This is an exclusive Pulse blog by Medical doctor, Dami Daniels. "...You could get them a deodorant as a 'just cos it's Tuesday' present or suggest they take refreshing evening showers..."
We all have that one friend we love so much but hate to be around. I know it sounds contradictory but much as they make you laugh and are very generous, you can't stand the way they smell. Yes, today we will be talking about the topic body odour.
Also known as bromhidrosis, osmidrosis or ozochrotia, B.O as it is popularly called is quite a common phenomenon.
One of the many reasons this is an issue is the fact that many times, the sufferers are not aware and when a few gutsy people try to create awareness things most likely than not go south.Being told that one has a body odour isn't a very pleasant experience so if you do have a friend with such an issue, be as polite about it as possible. You could get them a deodorant as a 'just cos it's Tuesday' present or suggest they take refreshing evening showers. If you've been told that you have a body odour, don't feel slighted. It happens to the best of us, just try to take steps to work on it.
Now it has been said there is a genetic component to body odour meaning that it could be inherited...pretty weird huh? True story though.
In a lot of cases though poor hygiene and a number of disease conditions are the culprits. Some people sweat excessively, a condition known as hyperhidrosis. For some this happens naturally, in other cases it might be due to a medical condition such as thyroid disease. A fishy or fruity smell might be a pointer to diabetes or kidney disease. To put it simply,body odour is caused by the action of bacteria on sweat. It goes to reason then that to reduce the risk of body odour, one needs to put measures in place to avoid that.
Some tips that may help include;
1) Bathing regularly.
A bath at least once a day is recommended but on days when you work really hard and sweat a lot, a second bath might be indicated cos the more sweat accumulates, the higher the tendecy for bacteria to act on it.
2) Shave your armpits!
The hair in your armpits tend to trap sweat allowing bacteria to have a good time creating that unwanted odour.
3) Wash your clothes regularly. Sometimes we wear clothes once and feel like they don't seem dirty and could be worn a second time.
What we don't know is that sometimes we sweat on these clothes and when sweat gets onto clothes, bacteria can also
grow there, making the clothes smelly too.
4) Use an anti-deodorant/anti-perspirant.These work by making the environment acidic and making it difficult for bacteria to thrive.
5)You are what you eat.
Excessive consumption of certain things such as garlic, onion,curry and alcohol and the use of certain medications also increase the risk for body odour.
6) In extreme cases where lifestyle changes do not work, there are certain medications that may be used.
They work by reducing the rate at which the sweat glands work (eg oxybutinin). Side effects include dry mouth, dry eyes and the fact that the body might not be able to cool itself by sweating.
7) A chemical known as botox may also be injected into the skin. It works by blocking a substance necessary to stimulate the sweat glands to produce sweat.
8)Finally, surgical options exist for extreme cases. They include laser surgery, excision and sympathectomy where some nerves sending signals to the body to produce sweat will be cut. Most people will do well with lifestyle changes and treatment of underlying disease conditions so these should always be the first line of treatment.
Remember that when you smell good, it automatically makes you more attractive so stay looking and smelling good
Dami Daniel is a Medical Doctor who considers herself a health missionary-educating people on health issues far and wide. Spunky & witty, there's always something up her sleeves including dodo, if she can help it. Twitter: @drdamidaniel