Body Odor-An Unpleasant Encounter

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Biology 103
2002 Second Paper
On Serendip

Body Odor-An Unpleasant Encounter

Melissa Brown

"What is that smell?" you ask.
"It is absolutely disgusting," you reply to yourself as you continue walking along. Then you realize that this smell just keeps on following you, from classroom to lunchroom to dorm room, even in the courtyard. Then it hits you that garbage has not been following you everywhere but you are the cause of that disgusting smell; you have body odor. What is this phenomenon of body odor? According to John Riddle, Body odor is the term used for any unpleasant smell associated with the body(1).

Most of us are concerned about how we look especially, how we smell so body odor which can be a potentially fatal blow to a person's social life is not a welcome addition to one's ingredients for success. It is this human fear of being excluded that led to the invention of the term, body odor. In the 1910s and 1920s, advertisers highlighted people's discontent with the things around them and with themselves in order to encourage them to buy their products. A group of advertising men used the term B.O. to mean body odor in a women's deodorant advertisement for their product, Odo-Ro-No. It played upon women's sentiments that beauty was important to achieving their main goal in life: a husband.

Listerine, which today has mundane advertisements with bottles of Listerine and a voice talking about the results of laboratory research that show Listerine's ability to combat gingivitis, cavities and so on, also used this approach. Listerine had an advertisement that showed "pathetic Edna" who was approaching her "tragic" thirtieth birthday and was always "a bridesmaid and never a bride" apparently because she suffered from Halitosis or bad breath (of course it could not have been personality problems that was hindering Edna's romantic progress!). As a result of this ad, Listerine's sales went from $100,000 a year in 1921 to more than $4 million in 1927. Body odor is a major concern for most people and even those who do not suffer from it are concerned about preventing body odor because of its negative social consequences.(2)

People are very sensitive about how they smell. Humans do not appreciate the power of a bad smell as much as skunks appreciate theirs. The striped skunk which is known in the scientific community as Mephitis mephitis accurately shoots a narrow stream of yellow fluid, butyl mercaptan, up to 10 feet at a threat. If the fluid hits the eyes of the threat it may cause temporary blindness. Even if the skunks misses, which is rare, the musk will cause nausea, gagging and general discomfort. (Perhaps next time you are at a party and you receive some unwelcome attention, you should raise those armpits or let out a breath of air to your unsuspecting predator.) Most people however, try to do quite the opposite and purchase expensive perfumes to mask odors and create a sensual smell that will attract the opposite sex. They spend a lot of money buying perfumes like Object of Desire by Bvlgari and they do not realize that the fluid that skunks emit is commercially used as a base for perfumes because of its clinging nature.(3) This makes me wonder whether if it is only by having a bad smell that we can get a good smell.

So what exactly causes us to have that bad smell? Most of the causes are related to lifestyle choices. If you use drugs, toxins or herbs such as alcohol and cigarette smoking, you body will smell. Also if you eat certain foods such as garlic and raw onions you will have an unpleasant breath. You can also develop body odor by simply sweating excessively or practicing poor hygiene. A couple other causes of body odor include: tooth or oral conditions such as periodontal disease and gingivitis. Also, there can be inborn errors of metabolism for example, aminoaciduria. Most of these problems are a result of a decision that the sufferer had made about how he chooses to lead his life. If he chooses to be a chain smoker he will smell like a cigarette. If he chooses not to shower or wash his clothes then he will have a pungent smell. If he chooses not to practice proper dental hygiene then he will have Halitosis. However, if he sweats excessively because he has a fear of social situations then his cause of body odor cannot be as easily rectified. In addition, people who suffer from aminoaciduria also cannot easily change their lifestyle to rectify their body odor because aminoaciduria results from an enzyme deficiency. We should not judge or marginalize people because of their smell because the cause of it may go beyond poor hygiene.(1)

Almost everyone has received a compliment about the perfume that he or she is wearing. This shows that people react to scents and that a pleasant scent encourages a favorable perception of that person. New research has shown that some individuals are highly sensitive to smelling a component of body odor which is called androstenone. Furthermore, if the person can easily smell androstenone then he will decide whether or not he likes the person based on the smell. What is androstenone? It is a human pheromone which is a chemical attractant that is in body secretions like perspiration. Men release large quantities of androstenone while women omit small amounts. So men are more likely to be judged by their smell than women. According to the study, fifty percent of people cannot smell androstenone at all and one half of them can only catch a whiff and enjoy the scent. Those who can smell androstenone, on the other hand, do not like the smell and compare it to urine or perspiration. The study went on to show that there was a correlation between the ability to smell androstenone and the androstenone-smeller's judgment of the person. In other words, if someone can smell androstenone on someone else and finds the smell unpleasant then he will dislike the person.(4)

