Health Tips Why you suddenly have intense body odor

Sudden, super-strong odor can have surprising causes.

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Why you suddenly have intense body odor play

Why you suddenly have intense body odor

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Don’t worry - it’s probably not permanent.

Every once in a while, you develop a health symptom so bizarre - like suddenly emitting a truly offensive body odor - that it sends you into a total shame spiral.

But guess what: We all have weirdo body issues that creep up and freak us out.

That's why we asked an expert to solve them in the March "Confessions" issue of Women's Health. Here's what you need to know if you've suddenly got a case of bad B.O.

Why you can stop spiraling

It's temporary. Sudden, super-strong odor can have surprising causes.

The first? Stress. Your body has two kinds of sweat glands.

Eccrine glands, which are located all over, let out non-stanky fluid when you need cooling off.

But apocrine glands, mainly in your pits, go into hyperdrive when you're anxious—and they spew out a fatty, protein-rich sweat that turns rank when it mixes with bacteria on your skin, explains Hooman Khorasani, M.D., chief of dermatologic and cosmetic surgery at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

If you're not frazzled, your odor might be from certain foods. Spices such as curry and garlic, and veggies like onion, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus, can leak compounds like sulfur into your sweat glands, resulting in musty or urine-y B.O. six to 12 hours later, Khorasani says.

What to do now

Stress-related funk will disappear as soon as you feel less sapped.

Until then, use an antiperspirant with 19 to 20 percent of an ingredient called aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly (a less irritating version of the typical sweat-blocking aluminum), suggests Lauren Eckert Ploch, M.D., a dermatologist at Georgia Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center in Augusta. (Try Secret Fresh Collection Invisible Solid, $5,

If you sweat excessively on the reg, a dermatologist can write you an Rx for a more powerful pit stick or an oral med.

Not tense? Back off the offending foods and work in some fruit.

A recent Australian study found that people who ate more of it had better-smelling sweat.

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