Sweating and body odor may occur when you sweat a lot, especially when anxious, nervous, stressed or feeling too hot. In addition, your body odor may change when you hit puberty, sweat excessively or have poor hygiene.
Excessive perspiration is called hyperhidrosis; little to no sweat is called anhidrosis. Any of these changes can indicate health issues. Lifestyle changes, home remedies, medications and surgeries can help treat sweating and body odor.
What Are Sweating and Body Odor?
Your sweat glands secrete a fluid called sweat. The main reason for sweating is to maintain your body temperature. When body temperature increases due to physical exertion or a hot environment, sweating leads to a cooling effect because of the evaporation of your sweat. Your sweat may be odorless. However, body odor occurs when your sweat meets the bacteria on the surface of your skin and makes an unpleasant smell.
Your sweat glands are located in your breasts, armpits and genital-anal areas, due to which these areas are more at risk for sweating and body odor.
What Are the causes of increased sweating ?
Emotions and stress
Foods like highly spiced items , caffeinated drinks and alcohol
Medications and illnesses
Fever and fever-reducing drugs
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels)
Painkillers, including morphine
Synthetic thyroid hormones
Primary hyperhidrosis occurs in the absence of any medical conditions. Excessive sweating since childhood or adolescence in the absence of any diseases, excessive sweating occurring on both sides of your body equally or sweating in the morning are some examples of primary hyperhidrosis.
Causes of reduced or no sweating
Anhidrosis is the term for absence of sweating .
Congenital dysplasias which affect the development of sweat glands
- Inherited conditions such as Fabry’s disease
- Connective tissue diseases like Sjogren’s syndrome that causes dry eyes and mouth
- Skin damage from radiation therapy or burns or, diseases that clog the pores (poral occlusion), like psoriasis
- Conditions that cause neuropathy (nerve damage) like alcoholism, diabetes and Guillain-Barre syndrome
- Some drugs like morphine and botulinum toxin type A, and those used for treating psychosis
Causes of body odour
Our environment, medications you take, the things you eat, underlying disorders or shifts in hormone levels might all be behind a sudden change in your body odor.
- Changes in body odor may be a normal part of development like when an adolescent is going through puberty. In puberty, hormones and sweat glands become more active, which can cause body odour.
- If you have been working out, excessive sweat could be the culprit
- The foods you eat may sometimes cause a sudden, temporary change in your body odor
When Should You Consult a Doctor?
You need to consult a doctor if your sweating is excessive, inhibiting your daily activities. You suffer from recurrent skin infections or a change in body odor, which causes you concern. You can
Request an appointment at Apollo Hospitals.
Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.
What Is the Treatment for Sweating and Body Odor?
Treatment for sweating and body odor is mainly targeted at treating the causes of these. General treatments include:
- Antiperspirants that block your sweat pores, thus reducing the perspiration from reaching your skin
- Wearing clean clothes
- Bathing every day
- Limiting foods that increase body odor like garlic, onion, red meats and spicy foods
- Shaving your armpits to help in faster evaporation of sweat
- Wearing breathable fabrics, like cotton, wool or silk
- Iontophoresis is a treatment used to temporarily shut down your sweat glands, specifically in your hands and feet
- Sweat glands under the arms can be destroyed with a hand-held device that uses electromagnetic waves
- Botulinum toxin injections in small doses in your armpits can help in reducing sweating
- Certain medications can help prevent sweating if prescribed by your doctor
- In some cases, surgery may be performed to prevent the nerve signals from reaching your sweat glands, thus reducing the production of sweat.
Excessive sweating may result in body odor due to the breakdown of your sweat by bacteria. Simple home remedies, medications or, in some cases, even surgery can help in the treatment. In instances where sweating and body odor result from an underlying medical condition, you will need to seek treatment for the same .
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Which Tests identify Sweating and Body Odor?
Your doctor will enquire about your medical history and perform a physical examination. In addition, your doctor may order blood and urine tests to rule out the cause of your sweating and body odor, such as infections, diabetes or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid).
Which Foods Can Increase Body Odor?
Certain foods like cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli, and a high intake of foods like red meat, spicy foods and foods containing onions, garlic and radish may increase body odor.
How Can You Prevent Sweating and Body Odor?
Following good hygiene, using antiperspirants or deodorants, wearing clothes made of breathable fabrics like cotton and silk, avoiding certain odor-producing foods like onions, garlic, red meats, and spicy foods can help prevent excessive sweating and body odor.