Ever had that moment where you wonder if you smell, well, not so great? It happens. But you can make body odor go away.
Try these six tips.
1. Keep Yourself Squeaky Clean
Shower at least once a day and you’ll wash away sweat as well as reduce the number of bacteria on your skin.
Sweat by itself is virtually odorless. But when microscopic bacteria that live naturally on your skin mix with sweat, they multiply quickly and raise quite a stink.
So washing thoroughly, especially areas prone to sweating, can reduce body odor.
If you sweat normally, you might have more of a problem with body odor than people who sweat too much. That’s because, when people sweat excessively, the sweat tends to wash away the odor-causing bacteria.
Choose an antibacterial bath soap. Washing thoroughly with an antibacterial soap bar will reduce the bacteria count, in turn reducing the odor.
Look for the words “antibacterial” on the soap’s packaging.
3. Towel Off Thoroughly
Once you’ve showered, be sure you dry yourself completely. Towel off and make sure you dry any areas where you sweat a lot.
If your skin is dry, it’s harder for bacteria that cause body odor to breed on it.
4. Apply “Industrial Strength” Deodorants or Antiperspirants
Once you are clean and dry, use a strong deodorant or antiperspirant on your underarms. While deodorants do not prevent sweating, they mask the smell of bacteria on your skin. Antiperspirants containaluminum chloride, a chemical that reduces sweating, and often also contain a deodorant.
Stronger deodorants and antiperspirants are available without a prescription. Look for products that say on the label they are higher strength due to ingredients.
If you think you need even more help, you may want to ask your doctor about prescription antiperspirants.
Apply the deodorant or antiperspirant twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.
5. Keep Your Wardrobe Squeaky Clean
Change clothes often when you’re sweating heavily. Fresh clothes help keep body odor down.
Be sure to change your socks as well, especially if you tend to have foot odor. Use deodorant powders in your shoes, replace insoles frequently, and go barefoot if possible.
6. Cut Out or Cut Down “Offensive” Foods or Drinks
What you eat affects your body odor.
Foods that tend to make you sweat more, such as hot peppers or other spicy foods, might also contribute to body odor. And the aroma of foods such as onions or garlic can be carried in the sweat, making you smell bad. Drinks with caffeine or alcohol may also cause you to sweat more.
Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on October 28, 2014
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