In many societies, people find body odors objectionable. In Japan, body odor is a sign of illness, thus, men with bad body smell were exempted from joining the force. [Stoddart 1990]
Body odor begins with the sweat produced by the apocrine glands. The sweat is largely made up of odorless water. However, the same sweat can make a person smell bad because it contains oil, which provides food for the billions of bacteria on the human skin. Thus, the offensive body odor is the result of the feeding frenzy of the billions of harmless bacteria that thrives on the oil in the human sweat.
How People Deal with a Bad Body Odor
There are various attitudes toward bad body odor. Cultures in the middle ages sprayed strong perfumes to mask body smell. Women used flowers to freshen their surroundings. Most people take a bath to remove body odors. Some people hardly care, even if they do not agree with their body odor. In London, Robert Pattinson on his bad hygiene and pungent body odor said, “it gets to the point where even I cannot stand the air around me.” [Article: Robert Pattinson on His Body Odor by Liz Barrett, Celebrity News Examiner]
However, a pungent body aroma is not going to make a man the life of the party. Nine out of ten Australians dislike bad body odor according to AAP General News, “Body Odor Least Appealing Physical Characteristic,”. Few years ago, a man was rejected from a casino in Atlantic City because of his bad body smell. The 440-pound gambler from New York City said he understands why grossed-out gamblers complained about his body odor. [Article: Gambler Ejected From Casino Due To Body Odor © Associated Press, Wjz.com]
Home Remedies to Reduce Body Odour
Body sweat has no odor of its own. It will only begin to smell bad when bacteria begins to interact with the sweat.
Most people tend to combat armpit odor with manufactured body odor products such as body sprays or deodorants. The most common product that people use is soap because of the claim that it freshens and deodorizes the skin. Others use natural remedies that are known to slow down or stop the bacteria that gives sweat its odor. Following are natural remedies to prevent body odor.
- Bathe. A daily bath would wash away sweat in the chest, feet, groin area, and underarms, which could encourage bacterial and fungal action. One of the effective home remedies for body odor is a mixture of four to five drops of alcohol to a mug of water to rinse the armpits. Take at least two showers per day especially during hot months when one tends to sweat more.
- Control the sweat. Since body odor begins with sweat, controlling the volume of this body secretion will help reduce body smell. Using body antiperspirant is the best way to reduce perspiration. Most antiperspirants contain an astringent called aluminum sulfate to control sweat by closing the openings of the sweat glands. Most antiperspirants can reduce body sweat, and help keep one drier and sweet smelling for the rest of the day.
- Home remedies like baking soda and lemon can also reduce foot odor and underarm odor. Likewise, apple cider vinegar is an effective home remedy for body odor. As a deodorant, it will reduce the pH of the skin and eliminate armpit odor. Wet the cotton balls with apple cider and then rub it on the armpits to lessen excessive sweating.
- Modify diet. Certain foods can affect the amount of sweat that one produces. The aroma of foods like meat, spices, caffeinated drinks and alcohol can be carried in the sweat, giving off an unpleasant smell. On the other hand, a diet of fruits and vegetables can inhibit bacteria and lessen bad breath and body odors. In addition, a daily supplement of about 50 milligrams of zinc can treat body odors from the inside.
- Wear clean, comfortable clothes. Dirty tight clothes can harbor odor-causing bacteria. Tight clothing restricts the natural flow of blood and lymphatic fluid. On the other hand, loose fitting clothes allow the body to breathe better and let sweat dry faster.
One Needs Essential Body Grooming to Prevent Odor
The body emits various odors that are distinct to the body areas. The armpits produce what people regard as the most pungent and the most offensive of all body odors. The sweat that sweeps on the body can make one have a bad body smell when bacteria start their feeding frenzy on the oil in the body sweat.
To prevent the disgusting smell, a man must practice what society considers as good grooming without fail. Wash well the groin and the armpit area with body odor products. Wear clean, comfortable clothes daily, changing to nightwear after shower before bed. If possible, stick to loosely fitting clothes to allow the skin to breathe and the sweat to dry quickly.
There is a powerful, cultural distaste for offensive body odor. Bad body smell can make one feel odd, offensive and strange—smell of the great cats, the sawdust, and the leather whip. On the other hand, a clean, fresh body scent is absolutely proper and polite, not incommode others.