Ever had that moment where you wonder if you smell, well, not so great? It happens. But you can do a few things to make body odor go away.
1. Keep Yourself Squeaky Clean
Shower at least once a day, and you'll wash away sweat and get rid of some of the bacteria on your skin.
Sweat by itself is basically odorless. But when the bacteria that live on your skin mix with sweat, they multiply quickly and raise quite a stink.
Washing thoroughly, especially the areas where you tend to sweat, can help with body odor.
2. Use Antibacterial Soap
Washing thoroughly with an antibacterial soap bar will help get rid of some bacteria, which can help with the odor.
Look for the word "antibacterial" on the soap's packaging.
3. Towel Off Well
Once you've showered, dry yourself completely, paying close attention to any areas where you sweat a lot.
If your skin is dry, it's harder for bacteria that cause body odor to breed on it.
4. Use 'Industrial Strength' Antiperspirants
Once you’re clean and dry, use a strong antiperspirant on your underarms. These have aluminum chloride, a chemical that helps keep sweat at bay, and they often also have a deodorant in them. Use it twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening.
You don’t need a prescription to get a powerful antiperspirant. Look for ones that say they’re higher-strength.
If you think you need more help, ask your doctor about prescription antiperspirants.
5. Keep Your Clothes Clean
Change clothes often when you're sweating heavily. Fresh clothes help keep body odor down.
Be sure to change your socks as well, especially if you tend to have foot odor. Use deodorant powders in your shoes, replace insoles often, and go barefoot when possible.
6. Cut Out or Cut Back on Certain Foods or Drinks
What you eat affects your body odor. Foods that tend to make you sweat more, such as hot peppers or other spicy foods, might also lead to body odor. And the aroma of foods like onions or garlic can be carried in your sweat. Drinks with caffeine or alcohol may also make you sweat more.
Other Body Odor Treatments
- Try a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water to fight body odor. Use 1 teaspoon of peroxide (3%) to 1 cup (8 ounces) of water. Wipe this on affected areas (underarms, feet, groin) with a washcloth. This may help destroy some of the bacteria that create odor.
- If sweat from working out is your No. 1 cause of body odor, wash your workout clothes often. Sweaty gym clothes are a bacteria breeding ground.
- Change your diet. Stay from the kinds of foods that can cause body odor. But always talk to a doctor or dietitian before making drastic changes to your diet.
- If you have excessive sweating (called hyperhidrosis), talk to your doctor. There are some options for those with more severe sweating who want more aggressive treatments. Also, certain medical problems can lead to excessive sweating. Your doctor can make a diagnosis and prescribe treatment.
Other Body Odor Preventions
- Put on an antiperspirant at bedtime. This gives the product a chance to work while you sleep and are not sweating. If you apply antiperspirants after showering in the morning, the sweat you accumulate will wash away the product and render you defenseless against daytime sweating. Remember, deodorants do not prevent sweating. They mainly mask the smell of the sweat on your skin. Antiperspirants are chemical agents that reduce sweating.
- Many antiperspirant preparations also contain a deodorant, which helps to mask the smell. Check the product you use to make sure it contains an antiperspirant as well as a deodorant.
- Keep your underarms dry. Bacteria have a hard time breeding in dry areas of the body. Shaving your underarms regularly will also help prevent the accumulation of bacteria and can reduce sweat and odor.