What can cause body odor?

Are you wondering why people avoid coming close to you? Or maybe, do they hold their breath when interacting with you? Well, it might be due to body odor. Don’t worry; you are not alone. Body odor is a common occurrence experienced by many people worldwide.

Several factors cause body odor in human beings. Some of them are solvable and quite easy to handle while others require medical attention.

Here is an elaborate article that takes into account the various causes of body odor and ways to minimize or eliminate it altogether.

Bacterial activities

The human body has trillions of bacteria on its skin’s surface, including areas like armpits and groins where sweat accumulates. These bacteria feed off the proteins produced by apocrine glands in these regions which results in odour formation – this odour is what we know as body odour. Want to scare away everyone around yourself? Ignore your hygiene!

Skin Hygiene & Sweat Glands

You can avoid such circumstances simply by taking regular showers/baths every day – this will help reduce bacterial activity happening on your skin surface resulting in less release of pungent aroma from different parts of the body especially underarms, groin area, pubic region etc.

Eccrine (sweat) glands are present all over our bodies except lips &labia minora/vagina^1 so paying attention specifically towards cleansing of such areas might lead towards better hygiene routine which may also result sweeter smelling skin! During summer months sweating out more often than usual may certainly add up an extra shower each day however individuals with particularly pungent sweat problems should consider washing at least twice daily after working out too just for good measure- because whether we choose gym equipment or home workout sessions no one likes carrying those unpleasant smells around during everyday life interactions such as commuting via public transports/sharing spaces over an 8,9 hour work shift – it just reeks of disrespect towards others hygiene centric preference standards!


If sweating is your problem, using antiperspirants can be an effective solution. These contain different chemicals like Aluminium chloride hexahydrate that significantly reduce hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating).

Fun Fact: If you happen to notice a reddish discoloration on areas such as underarms from excessive use particularly when overused then alter the frequency and try to avoid wet clothes immediately after application since skin irritation may also result as it reacts with bacteria.


‘Smelly’ foods primarily include red meat^2, garlic & onions which get metabolized in our gastrointestinal tract releasing gassy components or compounds in bloodstream eventually reaching skin surface via sweat where they interact with bacteria thereby amplifying their stinky outputs!
Eating certain crustaceans might also cause body odour however; processed fast food meals are something worsting the situation beyond one’s control as preservatives are added for longer shelf life which causes uneasiness in stomach leading towards bacterial imbalance.

Sweat suppressing foods rich in zinc and magnesium include bananas & pork – those looking to keep sweat at bay may want to add these items into regular diet routine especially during hot summer months where overproduction occurs more easily than usual – but if consuming together with smelly counterparts this effect will most probably have negligible impact!

Foods containing strong flavors like Kimchi trigger off mouth-watering cravings for some people because our brains find them hard-wired delicious right from genetics although any direct correlation between dietary habits and smell preferences/attractions still remains extensively unexplored territory science braves through constantly so personally preferred scents could greatly depend upon socio-cultural upbringing too.

Medical Conditions

Underlying medical conditions that affect bodily functions play a significant role in contributing to body odor development.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

A metabolic disorder called Diabetic Ketoacidosis can cause body odor. This occurs as the body burns excessive fat when experiencing an inadequate supply of insulin, which leads to acid build up in your bloodstream that is later released through breathing and sweating.

Trimethylaminuria (Fish Odor Syndrome)

There’s also a genetic condition known as Trimethylaminuria or Fish Odor Syndrome which causes intense sweating resulting from intake of foods containing Choline like liver or egg yolks thereby releasing fishy-like smell similar to dead rotting fish flesh combined with sulpher-that makes others aware of their stench but not themselves – this syndrome has no cure apart from avoiding triggering foods by carefully monitoring daily food choices & always keeping personal hygiene factors under strict check! A real catch-22 scenario!

Kidney Disease

Lastly, individuals with kidney disease might experience unpleasant smells emanating from their mouths making them barely presentable in social gatherings. Since kidneys filter waste products out of bloodstreams into urine, failure at filtering job sometimes exposes via unique breath situations although bad taste may create conditions for halitosis yet it doesn’t necessarily mean all people having either symptom suffer together only few unlucky ones fall prey mainly advancing age / improper water consumption habits leading towards dehydration in long term.


Body odor can be avoided by ensuring excellent personal hygiene standards such as washing hands regularly, taking showers every day, and using antiperspirants if you have hyperhidrosis^5. Also trying different diet routine options may lead towards better health standard eventually aiding welfare across bodily systems functions – overall proving the statement “you are what you eat” true partly since our bodies do contribute actively consistently reactively constantly reflecting upon internal environments.
It’s quite understandable that medical conditions affecting overall well-being often become obstacles when striving towards proper hygiene however being proactive about one’s care routine should never cease irrespective of situation tendencies severity!
So next time when someone complaints about ‘smelly’ body odour remember: there’s always some potential help available through varied lifestyle choices anyone can make.


1) Labia Minora is responsible for establishing intimate contact and plays important physiological role that is not underestimatable despite of having small size.
2) Red meat refers to healthy portions rather than complete abstinence – for example fish/seafood/shellfish options offer quality nutrition if majority portion from red protein sources consumed during single meal/window.
5) Individuals with medical conditions causing body odor should consult their doctors and health practitioners who will refer them to dermatologists, dietitians or other relevant professionals for further management.