Excessive sweating and body odour is an unpleasant problem that can affect a person’s confidence and self-esteem. A body odour problem can usually be managed by getting rid of excess skin bacteria and keeping the skin in the affected area (usually the armpits) clean and dry Your armpits contain a large number of apocrine glands, which are responsible for producing body odour. Keeping your armpits clean and free of bacteria will help keep odour under control.
Kigali-based Dermatologist Dr Kayitesi Kayitenkore gives tips on what to do if you experience the problem.
Healthy Times: What causes bad odour?
Dr Kayitesi: Fetid sweat or malodorous sweating (bromidrosis being the scientific term) is caused by bacteria that decompose some chemical substances in the sweat. In some people it can be linked to diet, in others it can be genetic (when several family members are affected). Body odour can also be caused by inadequate hygiene and diseases such as diabetes mellitus. A bad odour can also be induced by a metabolic disorder.
Healthy Times: What should people with unpleasant armpit odour do to stop it or reduce it?
Kayitesi: People who suffer from body odour can reduce it by using antiseptic soaps, deodorants and antiperspirant. Shaving of the armpit might reduce bacterial accumulation. It is recommended to change clothes on a regular basis since the odour can arise from sweat on clothes. A diet with reduced spices, onions, garlic, eggs, fish, meat and beans can help when a metabolic disorder is involved.