The Scent of a Man


The Scent of a Man

We all like to look good... we all like to feel good. And we all like the OTHER to smell good!

Body odour is such an important social aspect of a person. And it becomes more important if we are inhabitant of an area where temperatures and humidity levels reach soaring heights.

 
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Article by Razia Sanwari

The Scent of a ManPhoto: IndiaTalkies

We all like to look good… we all like to feel good. And we all like the OTHER to smell good!

Body odour is such an important social aspect of a person. And it becomes more important if we are inhabitant of an area where temperatures and humidity levels reach soaring heights.

In Udaipur, the heat is just a-coming and once it hits us, we will be engulfed in an inferno that is sometimes dry, sometimes humid. I am sure it is not going unnoticed that of late, the city’s summer is more humid than dry, unlike earlier.

And humidity means perspiration.

Sweat we mustThe Scent of a Man

We all perspire… some of us more, some less. Sweating is the way in which the body relieves heat and maintains homeostasis, that is keep itself cool, and though perspiration in itself may not have any odour, it definitely provides a culture medium for bacteria that are found on our skin normally. The sweat produced is rich in organic substances and this attracts bacteria which in turn break down protein in our sweat into acids leading to an acrid smell emanating from the body.

You cannot avoid perspiration. We all have to sweat. Whenever the body gets overheated, for whatever reason, it lets out a salty liquid through the skin’s pores and this helps bring the body’s temperature down. But this harmless-looking sweat can be a real issue if there is bad personal hygiene or a medical condition. Also, body odour can be strongly affected by gender, genetics or lifestyle.

Perspiration is secreted through two sweat glands – apocrine and eccrine – and they total 2.5 million in all! The former develops during puberty and are found in the groin and armpit areas while the latter is distributed all over the body.

Some people sweat too much. This is a condition known as hyperhidrosis which might begin on a person reaching puberty. This causes excessive perspiration, either in specific areas or all over the body. Once a person attains puberty, the body odour becomes defined if measures are not taken to keep it down.

Social Evil

The Scent of a ManThinkstock/Getty Images

Bad body odour is one of the greatest anti-social epidemics of our time. The acrid, pungent smell from someone sitting next to you definitely cannot go unnoticed and after some time, you get so uncomfortable with it that you are forced to move from there, even as the offender is oblivious to the reason for it.

However much one sweats, bad odour can be avoided. Use of deodorants and sprays can get rid of the problem but all this is temporary. You must identify the reason why your sweat smells so much. Is it because you don’t shower and change regularly? Is it because you have some skin problem? Is it because of a hormonal change, menopause or bad lifestyle? Or is it because you are obese?

Alternately, in some cases a bad body smell can be a signal of a medical condition. For example a ‘beery’ smell could mean the person is suffering from a yeast condition, odour of a nail polish remover could mean diabetes, a fishy smell could indicate a metabolic disorder while ammonia smell could hint at liver disease.

Taking MeasuresThe Scent of a Man

Once you have pinpointed the cause and realise you do have a problem, it is then time to take remedial measures.

Personal hygiene is of paramount importance. Daily showering and changing into fresh clothes help the body smell pleasant.

Always wear loose-fitting clothes and settle for cottons during the summer. Synthetics will cause discomfort and excessive sweating.

Try not to eat spicy food if you have a chronic sweat problem. Eat healthy, avoid too much of caffeine and, in general, maintain a healthy lifestyle.

There are many ways in which you can keep your body odour natural or pleasant. Settle for something that is do-able and then follow it.

About The Author

A journalist by profession, Razia Sanwari’s years of experience in the print media includes writing for and editing children and health magazines and supplements. Her forte has been doing focused stories on healthy eating and healthy living.

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