Sweating is the natural process of the body to release heat and control the body’s temperature. Although, there is a very rare condition where people do not sweat, and they are at a very high risk of overheating.

There are two types of sweat glands. 

  • Eccrine glands are spread all over our body and they produce sweat that is mainly salt and water. This sweat helps keep your body at the right temperature. 
  • Apocrine glands in the armpits and around the groin, start working to make oils as well as sweat when you start puberty. People who have not yet reached puberty do not make sweat from apocrine glands.

The apocrine glands make sweat at the same times as the eccrine glands, and they make even more sweat when you are stressed!

Body odor mostly happens when bacteria live on the skin. These bacteria use the sweat for growing. They particularly like sweaty feet, socks and shoes and this is where the bad smell came from.

Some foods that we eat, such as garlic and spicy foods can also change the smell of sweat. Sometimes people have a smell caused by a health problem, like people with diabetes may have a fruity smell, while people with kidney or liver disease may have an ammonia smell.

To prevent bad body odor:

  • Wash your body regularly, especially underarms, groin and feet. Dry your feet completely after you have washed them. 
  • Change and wash your clothes often, especially underclothes.
  • Let your shoes dry completely before wearing them again. If possible, wear different shoes on alternate days. 
  • Cotton socks might be better than synthetic socks, but the most important thing is to wash your feet daily, and change your socks daily if possible. It’s always a good idea to wear socks, unless you are wearing sandals or thongs of course. 
  • To avoid bad breath. Make sure you brush them well. If you can’t clean your teeth after eating something, rinse your mouth with water, bubbling it through your teeth, will help remove bits of food that could attract bacteria which can cause bad breath.
  • If someone has told you that you have an unpleasant body odor, and you think that might be true, you could try an antibacterial soap when you wash your body.
  • You may use underarm deodorants and anti-perspirant.

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