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Tips to fight body odour effectively this summer

April 29, 2010 12:54 IST

It's hot, hot, hot this summer and body odour is a common problem faced in the sweltering heat. Here's how to fight it effectively.

Body odour! Are you free from it? If so, you are probably healthy as well as lucky. Body odour also measures your popularity -- people will be more likely to keep away from you if you emanate an unpleasant smell -- it could be a cause for embarrassment while attending a party, meeting or get-together of friends. Your family members will also be likely to keep themselves at a physical distance from you.

What is body odour?

Body odour or bromhidrosis occurs due to the smell of bacteria that grows on the body. The popular notion that body odour is the smell of sweat is not true. We actually produce two kinds of sweat: eccrine, a clear, odourless sweat that appears all over our bodies, performing the vital role of regulating body temperature; and apocrine, a thicker substance that is produced by glands in the underarm and groin areas. Apocrine sweat is a vestige of our prehistoric days and serves no apparent purpose. It, too, is odourless until bacteria on the skin's surface act upon it. The by-product of this unholy union is what we call body odour

What causes body odour?

There are various causes of body odour. Some are controllable and others are involuntary. These causes are:

  • Medical conditions (such as kidney and liver disease, fungal infections, low blood sugar, diabetes)
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Tobacco use (of the smoking and chewing variety)
  • Dental problems
  • Dental decay
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Poor hygiene
  • Heavy physical activities and sports
  • Toxins (in the home, diet or environment)
  • Stress
  • Hormones (especially during menopause)
  • Medication (certain types of medicines will cause an odour to be released through the body)

What should I do?

These tips are highly rated and most effective in curing body odour -- try them and discover the difference for yourself.

  • To prevent body odour, drink a glass of water in the morning on an empty stomach, along with 500 mg wheatgrass. The chlorophyll present in the grass will help in reducing body odour.
  • You can apply baking soda to your armpits as well as to your feet to reduce body odour.
  • While bathing, add white vinegar to a mug of water and use it to rinse the armpits. This will definitely help in lessening odour.
  • One of the simple home remedies for body odour is to put a few drops of rose water or tea tree oil in the bathtub, before taking a bath. It will give you a long-lasting freshness and serve as a good substitute for a deodorant. You can also add a teaspoon of alum (phitkari) to your bath water. A cupful of camphor (kapoor) oil and boiled mint (pudina) leaves will also work wonders. Use antibacterial soap or deodorant soap while bathing.
  • To reduce the pH of the skin and eliminate armpit odour, one can use apple cider vinegar instead of deodorant. Put it in a mug of water and use it to rinse the armpits while bathing.
  • Take showers, at least thrice in a day in the summer season, when one tends to sweat a lot.
  • During summer you can apply baby powder or talc to your armpits, instead of deodorants.
  • Try avoiding refined foods such as hydrogenated oils and other processed foods. Eat healthy food that contains loads of fibre, whole grains, wheat, soy products and green leafy veggies. Also remember to eat less meat and dairy products.
  • Avoid spicy, pungent foods. Frequent consumption of foods containing garlic (lehsun), curry and cumin (jeera) can cause some overpowering odours to emanate from your pores, often upto 24 hours after consumption. Try cutting back on these spices and see if it helps.
  • Drinking plenty of water will also help you to smell fresh and sweet.
  • Body odour always lingers on clothes. So, wash your clothes everyday and never repeat the same outfit without washing it first. Remember ,wearing something sleeveless will only make the smell more prominent. If you are a person who perspires a lot, wear something with sleeves as often as possible. Wear cotton clothes to soak up your sweat during the summer.

Body odour is a major concern in the summer season. It affects both men and women to almost the same extent. We are concerned about our smell because people judge how we take care of ourselves by our smell and use this information to decide whether we are worthy of associating with. So in order to be socially active, keep yourself free of body odour. Smell fresh!

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