Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Human Body Odor

"You have HBO!" Coined as a teasing phrase almost three decades ago, not referring to the popular cable channel Home Box Office, but human body odor. Human body odor is not a laughing matter, and there are several reasons why a person may have body odor. The following are a few causes of human body odor and how to combat them.


Skin- Bad-smelling odors can be produced by skin! Dead skin cells exist on us all. These dead skin cells (keratinocytes) are the main cells of the epidermis (outer surface) and protect the cells underneath the epidermis as they divide and replenish! However, as the dead skin cells (keratinocytes) start to age, the protein keratin is accumulated, thus a strong order is carried on the skin. Not only is exfoliating beneficial for radiant, ageless skin, but sloughing away dead skin cells for odorless skin is a plus too! When purchasing a scrub or polish, make sure it contains natural vegetable or nut oils for ultimate conditioning and hydration for the skin. If the feel of salt or sugar is not comfortable to the skin, natural body washes with enzymic (fruit) ingredients are great for eating up dead skin cells.

Vaginal Odors- Vaginal odors come about when bad bacteria overpowers good bacteria. This imbalance in bacteria causes a very unpleasant fishy odor in the vagina. To eliminate odors in the groin area all is needed is special attention to personal hygiene. Take care and use warm water and soap for cleaning. Be in tune with your body. If a vaginal odor has a stronger fish smell than usual, a fungus (yeast infection) maybe present. Contacting your physician and asking for recommendations for natural products should be the steps to take.


Genetic Odors- In the year 1970, Fish Odor Syndrome was identified as a disorder that causes the smell of rotten fish. Fish Odor Syndrome is a recessive genetic disease that varies in its time of being noticed. It may declare itself during infancy, childhood, puberty, or even adulthood. In addition, Fish Odor Syndrome is not a solo disorder. It can be associated with other genetic disorders, such as Noonan's, Turner's Syndrome, and Prader-Willi Syndrome. Although there isn't a long term cure, antibiotics are recommended to limit the bacteria that naturally occurs in the intestine, and those with this disorder should stay away from food products with large amounts of choline such as egg yolk, kidney, liver, legumes, and fish.


Elderly- Is there an odor that comes with aging? Certain situations, change of lifestyle, and changes within the body causes that distinct odor with some elderly. Some elderly people have low energy and the desire to jump into the shower or taking a daily soak becomes infrequent. Their personal hygiene becomes poor, thus allowing bacteria to flourish on the body, which is one of the primary reasons for odor. Other causes for odors that occur in the elderly are urinary leakage and halitosis (bad breath). Halitosis is very common as people age. It is estimated that 70% of the elderly do not produce enough saliva, when dealing with bacteria in the mouth saliva plays an important role. This lost of saliva does not solely rest on aging alone, but medications such as antidepressants, blood pressure medications, diuretics, and sedatives can dry out the saliva. Odorous bacteria thrives in the mouth when false teeth are present as well. It is important to take care of the elderly. Assisting with their hygiene needs, overseeing their liquid intake, managing their medication, and introducing natural remedies into their lifestyle, can possibly alleviate odor.



Sweat- This odorless liquid creates an environment for bacteria that naturally occurs on human skin. The bacteria on the skin is attracted to the sweat produced by the apocrine glands (sweat glands), located in armpits and groin area. When the sweat and bacteria interact a strong odor is produced. Although sweat glands play apart in sexual attraction, too much musky odor is unattractive. Bathing with soap and water, along with using a natural deodorant or deodorant powder can prevent unhealthy, unpleasant odors.

Diet and Lifestyle- What is put into the body and one's behavior can cause body odors. Foods such as onions, garlic, and cumin contain oils that can cause odors when excreted through the skin. Emotional stress, caffeine, and nicotine can increase the production of sweat, and in turn the risk of odor.

The following are topical relief of body odors from Healthline.com:
-Two or three charcoal capsules per day for several weeks can help absorb waste products and reduce fermentation that may be causing body odor.

-Chlorophyll tablets can be taken by mouth to absorb body toxins and odors.

-Sage tea (salvia officinalis), or sage extracts can be taken internally and an undiluted alcohol extract of sage can be used under the arms.

-Essential oils of rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis), and thyme (thymus vulgaris), can be used under the arms or on the feet.

-Baking soda or body powder will keep affected areas dry and absorb or mask odors.

-The diet should be improved to improve digestion, ensure regular bowel movements, and resolve constipation. There should be an increased intake of fluids to flush the system; six to eight glasses of water should be consumed daily.


Related Link:
Tip: Oral Hygiene

Sources:
http://everything2.com/e2node/Fish%2520Odour%2520Syndrome
http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1721156

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