The answer lies in the intake of food and other ingredients. There are varieties of reasons such as your genetic makeup, being obese as well as the stress you have been carrying. Some food products like garlic, cabbage, meat, and alcohol as well as some medicine play a role in getting body odor. If you have certain medical conditions such as hyperhidrosis and fish odor syndrome, you can get body odor as well.
Some Major Causes of Body Odor
It can be the result of varying factors and can sometimes depend on person to person also. But some of the causes are permanent. You can shut off some of the body odor easily but to get rid of most of them can become quite a task for yourself as well. The body odor is produced when the sweat particles get broken down by bacteria living on the skin. Your genetic makeup, being overweight, and stress can influence how you smell. While you can often feel embarrassed about such things, it is a natural and physiological process and should not be ashamed of. But even if you are getting it continuously over the time, you must ponder as to which reasons are resulting into. So, here’s the lowdown on the factors that define and alter body odor.
Sweat and Bacteria
There is always some link-up between the sweat and body odor. There are two kinds of sweat glands in the body namely –
- Eccrine glands – Secretions from the eccrine glands found all over the body are mostly made of salt and water. They are odorless and used to regulate temperature and cool your skin when you are overheated.
- Apocrine glands: These glands, on the other hand, are concentrated near hair follicles on your scalp, genitals, and underarms. They produce a viscous, thick sweat made of proteins and lipids.
When the bacteria found on the skin surface encounters the Apocrine sweat, they thrive on the chemical reactions with a distinct smell. This distinct smell results in the body odor.
The Genetic Makeup
The genetic makeup of the body also influences the body odor to a large extent. In fact, a small variation in a gene called ABCC11 found in people of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean heritage is linked to reduced underarm smell as well as dry earwax. The genes play a major role in deciding if the sweat would be smelly or not smelly.
People with obese conditions tend to have worse body odors. This is attributed to the additional exertion required for all tasks and the resultant increase in sweating. Sweat may also get stuck in skin folds which don’t get enough air. This gives bacteria a chance to thrive and flourish, break down sweat, and cause body odor.
Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition characterized by excessive sweating. This appears to be caused by overactive sweat glands. Other medical conditions such as anxiety, acromegaly, cancer, carcinoid syndrome, an overactive thyroid etc. can also cause excessive sweating. And since sweat is essentially the fuel for body odor-causing bacteria, more sweat can mean more chances of body odor. Although the sweat produced in hyperhidrosis is from the eccrine glands and shouldn’t smell, the dampening of skin due to the sweat may make it easier for bacteria to degrade keratin or protein in the skin and lead to body odor.