The skin is the largest organ of the human body. Within the 3 layers of skin, there are various structures like sweat glands, hair follicles, blood vessels and nerve endings. There are also 2 types of sweat glands that are present in the skin layer; apocrine glands which secrete fluid into the sac of hair follicles; and eccrine glands which secretes sweat directly onto the skin surface.
In humans, eccrine glands are present all over the body while apocrine glands are found in selected parts of the body such as the armpits, scalp and groin.
Body odour is the unpleasant smell produced when bacteria on the skin react with apocrine glands. These bacteria usually thrive in areas where we tend to perspire often. Body odour may also be a symptom of a more serious medical condition such as kidney and liver dysfunction.
Men are more likely to have body odour because they tend to perspire more than women.
It is recommended to shower at least once a day to wash away any sweat and dirt that have accumulated on your skin. Showering daily also helps to get rid of the bacteria that is responsible for causing body odour.
Soaps that contain antibacterial properties are more effective in killing bacteria. Antibacterial soaps also target germs, keeping the skin fresh and clean.
Shaving your armpits allows sweat to evaporate quicker, giving bacteria less time to breakdown the sweat.
Wool, silk or cotton are the best materials to wear because they allow your skin to breathe, which means sweat will also evaporate quicker. Tight fitting clothes cling around your body, adhering sweat to your skin. This makes a breeding ground for bacteria and odours to form.
Antiperspirant work slightly differently from deodorants. They contain aluminium chloride which is an active ingredient that reduces the amount of sweat produces in your body.
Curry or garlic can make your sweat smell, also, red meat tends to make body odour worse. Avoid such foods if you want to prevent embarrassing situations in public.