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How to Fight Body Odour

An offensive smell is caused when bacteria, present on skin get to work on the sweat and decompose it.

health and fitness Updated: Jun 26, 2003 19:30 IST

The body has nearly two million sweat glands. These glands produce three quarts to one pint of sweat in a day. In tropical countries, naturally, more sweat is produced. The perspiration level increases with an increase in physical exertion or nervous tension.

Fresh perspiration, when allowed to evaporate does not cause body odour. An offensive smell is caused when bacteria that are present on the skin get to work on the sweat and decompose it. This is specially so in the groin, underarms, feet or in clothing that has absorbed sweat. Diet influences the odour too.

Two baths a day, with liberal lathering and change of clothes in close contact with the body should take care of the problem. Talcum powders, of the non medicated kind, can be used under the armpits. Deodorants or antiperspirants can be used. Most commercial skin deodorants contain an antiperspirant, such as aluminum chloride, which reduces sweating by forming a hydroxide gel in the sweat ducts. But sweat suppressed in one area, comes out in another. The addition of perfumes masks the odour.

Deodorant soaps do not interfere with sweat secretion, but contain hexachlorophene which destroys the bacteria that causes body odour.

If daily cleanliness routines do not reduce body ordour, check with a doctor.

First Published: Jun 26, 2003 19:30 IST