What causes body odor?


Quick Answer

According to the Mayo Clinic, body odor is the result of sweat combined with bacteria on the skin. Mayo Clinic explains that the eccrine glands emit sweat when the body overheats, and this sweat evaporates and cools the skin without an odor. The apocrine glands emit a milky substance when the body is under physical or emotional stress; once combined with bacteria, it produces an odor.

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What causes body odor?
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Full Answer

WebMD explains that certain foods, such as garlic and onions, contribute to body odor because the potent aromas are releases through the sweat. Additionally, spicy foods can cause additional sweating, which in turn can increase body odor.

According to Dr. Andrew Weil, aspirin, acetaminophen, hormone medications and caffeine can all cause excessive sweating and body odor. In certain individuals, excessive sweating is caused by genetic factors. Dr. Weil explains that there are a variety of treatments that minimize sweating, such as Botox injections and anticholinergic drugs. However, these treatments do not provide permanent results and can cause unwanted side effects. Dr. Weil recommends natural remedies to minimize sweating and body odor: These remedies include cleaning the armpits with rubbing alcohol, eliminating caffeine and natural deodorants that contain green tea extract.

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