It’s not something that usually comes up at the cocktail party or coffee with friends. When your sister asks what’s new, you’re not going to bring it up. But even though you’re not talking about it, your thoughts are consumed by it.
Is that smell me? Why is nothing working? Body odor is not just an issue for teenage boys in the locker room. We can all deal with it from time to time. The good news is that once you know the cause, finding the solution is easy. Check out 14 of the most surprising things that can make you stink, and what to do about them
Too much stress
If your stinkiness has you stressing out, it’s safe to say you’re only making it worse. Stress causes us to produce sweat and odor, so it’s time to take a nice, deep breath. According to the Mayo Clinic, we have two types of sweat glands. Eccrine glands are spread throughout our bodies and open up into the skin. When we sweat through them, the liquid is evaporated to cool us off. These are the glands that produce sweat when we workout or are hot, and the sweat is mostly made up of water and salt.
The other type, apocrine glands, empty into our hair follicles such as underarms. These glands empty a milky liquid (sexy, right?) into the hair. When that fluid comes in contact with the bacteria on our bodies, it produces an odor. This is the type of sweat our body creates when under stress. “Stress-related odor will be normal odor on steroids,” George Preti, an organic chemist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center told Fox News.
If you’re grabbing a quick snack before your date tonight, skip the garlic, and not just for your breath! Certain spices like garlic or curry can actually make your skin smell. As we digest these spices, our bodies release a sulfur-containing gas. Marie Jhin, MD, a dermatologist who practices in California, told Reader’s Digest that these smells can last for a few hours. “Don’t eat these foods before an important meeting or a date,” she explained.
The smell comes from how our bodies break down these spices and spicy foods. “Components in a lot of aromatic spicing are very fat soluble,” explains Dr. Preti. “So they’ll get stored in your body fat and get into your sweat and saliva and they’ll influence body odor over time.”
If your date surprises you with your favorite garlic bread, don’t panic. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your meal.
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