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Body Odours

Sweating is your body’s way of getting rid of heat produced by your body from burning energy or from your muscles working.

Everyone sweats different amounts at different times, depending on their emotional state or physical activity. People tend to sweat more during exercise or when they are nervous.

Sweat doesn’t actually smell – it’s the bacteria that lives on your skin reacting with your sweat that gives off an odour.

You can prevent body odour by washing regularly to get rid of the bacteria on your skin. Shower thoroughly at least once everyday with deodorant soap. It’s important to keep yourself clean.

Wash your clothes often – don’t wear unwashed clothes day after day. Wash sweaty clothes at a higher temperature to clean them properly.

Wear clothes made from natural fibres as these allow your skin to ‘breathe’ and sweat to evaporate.

Use deodorant. If you sweat a lot, try using a deodorant containing aluminium oxide or an anti-perspirant. If you find you sweat a lot look for a medicated deodorant.

Also avoid eating spicy or strong smelling foods such as garlic and onions. The odour will come through the pores in your skin.

Drink plenty of water.

If you notice an odour that is not a distinct sweaty smell, this may be point to a specific problem:

  • A beer smell could indicate a yeast condition
  • The smell of nail polish removed could indicate diabetes
  • An ammonia smell might indicate liver disease

Stress increases sweating and many girls find they sweat more during their periods.

If you suffer from excessively sweaty hands, face, underarms and scalp you may have a condition called hyperhydrosis.

Don’t be embarrassed about sweating. Make sure you keep your body and clothes clean to avoid stale odours.

If you have any concerns, you should go and see your doctor, who can give you advice and find the right treatment for you.

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