Let’s face it, body odor and excessive sweating is a very sensitive topic that many women try to avoid discussing. If you have suddenly developed bad body odor or you have been masking it for years, it’s time you knew that you are not alone. Body odor is often a sign of a deeper underlying problem which you should start addressing. Masking the symptoms and avoiding any contact is only a temporary solution which leaves you isolated, self-conscious and stressed. Start taking action by finding the root of the problem and how to treat it.
Target The Cause
There are many factors that may be causing your body odor. The most common areas that are affected are most likely the feet, breath, armpits, groin, genitals, hair or the skin. The first step is finding out which area is causing the odor, for example, if you find that you are sweating excessively, this could be due to hyperhidrosis, a common disorder that affects 2-3% of Americans. The good news is that there are a variety of treatments and supplements available on the market which help to eliminate the odor by targeting the root of the problem. Read more on Research and You for more helpful information about supplements.
As we mentioned earlier on, excessive sweating could be caused by an underlying problem called hyperhidrosis. This condition causes areas of the body such as your feet, armpits, and palms to sweat excessively. This is no doubt a very embarrassing condition that affects social, romantic and business interactions. Depending on the severity of your condition, your healthcare provider may recommend several treatment methods to reduce the excessive sweating if over the counter antiperspirants have proved to be ineffective. These treatments often include:
- Aluminum chloride hexahydrate, a prescription strength antiperspirant that targets cells which produce sweat. This is usually applied before bedtime 2 to 3 times a week when you start treatment. Doctors will usually prescribe this form of treatment if the patient is suffering from excessive sweat under the armpits.
- Iontophoresis is a medical treatment that uses mild electrical currents to temporarily block the sweat ducts. This treatment is used on the palms, feet, and armpits and is usually done weekly at the beginning of the treatment. Your doctor will reduce the frequency of the treatment depending on how well you are responding to the treatment.
Halitosis, or more commonly known as bad breath is a fairly common disorder that affects any gender, age, and race. There are many factors that cause halitosis such as foods, medications, and poor oral hygiene which can easily be addressed by improving lifestyle habits. Avoiding garlic and onions, brushing your tongue thoroughly, flossing and drinking lots of water can help to eliminate odor. If you find that these methods have made no improvement, it may be best to talk to your dentist about any underlying issues that may be causing your breath to smell. You could have an infection or post nasal drip that you are not aware of. Your dentist will usually prescribe prescription medication or mouthwash to treat the infection or refer you to a physician if the cause is due to metabolic disorders such as gastroesophageal reflux disease.
If you are experiencing odor from your scalp, this could be due to a number of problems. Poor hygiene is usually the first cause to blame, however, if you are washing and treating your hair regularly, this could be a sign of a deeper problem. The odor may be due to fungal and bacterial infections such as:
- Seborrheic Dermatitis, or otherwise known as a form of dandruff, is a common skin disorder that is caused by fungus or a weak immune system. Symptoms usually include itchy, red patches of greasy skin which are covered with dry flakes.
- Psoriasis is a condition which affects the scalp, nails and in some cases the joints. It is due to cells overproducing skin which leads to scaly patches of skin that is red and itchy.
- A hormone imbalance can lead to excessive sweating and oil production. This excess oil can cause the scalp to smell.
Your doctor will advise which treatment will be best for your condition, this usually includes oral medication and medicated shampoos which help to reduce the inflammation, smell, and itchiness that you may be experiencing.