By Bea Johnson for Yahoo! Southeast Asia
We are all familiar with body odor; that unpleasant smell that emanates from sweaty armpits and feet and kicks in around puberty. Although it can be uncomfortable and at times embarrassing, sweating is an important bodily function. It helps maintain our body temperature, hydrates the skin, balances body fluids, and flushes out unwanted toxins.
What most people don't know is that sweat itself is mainly odorless. That pungent aroma, available in large supply in gym changing rooms and crowded trains, is actually caused by bacteria naturally present on the skin breaking down the sweat. Some areas of the skin, such as the armpits and genitals, are more likely to produce body odor because of the glands present that produce proteins and oily substances which said bacteria feed on. Sometimes that resulting smell can be too much to bear.
If you, or someone you know, suffer from body odor, there are several simple steps you can take to solve that sensorial overload:
• The most obvious and crucial way to reduce any unwanted personal aroma is to wash regularly, making sure to scrub the offending areas with antibacterial soap. If you have time, run yourself a bath, and give your skin a good soak in some scented bath wash.
• However, washing yourself thoroughly won't help if you put on dirty clothes covered in old sweat and bacteria—avoid wearing clothes more than once, especially in warm, humid countries.
• Wash your clothes at as high a temperature as possible and dry them as quickly as possible. Bacteria can survive in damp clothing and produce a musty smell of its own—the last thing you need is more bad smells hanging around.
• Your best ally when fighting body odor is deodorant. Deodorants usually contain alcohol and antimicrobials which kill bacteria, and they often include fragrance to mask any bad smells. Antiperspirants are slightly different, in that they reduce the amount of sweat produced. (An antiperspirant-and-deodorant-in-one product is your best bet.) Find out which type suits you best, and make sure you use it regularly!
• Avoid foods such as curry, garlic and strong spices as they contain chemicals that may be excreted through the skin.
• Your feet need special treatment when it comes to fighting bad odors, as they spend much of their time encased in socks and shoes, making them hot and humid and allowing bacteria to flourish. Your feet should be washed regularly, dried thoroughly and treated with antifungal powder if necessary. Wear fresh cotton socks or try and keep feet bare as much as possible.
If you feel that even after following these steps your body odour persists, visit a doctor for more in-depth solutions.
Source: Yahoo! She
Please log-in to like this.
Newer news items:
Older news items: