Learn about the causes of Body Odour (BO) & find a practitioner in Auckland, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin to help you overcome Body Odour (BO) within New Zealand.
Body odour, or BO, is the smell of bacteria feeding on sweat. Body odour develops from sweat produced by the apocrine glands in the armpits and groin. This sweat contains proteins and fats that bacteria feed on. Sweat produced in other areas of the body is produced by the eccrine glands and doesn't smell as it is salty and bacteria can't thrive. Treatment of body odour includes regular washing, antiperspirants, antibacterial preparations or surgical treatment for cases of severe sweating.
The body sweats using two types of sweat glands: the eccrine glands and
aprocrine glands. Eccrine glands are found all across the skin and
control body temperature by cooling the skin when temperature increases
with a salty sweat. Aprocrine glands are found under the armpits, in
the genital area and around the breasts. These glands produce scented
chemicals called pheromones.
Pheromones are believed to influence how other people react to you on a subconscious level. Sexual attraction and arousal is often triggered by the smell of someone else's pheromones.
The aprocrine glands produce a high protein sweat which is easily broken down by bacteria. Body odour is the smell of bacteria breaking down the sweat.
After eating certain foods, the skin can excrete chemicals which may influence the extent of the body odour. Poor personal hygiene worsens body odour as does wearing synthetic clothing or not washing clothing properly.
Symptoms of body odour
The main symptom of body odour is an unpleasant smell that worsens in hot conditions. The smell usually disappears after washing but can return immediately especially if unwashed clothes are worn.
Diagnosis of body odour
The majority of cases of body odour do not require a visit to the GP
but a close friend may need to point out that BO is a problem as the
individual can grow accustom to their own smell. Once recognised,
self-care and personal hygiene will usually resolve the problem.
In rare cases there may be an underlying medical condition which affects how much you sweat and its smell. Somebody with an over-active thyroid or going through the menopause is likely to sweat more than usual. Conditions such as diabetes and liver or kidney disease can affect a change in body odour.
You should visit your GP if you experience any of the following symptoms: