Body odour not inborn, says Dermatologist

Dr. Olanrewaju Falodun, a consultant dermatologist at the National Hospital, Abuja, says it is not true that some people are born with body odour.

Falodun told the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Abuja that body odour was caused by breaking down of bacteria in sweat, adding that the sweat caused odour.

He said: “There are two types of sweat glands in the body.

“These are the eccrine gland, which is found all over the body, and the apocrine gland, which is found primarily in the ancillary (armpit) and genital areas.

“The two sweat glands are usually connected to hair follicles and much of the thing we call body odour is as a result of the apocrine gland.

“The glands do not mature or start functioning until when a person reaches the age of puberty and that is why the real issues about odour are more pronounced after puberty.”

Falodun said obesity also triggered body odour as sweat could be trapped between the folds of a fat person’s skin, but added body odour could be prevented.

He said such people should diligently maintain cleanliness of their body and make the use of anti-perspirants and deodorants a routine.

“Deodorants work by masking the smell of sweat with fragrance, while anti-perspirants reduce the amount of sweat the body produces,” he said.

The dermatologist also said it was essential to wash clothes thoroughly; particularly clothing that comes into contact with sweaty areas such as socks, underwear and shirts.

Falodun said: “Wash the body with soap daily, particularly the armpits, groin and feet, where there are many sweat-producing glands.

“Washing removes sweat and reduces the number of bacteria which act upon them.”