Dear Mahogany,

I have a serious issue that dampens my confidence,I sweat regularly and experience emanating body odour. My friends have talked to me about it, I apply deodorants and perfume to help mask the smell but it comes back.I don’t know what do,I do not know the cause of it but I want a solution to my problem.

Somto 24.

Dear Somto,

Thanks for reaching out to us.Having a body odour can be embarrassing and frustrating especially when it seems to have been going on for ages despite a change in hygiene. Body odour is caused by the breaking down of the bacteria on our skin, when it breaks down sweat from the body into acids, thus, releasing a scent that becomes unpleasant and is termed body odour. The common cause of body odour is sweat, however, there are various factors which may be responsible for  body odour and whose solution extends beyond a regular shower.


Physical activity

In a hot climate like ours, engaging in physical activities such as exercising, shuffling from one location to another, being stuck in traffic, walking under the blazing sun can cause accumulated sweat making your internal body temperature to rise and when it does the apocrine glands in the armpit and groin area emit a fatty sweat into the glands tubule and as the sweat makes its way into the skin surface and is broken down by bacteria, it decomposes which gives it a foul odour. A regular shower with an antiseptic soap is advised, applying dusting powder after shower can help curb the sweat being produced.


Trimethylaminuria is a genetic condition that affects the body’s ability to break down trimethylamine, a compound that is made by your body while digesting food, according to Genetics Home Reference. Having excess amounts of trimethylamine in your body causes your breath, urine and sweat to emit a fishy odor. Genetic testing can be performed by your physician. If you are found to have the condition, your doctor may prescribe low dose antibiotics, which help control the production of the bacteria. To lessen the effects of the condition, avoid eating foods that contain choline, such as soybeans and egg yolks.


It may be quite surprising that bacterial vaginosis or yeast infection causes body odour in women due to the overgrowth of bacteria releasing a foul-smelling liquid from the vagina. It is quite common and can occur for a number of reasons ranging from the eradication of normal protective bacteria as a result of antibiotics or dietary imbalances. The liquid produced from the vagina has the appearance of curled milk and cottage cheese.  To reduce the odor associated with this infection, bathe daily and wear clean and dry underwear.

Vitamin deficiency 

There are several nutrients that when lacking in the body can cause the body to produce an odorous and unpleasant gas. Mineral deficiencies of Zinc and Magnesium can cause body odour. Eating foods rich in Zinc such as oysters, beef, pork, dark meat chicken, nuts, legumes  and grains are also good sources. Foods such as dark chocolate, almonds and cashews that are rich in magnesium can help the body deodorize properly.

Hair and Skin oils

The presence of pubic hair in the genital region contributes to body odor emanating from this area for several reasons. While eccrine glands discharge their watery secretions directly onto the skin surface, apocrine glands empty into hair follicles — as do skin oil glands. The combination of apocrine sweat and skin oil, or sebum, sticks to pubic hairs. Bacteria that feed on these substances also adhere to pubic hairs. Thus, pubic hair provides a physical matrix that supports the processes that lead to body odor. The same holds true for armpit hair. People who shave their armpits generally exude less body odor. Similarly, people who trim or remove their pubic hair also usually have less body odor in their pubic area.

Genital infections

Yeast often normally inhabits the pubic skin of both men and women. However, a yeast infection can develop if an overgrowth occurs. This might cause an increase or change in the body odor emanating from the pubic area. Such an infection might develop in the skin folds around the genital region, causing a red, painful rash. Women are also susceptible to vaginal yeast infections. Additionally, bacterial or parasitic vaginal infections can develop and cause an increase or change genital odor.

I hope these reasons and solutions will be a guide for you to help fight that body odour.




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