Clearly, there is a lot at risk if one has body odor since man is a gregarious animal then body odor can make him unable to maintain or even start relationships. We have realized this so there are number of ways to eliminate body odor. One of the most rudimentary ways to get rid of body odor is to wash with both soap and water especially in the groin area and armpits which are more likely to smell. The best soap to use is a deodorant soap which impedes the return of bacteria. Showering, as well as, washing your clothing regularly will help to prevent body odor. In addition, we should wear natural fabrics like cotton which absorb perspiration better than synthetic materials like polyester. Athletic apparel makers like Nike and Adidas are adopting this idea in their clothing design by creating materials that cause the sweat to evaporate faster.

You should also use commercial deodorants which mask underarm odor or use antiperspirants which reduce the amount of perspiration. If these fail then you should turn to France, the land of fine perfumes and "Le Crystal Nature" which is a chunk of mineral salts that helps to keep bacteria under control without irritating the skin. A more serious approach to fighting body odor is Drionic which is an electronic device that plugs up overactive sweat ducts and keeps them plugged for up to six weeks.(5) There are many ways to avoid having body odor. The easiest way to find out what is available to you is to take a stroll in your local Eckerd, CVS or Riteaid.

Body Odor is a major concern for human beings. It is one concern that affects men and women to almost the same extent. We are concerned about our smell because people judge how we take care of ourselves by our smells and use this information to decide whether we are worthy of friendship because of it. We need to pay attention to how we smell not only because of social interactions but because odors from our body may alert us to a medical problem like a urinary tract infection or periodontal disease. It must be noted however that much of the hype about body odor comes from marketing consultants who need to sell their companies' product and play on our insecurity. Try to avoid being caught up in this web of commercialism while at the same time taking good care of your body.



1) Body Odor. It gives basic information about Body Odor.

2) It provides information on the less renowned tidbits of history.

3) It provides information about the striped skunk.

4) It provides information that otherwise would not get a lot of attention.

5) It provides online information about problems that affect teenagers



Continuing conversation
(to contribute your own observations/thoughts, post a comment below)

01/22/2006, from a Reader on the Web

I have been searching for an answer about this one person I work with. He smells intensely of a vinegar like substance, but honestly I would have to say he smells like pickles. half the people I work with say the same thing. It is so intense that I get a headache and a stomache and he is unbearable to be near. I cannot find anything on the internet that would explain this, and I do not have the guts to ask the poor guy, because honestly I cannot even be near him. Any speculation on this matter????? Thank you


Additional comments made prior to 2007

Western culture need to avoid of escalation of hatred and wilingness to take advantages over other using somebody's personal issue as their body/breath odor! Where every house or apartment, everyone has access to bath, shower. Where there is no hygiene issues! This attitude can be fueled by nuslim nations. So one should think about this ... Reader on the web, 1 April 2006



I have the same problem with one of my employees who is from Nepal. I think it could be the spicy food they have, another employee addresses the matter to me since I'm the manager but it is a very delicate matter and I feel sick if I stay 3 foot close to this person. Besides this is a high end retail store and also had customers commenting on the way this person smells. I'm going to have to let her go but wonder if there is anything this person can do to get rid of that horrible odor ... Yolanda, 26 April 2006



i have just noticed a body odor of vinegar. I saw reference to another person about same problem. This just started in the last few days and I am trying to find a reason. Any suggestions? Supplements? thanks ... Tom, 15 July 2006



I see alot of people with posted requests for body odor issues. Mr. Chan has won the Geneva award for his invention in the medical category for a product that cures body dor. A press release was issued and maybe some of your readers would benefit from it.

Here it is below:

Dr. Mist winner of several awards including the Geneva Award for itsí invention in the medical category is currently marketed as a deodorant is also used as a multi-function hygiene product. As a deodorant, there is absolutely no staining, no aluminum, alcohol, oils or fragrances and it flushes out toxins. Customers are moving away from sticks and gels which stain their clothes and lasts part of the day. Dr. mist will last for days, even if bathing is not possible (ie: patients in hospitals, campers, etc)

Dr. mist is a new invention based on floatation technology that works like an anti-perspirant, but still allows the pores to breathe. As recently featured on the news, it is also very effective athlete's foot, soothes mosquito and insect bites, accelerates healing in wounds, clears up acne and pimples with visible results in 24 hours and soothes skin irritation ... Claudette, 13 September 2006


I had bad breath and body odor since I was born. Spent more than 20 years and thousand of dollars trying to find what was missing in my system until I saw Dr. Brenda Watson describing what happens when there is not enough intestinal flora in the body. What happens? Vitamins along with impurities go straight to the blood causing the odor. So that is what was missing in my system.

I started taking probiotics (the higher the number the best) and multi enzymes and that was the beginning of my cure. Now I added Culturelle Lactobacilus Gg and no more body odor and bad breath.

Please, tell other people so they do not go through what I went through ... Mindy, 31 October 2006



My daughter is told she smells like pickles......we can't figure out what is causing's not perfume, soap, shampoo or anything else she's putting on externally.....I read your body odor article and the question posed by one of your readers is the same as mine.....why does my daughter smell like pickles??? What can be done about it?? ... Lupe Rodriguez, 7 December 2006



Re: an earlier post

Either he's wearing something that smells of what you described or it could be some form of disease ex. cancer. could be other forms but if you are that concerned. Does he have a desk? write an anonymous letter? it could be a medical problem and you do need to get your views across, because it could save his life ... Jennifer, 3 February 2007



I have recently noticed a slight wiff of vinegar odor from my body. I asked a friend if he noticed it and he said "no". I shower daily and am clean. Any ideas what may cause this? ... Phil, 16 July 2007



Hello there. I have been experiencing an odor for a while now but I still don't know where it is coming from. It occurs mainly when I am around my friends and it doesn't smell when I'm at home or at my doctor. Other people say that they smell it also. Please advise me what to do if you guys ever came across such an experience before. Thanks in advance ... Saf, 2 October 2007


dachung's picture

stronq body odor

i have experience this body odour few months aqo when iam embarass by my qirl frnd ,she didnt allow me to know about it but i hv it mine thet she has somethinq that she tries to stay away frm me ,bcoz each time we stood toqether she normally pour siliver in the qround i wounder wat was that ,letter on i discovered i have B.O ,i took my bath 3 times a day bt still it didnt went off,i tried anti-pasperant deodorant called MEN bt it increases , some one told me ,it is from my blood i dnt know what else to do?? am 19 .

Serendip Visitor's picture

I hope this helps....God bless you!

1. You might try purchasing the following digestion-boosting products online:

pro-biotics with 8-10 strains and vegetarian capsules (take in morning, evening, or after meals)
chlorophyll & alfalfa OR wheat grass
digestive enzymes™ -- 500 mg - 120 Capsules (take before or with meals)
raw honey
aloe vera juice

2. You might also try incorporating the following digestion-boosting foods:
warm water with slice of lemon (sip through straw in early morning for liver flush)
fresh ginger root - (chew thin slices in early morning, before, during, or after meals)
bananas, tangerines, oranges, clementines, grapes, berries (eat and wait 1 hr before meals)
warm herbal tea with raw honey
spring water (all day between meals)

3. Sweat away toxins before bathing by jogging on mini-trampoline for 30 minutes in BOTH AM & PM.

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Become odor free

I hope what I'm about to share helps someone. I found that decreasing or eliminating process foods from your diet and drinking at least a gallon of water helps tremendously. Second, try eliminating petroleum containing lotions or moisturizers, these products breed bacteria. Lastly, try taking "odor cleanse" made by Yerba Prima...miracle pill for all types of body odors. Also, try detoxing and cleaning your gut (colon) which the bad bacteria there is usually responsible for the body odor. Remember the body produces odor to warn you that something is threatening your homeostasis. .Could be toxic build up within the body or your p.h levels off or etc. I'm praying for you all to find a solution to what's causing your body odor. Be hopeful.

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Serendip Visitor's picture

why? i am living

i have been suffering this worst condition for more the 12 years. the shame i do feel every day is not bearable every moment is very very very embarassing for me and all my family. i have 2 kids i have to work to feed them for there livelihood please please please any one God fearing will help me to get rid of this worst condition of life.

Serendip Visitor's picture


Body odor for 15years....greatly reduced with tryptophan supplements at bedtime..I saw a great difference in 2 weeks and i continue to take improved my sweating, halitosis, and digestion...i think theres a connection between the gut (flora) and serotonin, which is produced in thebody when tryptophan is converted. this is good for anyone who suspects candida

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alicia's picture


people! there is nothing "wrong" with any of you! you are not cursed! something is "wrong" with what is going into your bodies daily since you where a child. formula,processed foods,soaps shampoo deoderant all these man made toxins and gunk and junk goes into your body and if it wasnt so much maybe your body could filter it out but we just cant keep up while we still constantly eat chemicals!i have done a couple of short fast 2-3 days one of which really "worked" or made a big tongue was different it felt light and clean and i did notice right away that the thought of salt and sugar repulsed me.when we eat the foods God gave us to eat we will be well.fruits veggies nuts seeds and i believe meat only in moderation.we have grocery stores now we can buy meat and we have been taught to eat meat 3 times a day everyday! i do not believe we were meant to have freezers to hold our meat so we shall eat it 3 times a day all our lives.something is wrong with that.anybody ever smelled bad dead meat? your body cannot move all of the crap we eat in time for the new crap we eat. health problems body odors old looking skin. fasting on distilled water will do what nothing else your research on water your research on water fasting.DO YOUR RESEARCH ON WATER FASTING!!!!!! God bless you!!

BODYBUTTER's picture

Vegan Soap

Excellent natural soaps! Using natural soap is the best thing for your skin because you are nourishing it with natural oils, not drying it out. The lather that our soap creates is extremely creamy & bubbly, leaving your skin feeling soft, smooth and moisturized.

urmila prassana's picture

dont try to die

if u have this problem u must try vaeline healthy whit and zuska alexa perfume becaue it realy really works try this i am 7 std girl had this worst problem from 4 std my friend pourd some substance like oil that it started and smell i thought to die my friennd vanmathi and poozh sir told me to try this because they too had it now feel a great relief but still i dont know what was the substance it thnk god.please help those who have this problem.lord muruga is great bravo muruga bravo

Serendip Visitor's picture


So im 17 and iv been having this problem for about 2 months. It wasn't that bad at first though, I had a weird odder. there was some yellowish in my panties and it was very irritated. I went to the doc and she said I just had a yeast infection they didn't have anything else took the medicine and now after im done with the medicine the smell is back! omg it smells like rotten eggs! help me!

Serendip Visitor's picture

Get a second opinion and make

Get a second opinion and make sure u don't have bacterial vaginosis or anything like that.. From my experience that condition doesn't smell like rotten eggs though; it could be your digestive tract...I used to smell like rotten eggs...and others complained that I smelled as if I was passing gas everywhere...Taking high doses of Iodine and B2 has made a great difference in my life...Had this problem since I was 14 and im 28 now and found that this combination worked well for my body odor and rotten egg hair and breath.I just started using it in the last 3 months...let me know how it works for you. Ess doubleU E E Tea L. A Dee y2222 hot male dot com

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I cant get rid of my stinky and sweaty feet

Just like all you guys no matter how we clean ourselves we still get some sort of smell that often people think is because of poor hygiene but in reality we try our best and we make efforts just be presentable or just to smell good in public. I for myself my main problem is my feet Im a woman but because of my problem I lost interest in fashionable shoes and also it affective me in my career. I dont want to go to an office anymore and made a decision to just do a homebased job until I find a cure for this embarrasing smell on my feet. It pretty much smells like garbage..I believe it because of over sweating they call hyperhidrosis..You can either over sweat in armpit, hands and feet and because of that the bacteria that feeds on sweat creates a bad smell..According to what I read that we need to reduce the sweating to eliminate the production of the bacteria as well.Some of the products that was suggestes online was driclor its a strong anti perspirant which Im going to try and also for stinky feet I saw the gehwol medicated deodorant cream. I hope it works and for all the people who suffers with other bad odor I wish you all the best. Hope that we all find the best product that will free us from this bondage. I believe because of the fear of being rejected because of our smell we become captives of our own selves..Hope that the embarrasment and insecurities that we get from our situation will be gone. I feel hopeless right now but I know every problem has a solution.Lets start by maintaining a healthy lifesyle and maintaing proper hygiene that most people think we don't practice and keep trying products that will help us eliminate the smell who knows we might find the perfect product for us if we don't give up.Cheer up!

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my cure


mary ann's picture


Hi there

Nice to meet someone with a similar problem. I have an a body odor that I cannot seem to get rid of. I have just starting taking probiotics. The odor apparently is coming from the pores of my skin. Unfortunately, it is one of the worst smells. Gas. People just automatically think that you are passing gas and rude.

Wondering if you were interested in exchanging e-mails. It sure would be nice to have another woman to talk to who truly understands what I am going through.

Serendip Visitor's picture


Hello , i have a friend who has,the same problem too, have u found any solution?

Serendip Visitor's picture

Body odor

Hello I would love to have someone to talk to about body odor and bad breath I have had this issue for many years. I used to hold my breath when people would stand close to me. I would also get very tense and feel sick in the midst of a crowd of people. They constantly were holding there noses and looking at me in a very ugly way. I recently took a new job but have since quit because while in training the instructor said that we as grown people need to bath before coming to class. Because we are in a small class and the smell of body odor is offensive. I bath and brush my teeth but no matter what people still hold there nose around me. I had a job where one girl started to call me Shit Mae.. I don't know what to do I've tried everything even oil pulling. Nobody ever tells me what they smell they just close there nose I'm asuming it smell like feces if someone called me that name. I wanted to cry everytime she said it but I pretended not to hear her. I'm still struggling with it and it's been over 30 years.

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Body Odor

Hello, I have struggled with the same problem since 2005. I have lost jobs and have been turned down for others even when I am doing the same job. I have been taked about both and at work and church. I have been pushed asided but one thing I need to tell you, no matter what you are a very special person. I have put a smile on my face so many days when I wanted to just cry but I found strength in evey person who talks about me in front of my face or behind my back. I have learned to pray for them. I have ask God to remove this thorn from me but it is here for a reason. I just started using chlorhexidine when I shower. Prior to this I just had an odor. I think it is working but time will tell just like the variety of deodorants that I have that stop working after 30 minutes. I also will try to get tested to see if there are any vitamin - mineral deficiencies. My friends and they are few have known me prior to this starting and realize that it is more than just not washing me or my clothes. So I will pray for you too. Keep the chin up.

alicia's picture


water fasting cleans your body from the inside. if a 3 day fast does do it then try 5 day if thats not enough 10 and so on. i no you dont want to be hungry but trust me fasting is possible and it will make you brand new and whole and smell good too! God bless you pass it on

Serendip Visitor's picture

Hi there! I have also BO and

Hi there!
I have also BO and what makes it m0re difficult is haven't shared my problem. I hope i can freely share it with you.pls email me (no spaces) arlen pilongo at yahoo dot com.hope to hear from you s0on. :-)

Serendip Visitor's picture


Dear Ann,

no spaces :
The opposite of sour
the number after twentyone
again, the number after twentyone
opposite of cold

mary ann's picture


Thanks for sending me your info. I have sent you a quick note. Please check your junk folder if you don't see my note.

Mary Ann

Serendip Visitor's picture

Do not give up

My heart goes out to people who are suffering. There is a an enzyme called serrapeptase that helps break down dead matter in the body. Please try this. The most important thing to know is that God loves you so much. Please do not think of ending your life! Please accept King Jesus Christ as Savior, know He paid it all for you on the Cross and You can ask God the Father anything after you have accepted The Christ as Savior. Anything! He wants you to seek Him and He wants to guide you in your life. Just repent, believe and live. There are many wonderful things that grow on this earth that are here to help and heal you. God will guide you and give you wisdom as He is a rewarder to those who dilligently seek Him. This is all related. I want the best for you all.

blacklisted's picture


i'm from Philippines.. where can i purchase serrepeptase?
i wanted to quit life yet i still love my family.hope i can survive.
looking forward for your reply.thanks a lot.

alicia's picture


hello,thanks for the advice.would like to know how you know about enzyme did it work for you.I am currently using it,i am seeing changes.Also i am eating more raw,no meat and lots more water. i feel that God is good.

Serendip Visitor's picture

serrepeptase did you know about serrepeptase? i been taking it for about 2-3 days ,really seems to work.its a process.i do feel really grateful for your post.thank you,i dont have the right words... God bless you

Ruth's picture

Garbage smell

I've been suffering from a condition like many others here. Some days the smells change. One day like garbage, another skunk or fecal. It's so bad my apartment reeks. Even my neighbors can smell. But it seems to come and go. I've switched to a vegan gluten free diet. Take something called micro plant powder that helps create a healthy stomach flora, cleanses the blood and helps create a balanced ph. I also drink wheatgrass and drink kombucha tea or apple cider vinegar.I've noticed when I go off this regimen it comes back. Stay away from junk food and animal protein especially egg. You can get alot of protein from things like hemp powder or green veggies like kale. Eating alot of green veggies and trying to alkalize your body and blood. Cucumber and cucumber water is great. To clean my house and clothes I use vinegar and lemon. The clothes I wash with detergent and a cup of vinegar. Never use fabric softener it will just add to the sour smell or your Bo. For under arm Bo try wiping with rubbing alcohol everyday or other before you shower. If its a skunk smell from the armpits it's best to use an anti fungal cream with a little neosprin, equal amounts. You can use any cream for a yeast infection. Also make sure when you go number 2 you've gone all the way. Never leave feces in your colon. And always go to th restroom when you have to. Never hold it in! The fecal matter gets absorbed in your lower intestine and you can develop a blood infection and the toxins will be released through the skin pores. I've also been taking anti anxiety medications which also seem to help because of the lack of sweating due to nervousness. I've done everything I can try to figure this all out. I know the pain everyone is going through. I actually tried to commit suicide twice because of this. I've learned the ones who truly love and care about you won't care how you smell. The best things to do are change your diet, create healthy stomach flora, remove yeast from the skin (i use organic unpressed virgin coconut oil at night.) keep up with oral and body hygiene, wash clothes and bedding regularly, clean house often, take proper medication,exercise and try to stay positive. This doesn't have to ruin your life.

Serendip Visitor's picture


I have been searching for an answer to the debilitating symptoms I face 24/7. They are several symptoms that rotate. I honestly believe I smell because people react. I read your post that only the people that love you will accept you for your smell, but that is not good for me as I believe they lie to make me feel better, but it is the opposite. Did you find a cure?

Serendip Visitor's picture

Metabolic Body Odor Condition

Another year has passed and another year has just begun; yet I still reek of ammonia no matter what I do. If I had the intestinal fortitude to commit suicide I would; but I'm a coward so that's not going to happen. Unemployed (I love to work) and can't enter a classroom to continue my eduation; all because of this stupid body odor condition. I could always take online classes but after classes are done, I'll still need to be able to get a job. That entails working around people. It's like a never ending bad dream. What have I done in life that's so horrible, that I deserve to live like this????

let it go's picture


Everybody smells eventhugh different degree
Try the product black cumin it heals every dissease exceot death

Serendip Visitor's picture

metabolic body odor condition

Have you been tested for TMAU (trimethylaminuria).
A metabolic condition in which the body is unable to process choline causing a foul body and breath odor.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Me Too.

That's exactly how i feel too. I isolated myself from my family and friends, it's painful. I refused to go to college knowing that people would judge me and laugh at me. There is not a day that i don't think of ending my life. The idea of living like this for the rest of my life haunts me everyday and night. But like you are, i'm also a coward. Death doesn't scare me, its the pain of dying that scares me the most and the regrets. I don't know what to do anymore. I can't move on with my life.

alicia's picture

body odors

just like to say that you should not expect it go away over night.i have gotten better.will be cured totally with a little more time.stop eating meat! its dead it stink it is not nurishing! drink green juices,eat more raw whole foods.drink water.dont drink milk no cheese no bread.take enzymes.try fasting a couple of days.your body is filthy it need time to heal and cleanse.on the INSIDE.also get used to colonics dont let you the first thought of it stop you it may the one thing that really helps

ladee's picture

college sucks

Yep college is a living nightmare. I have been expelled for not showing up to classes and therefore failing everything. I tried. Hard. And I just couldn't do it. So that's it. I gave life a last shot and none I am done for good.

