If you’re human, you’re going to sweat, but you don’t have to suffer with body odor! Using a deodorant can help and you can also try some lifestyle changes. Here are 5 that may surprise you.
How Do You Stop Body Odor Naturally? 5 Lifestyle Tips
1. Apply Deodorant at Night
Applying deodorant in the morning after we shower or bathe is part of a routine for most of us. But if it’s not doing the trick for you, try applying deodorant in the morning as well as at night. Deodorant works better when applied to dry skin, which is more likely right before you hop into bed.
2. Watch What You Eat
Most of us know that strong smelling foods like garlic, curry and onions can lead to body odor. But did you know that these other foods can also have an impact? Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale are very high in fiber and sulfur-containing substances, which break down into hydrogen sulfide leading to a rotten egg kind of smell. There’s also some evidence to suggest that individuals who consume a lot of alcohol may be more prone to body odor. This is because alcohol metabolizes into acetaldehyde, which can contribute to greater body odor. Lastly, eating too much red meat (due to its high fat content) may lead to odor as the bacteria on your skin feed on the fatty acids.
3. Shave Your Pits
We’re not judging, but if you want to go au naturel, you should be aware that hair can slow the evaporation of sweat, contributing to more bacteria that increases the chance of body odor. Washing or changing your clothing more often can help.
4. Choose Your Fabrics Carefully
Natural fibers (linen, silk, cotton, light wool like merino) breathe and minimize sweating. Newer high-tech fibers wick away moisture, helping you to stay dry, leaving bacteria without anything to feed on. You can also try to dress in layers, which helps to soak up the sweat.
5. Ditch the Fabric Softener
Fabric softeners may promise sweeter smelling clothing, but they sit on the surface of clothing fibers, preventing air flow and sweat evaporation. This not only prevents air circulation, but also decreases the efficacy of detergent when you wash your clothes resulting in even more smelly clothing!
What Not to Do
Although you may have read that anti-bacterial soaps and washes are a good idea, they aren’t worth it in the long run. Antibacterial soaps kill bacteria or stop their growth and it’s not healthy at all. Research has shown antibacterial soaps may impact hormone levels and increase the risk of bacterial resistance. Plus, your body needs bacteria to maintain a healthy, balanced environment on your skin.
How Do I Stop My Armpits From Smelling?
If you’re following good personal hygiene practice and still can’t manage the odor, it may be time to see a doctor. We’ve written about what causes sweat before, but a medical condition may be responsible. Your doctor can help determine if that’s the cause.
- Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating, which can be hereditary or caused by a range of factors including stress, nervousness, diabetes, menopause, thyroid issues, etc.
- Trimethylaminuria (a.k.a. fish odor syndrome), is a metabolic disorder that prevents the body from breaking down a smelly compound called trimethylamine.
Prescription treatments including strong antiperspirants, Botox or electromagnetic therapy may be suitable options. Ask your physician.
What Medical Condition Causes Body Odor?
Here are some medically related reasons that you may experience body odor.
- Diabetes. Not body odor per se, but fruity smelling breath may be a sign of diabetic ketoacidosis, which occurs when your body is running low on insulin, causing your blood sugar to spike. Because your body can’t break down carbohydrates for energy, it breaks down fatty acids for fuel, which creates a build-up of acidic chemicals called ketones in the blood. One such acid, acetone, causes the fruity smell. If this is you, check in with your doctor ASAP, as the complications can be life threatening.
- Stinky skin (stronger than normal body odor) could be a sign of skin infections, as a result of the byproducts of bacterial growth.
- Liver and kidney disease and hyperthyroidism, can lead to excessive sweat and increased BO.
- Stinky feet may be signs of a fungal infection (like athlete’s foot), especially if you see dry, scaly skin around your toes, redness and blisters.