I'm a 17-year-old female facing an awkward problem that requires help. Despite my diligence in personal hygiene, I experience an unpleasant odor approximately 30 minutes after bathing. This issue is noticeable to others and has a significant impact on my life, even causing me to miss out on certain developmental aspects. I cannot recall any relevant medical history, but it appears that the odor originates from my skin.
Thank you for reaching out to Dr. Galen. Please find the below response to your query.
Body odor is a sensation that most individuals encounter to some extent. It's perfectly natural and can be influenced by various factors.
Diet: The foods you eat can have an impact on your body odor. For example, eating foods with strong odors like garlic or certain spices can temporarily affect your breath and body odor.
Hormones: Hormonal changes in your body, especially during puberty, can lead to changes in body odor. Hormones can influence the activity of sweat glands, which can affect the odor of your sweat.
Health Conditions: Certain health conditions or medications can also affect body odor. For instance, diabetes can sometimes be associated with a sweet, fruity odor on the breath. Other medical conditions may result in specific odors as well.
Sweating: Sweating is a natural way for your body to cool down and eliminate waste products. Sweat mixing with skin bacteria causes odor. Excessive sweating, known as hyperhidrosis, can contribute to stronger body odor.
To manage body odor:
Hygiene: Shower regularly with soap and water, focusing on areas prone to sweating like underarms, groin, and feet.
Antiperspirants and Deodorants: Use these products to control sweating and mask odor. Some combine both functions.
Clothing: Choose breathable fabrics like cotton and change clothes if you've been sweating.
Diet: Be mindful of foods that may affect body odor, and maintain a balanced diet and hydration.