Serendip Visitor's picture

don't give up

There are dozens of possible causes and no single remedy. You MUST go to a doctor. The best place to go, if possible, is a clinic at a medical teaching hospital like UCLA. I think the most common cause is yeast or fungal infections, in which case the doctor will likely give you medication and tell you to not eat any fruit, sugar or bread, which can aggravate it. It can also be a digective problem hormones or just excessive skin bacteria which can be treated with antibiotics. Sometimes washing too often can remove the good bacteria from your skin and cause odor, too. There are so many possibilities and a good doctor is absolutely necessary. I'd advise against a holistic or alternative medical practice. If your family doctor blows you off, tell him to refer you to someone else. You should have the best possible life and something that is 99% likely to be a treatable medical condition shouldn't deny you the happiness and peace you deserve. Everyone here has impressed me so much with their courage. Just don't give up hope or let anyone else discourage you. You have an important place in this life and we are all needed to keep balance in the universe.

Serendip Visitor's picture


Me too... changes to hormones/medicines I have to now take... My dr. recommended Certain-Dri - $8 deodorant at CVS. Works wonders!

shenelldixon's picture


I FINALLY FOUND MY CURE. FOR THOSE WHO FEEL ME, I HAVE TRIED EVERYTHING PPLE WROTE. THAT WAS HELL!!! I WENT TO THE DOCTOR AND HE SAID I HAE YEAST INFECTION. SO HE PRESCRIBED ME fluconazole for only two days. i dont need to buy any special soap or do any dieting BUT the only thing that im afraid to eat is sugar. um i perfer to use febreze extra strenght original scent. i use that as my perfume.The best advise is the go to the doctore and they will see if u have any overgrowth in ur body and ur health care provider to check ur vitamin decificiency or u maybe allergic to a perticluar food. for example if ur lacking iron,magnesium, vitamin c and b maybe the cause of body odor.if u want to connect on facebook my name is on top SHENELL DIXON. whenever u feel like giving up kept telling urself if life tooo painful ur getting close.i hope it truely works and best of luck.

nameless's picture

hey u guys. i have my BO

hey u guys. i have my BO problem for about 10 years and i found a solution to get rid of external body odor

1. i used 2 deodarant that does give off any sweet smell.
2. i spray freezed up and down before i leave to go anywhere
3. diet. eat any fruits and veggies u can eat cereal bread egg. u NEED proteins if u stray off from it prepare for MAJOR health affects. youtube "tmau diet"

good luck

Serendip Visitor's picture

body odor

A friend of mine , she has body odor , she's much much older , like 90's , she recieves a bath every 2 days , after each shower ( head to toe , her hair is washed , entire body ) , recieves lotions on her after she's dry , clean clothes , clean everything . Later that day she smells again . My guess because she's older , is it her skin is die(ing ) . I am trying to understand it all , wished someone would actually explain to me what it is .
She's been to the drs , had blood work done , everything came back positive , she's healthy just that the odor is driving me
crazy , trying to figure it out and help as much as possible . Also , her bedroom , bathroom , trash can , she wears "Depends" .
Everything is clean ............odor just doesn't go away ...... :(............... Your input is appreciated........

Serendip Visitor's picture

I know what you all r going

I know what you all r going through. I thought I was the only. its good to know your not alone in this I know how stressful this can be. but God will see all of us through this

Serendip Visitor's picture

Why my family and friends and drs can't smell it?

Why they can't smell it? Why the hell?

Strange thing is; intimate or comfortable people can't smell me at all, strangers or unfriendly people can smell me sharply, even from very far.

It's like I'm kinda a threat to people, so people who feel comfortable with me can't detect my BO(even when my BO is clearing the whole building roof), and people who are not so kind to me can detect it even when it's slightest level.

This is driving me nuts. I can understand there can be BO problems in the world. But I can't understand certain people can smell it and others not.

One time, there was a couple. the man suddenly sniffed something from me and said under breath 'what the shit is this smell..' and ran away from me.... same time, his girlfriend didn't show any sign that she smelled anything, and followed her boyfriend with a puzzled look.

This happens everyday!
If Docs can smell me they would try to cure me. but they can't smell! anything! While the patients in the waiting room covering their nose! How can this happen!! How!

I've been to several docs, even after one doctor got raged and snapped at me saying 'are you screwing with me?'
I didn't give up, just visited as many doctors I can find.
They all dismissed me and recommended psychiatrist...

