Body Odor: Causes & Symptoms

by Vanya Sharma last updated -

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What is Body Odor?

Body odor is the smell emitted from a person’s body. It becomes noticeable and conspicuous if it turns foul. This could make the person nervous and conscious, which results in more sweating and a worsening of the smell. It may originate in the mouth, genitals, armpits, or other body parts. Excessive odor problem is known as bromhidrosis.

Factually, the body has no smell of its own, because the sweat that is produced is simply composed of salts and water. However, it is the microbes residing on our skin which give us a characteristic odor when they mix with sweat.

Causes of Body Odor

Body odor arises due to malfunctions in various physiological functions, but a proper diagnosis followed by the appropriate remedial measures can help a person get rid of the problem.

It can be caused due to some of the following reasons:

  • cavities
  • gingivitis
  • lung disorders
  • urinary tract infections
  • sexually transmitted diseases
  • tumors
  • diabetes
  • prescription drugs
  • dietary imbalances

Also, excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, smoking, onions, garlic, fatty diet, drugs, or toxins can also contribute to the problem.

Body odor

Symptoms of Body Odor

Symptoms include a bad smell from the body or any part, especially the groin, feet, or armpit region. Body odor becomes prominent at puberty when sweat glands are activated. This makes the person nervous and conscious of their smell.


According to the University of Illinois Medical Center, as soon as the odor is noticed, one should consult a doctor to find the underlying cause. If there is a cancerous tumor, then chemotherapy can be administered. Likewise, foul odor arising from mouthparts, genitals, or urine must be immediately consulted and proper medication should be given. For underlying psychological issues, patients should also meet a therapist. Apart from these particular conditions, regular body odor can easily be kept in check by a number of home remedies. Protection Status
About the Author

Vanya Sharma handles the medical expert collaboration for Organic Facts. A writer at heart, she joined the website while she was still pursuing her English Literature degree from IGNOU, Delhi, India. She is also responsible for the website’s monthly newsletter and website content and contributes to Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube regularly. Currently pursuing an e-course offered by Stanford University, ‘Introduction to Food and Health’, she aims to bring unbiased and helpful information to all those seeking to make their health and lifestyle a priority.  

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