Sweats are natural secretions from the sweat glands of our skin. Our Skins have accessory glands called sweat glands that help it carry out its functions. One of such functions is the regulation of temperature.
There are two types of these sweat glands: Eccrine gland and Apocrine gland. The Eccrine glands are present in the skin over most parts of the body. They are coiled and tubular with clear and odourless secretions. The other, Apocrine gland, is also coiled and tubular but its secretions are viscous, cloudy, and odorous. They are found in regions with more hair follicles such as the armpit, genital region, groin, and even on the feet and behind the ears.
Why Do We Sweat?
Sweating is the body’s mechanism of temperature regulation. It occurs due to:
▶Increased body metabolism
▶Emotions such as fear, anxiety, excitement, etc
Sweats are secreted to allow for the cooling of the body.
Sweat And Body Odour
In areas where the Apocrine sweat glands are found (such as the armpit), bacteria are present due to the warmness and dampness of these places, hairs in these regions trap the sweat, these bacteria break sweat down into acids and this gives off an offensive odour.
Body odour is, therefore, the offensive odour given off from these damp and warm areas of our bodies such as the armpit, groin, feet, and pubic region due to trapped sweats. It is embarrassing and easily noticed.
Unfortunately, one can have body odour without even noticing but it does not go unnoticed if people around him/her still have their olfactory sense intact. It is triggered during puberty, after exercise, fear, and excitement. It is commonly noticed in:
▶Adolescent and adults (especially males)
▶Hyperhidrosis patients (a condition characterized by excessive sweating)
▶People who take spicy food such as garlic and curry.
How To Check For Body Odour
▶Check areas such as armpit for offensive odour.
▶Check used articles of clothing for the offensive smell.
▶See a doctor
▶Keep hair in the armpit and pubic region as low as possible.
▶Bath often, especially after physical activity.
▶Clean armpit and other regions with anti-bacterial soaps.
▶Use deodorant and antiperspirant containing Aluminium Chloride.
▶Wash articles of clothing such as socks and undies as soon as possible.
▶Air shoes often.
▶Surgery. This is an endoscopy thoracic sympathectomy involving the removal of nerves supplying sweat glands. This is in extreme cases.
▶The first six(6) treatment methods mentioned above are applicable in prevention.
▶Take a healthy diet.
▶Know body mass index, exercise often, and keep a healthy weight to avoid obesity.
▶Treat medical conditions such as diabetes.
N/B: Do not just talk about a friend who has body odour, share this information with him/her and save someone from embarrassment.