What's wrong with their nose?!

If they could smell me I can have excuses to crawl into some isolated facility and just live like a hermit.
But they encourage me to go outside, go to work, meet friends, make boyfriends, even marry!
I want to kill myself, not because of my terrible BO, but because no one admit my symptoms so I have to go to work everyday and socialize with people!

I just want to give up everything and go somewhere quiet place, make my own small fortune with crappy internet business, and just live like that without seeing anyone anymore.

Yeah it sounds like death more than life. But I don't care. My life is already over. but my family and friends and doctors push me to hell everyday.


If the day comes my odor problem solved or I win lottery, first thing I want to do is to REVENGE ON MY FAMILY.

They won't let me die, won't let me rest, won't admit my pain, they force me to go to work and socialize and treat me as delusional.

I hate my BO, but I hate my family and friends and doctors more.

purushotham's picture


My teenage daughter is avoiding classes as her classmates are complaining foul smell in the class room.But we parents sit with her stay with her do not feel foul smell anytime.

purushotham's picture


Same problem with my child.

Serendip Visitor's picture

me too

You are not alone, even my psychiatric specialist told me not to say that my feet smell; he said people will think I am crazy because my feet do not smell. I washed by feet six+ times a day change socks ten times a day use powers, deodorants, perfume, etc. I have spent thousands of dollars on everything and anything I thought would help and the shoes I have ruined I could go on and on. I had Botox shots they hurt so much,the sweating has reduced alot but this nasty smellI can't describe it from my feet will not go away. I will continued until I find the answer to my BO and will share with those who have the same problem. God bless us all.

CRYSTAL's picture

Reply to smelly feet BO

Try an ionic detox foot bath, drink lots of water and eat plenty of fiber.. Epsom salt baths have been helpful with excess sweating

Serendip Visitor's picture

Many Thanks

I have done as you suggested many many moons ago, trust me I have done it all. Well so I thought I've just learned of and have ordered Deodorex 200 mg 60 caps, and Serrappeptase they will arrive next week (not fast enough). Looks like may be my issue is with my liver needing tlc. I will never give up until I solve this curse.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Me too. when i ask my friend

Me too. when i ask my friend to check if i smell bad he would say no, nothing... i tried another friend and all they will say is nothing... i asked my parents and they said nothing... they say i think too much about how i smell. but i have people that can smell the odor and talk things at my back. the person who can smell my odor are the person who i think i don't like or don't go along with me while the close person will not smell the odor.... but why is this happening? it started a year ago.... and tried using many products. from roll ons to antiperspirant spray. i take a bath almost 5 times a day.... sometimes i get thoughts of committing suicide and im not afraid to die... but i know ending my life with this problem is like a joke and only means you are a coward... i will get thru this and i will have my revenge to the people who made fun of me and i know where to find them. i know what they will be in the future cause all they do is to judge people and make fun like they're superior to me when i know im way better than them before this odor curse entered my life and destroyed everything...

Serendip Visitor's picture

You're not crazy

Please contact me. You're not alone in this. So many people on this board are experiencing the same issues. The fact is, you do smell, but people have different olfactory abilities, different odor sensitivities. This is why you feel like you're going crazy.
I'm 98% sure you smell because of yeast and leaky gut syndrome, and I'm 92.5% sure the mechanism that has caused this condition in you is the malabsorption of fructose. I can help you, but this stupid site doesn't allow us to exchange personal information. Write me at this email if you can and we can exchange numbers- fly by night 88 at yahoo. No gaps, just put the email all together.

Hope to hear from you

Serendip Visitor's picture

Who's crazy??

I have the same problem but with bad breath. I'm not crazy and I'm not stupid. I notice some people reactions and I've heard comments. But my husb says its my obsession, docs don't find anything and don't smell anything...! Colleagues hate working with me, but at the question of my breath the answer is : I don't Smell anything!!!
My husb won't let go for more specific test if he doesn't have at least one person that says "yes, your breath smells".
I'm living in hell on earth. I don't know who to trust. Actually I do, I trust myself. There have been way too many comments on my breath on my back, but no one has the guts to tell me!!! I mean, if I'm asking you, I have an idea already, it's not too hard, just say one stupid single yes!
I think the company I work for wants to fire me, but they can't do it because of BB, so that why no one will admit it.
Pls help

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