Does sweat itself smell?
Perspiration is naturally odourless. “Sweat doesn't smell,” says Dr. Solish. “But if the skin is moist from sweat, it will create an environment that will allow bacteria to grow –- that creates the odour.” While sweating is a totally natural process, there are some areas of the body that are more prone to smelly sweat than others. Under the armpits and around the genital areas, for example, are sweat hot-zones because the sweat glands in these areas differ from those on other parts of our bodies. These glands produce protein and oily substances, whereas the sweat formed elsewhere is mostly a combination of water and sodium, which bacteria cannot feed off as easily.
What you can do about it
If you suffer from body odour and don't know what to do, here are 6 tips to help you overcome the problem:
• Body odour disappears after a bath or shower. Be sure to bathe regularly to remove sweat from the surface of the skin. Dr. Solish suggests using an antibacterial soap to minimize the ability of bacteria to sit on the skin, which is what causes the odour.
• Exercise regularly. By sweating often (in a controlled situation), you can rid your body of toxins, bacteria and fungi that may be contributing to an overpowering odour.
• Use antiperspirant.
• Wash clothing well and often.
• Be careful what you eat, cautions Dr. Solish. “Some people will perspire the smell of the food they have eaten,” he says. “Body odour can be caused by food intake like garlic and curry.”
• Some people sweat from their feet,” says Dr. Solish, “so make sure shoes are not the result of the odour.” Wear your socks only once and then put them to wash. If the problem persists, try placing odour-fighting insoles into your shoes.