Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Body Odor-An Unpleasant Encounter

SerendipUpdate's picture

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


Kadie's picture

ditto, exactly

ditto, exactly

Serendip Visitor's picture

Your smells

You have a special type of uncontrolled diabetes. Its caused by stress and it makes your blood sugars spike and fall at the rapis pace of a yo-yo and that process is killing you with ketoacidosis. It creates horrible smells in people from rotten fish, to mega B.O. to bad breath to pungent foot odour-etc...More than likely you haven't noticed it--but that is what it is. Don't kill yourself yet--its cureable with metformin and other pre-diabetic drugs.

suffer's picture


Thank you for your information...

Actually I've been suspecting that this is kind of diabetic thing for 2 years. (i've been suffering 3 and half yrs)
Because the symptoms get worse when I eat high carb foods or skip meals(diabetes symptoms get worse when they skip meal)

So I managed somehow limiting high carbs and mimicking diabetes diet, but eventually the symptoms come back or get worse.

and if it's really related diabetes, it's frustrating in other way.
Because diabetes are incurable disease, it lasts lifetime.
and Docs won't give me pre-diabetes medicines because my blood sugar test are perfectly normal.

I don't know what to do.
anyway diabetes patients don't have strange BO they only have sweet ketosis BO that is not that horrible.

Confusing :(

suffer's picture

I found couple of treatment.. not cure

1. DO NOT eat healthy.... I found out that whole grains and flora helping foods(like yogurt or probiotics) and dairies are real culprit of the symptoms. First the symptom doesn't start, but AFTER YOU EAT GRAINS OR YOGURT OR NUTS, when you get anxious it starts really bad. I guess you don't get it, me neither. But this is what I've found.
Sugar and coffee are 'anxiety culprit', they make you start the 'odor spread out', but it's not cause of the odor.
Real cause of the odor itself is "healthy foods'. Weird, isn't it?

2. weight training lessen the odor... i don't know why, but weight training helps the odor become weak. also helps about anxiety.

3. It has nothing to do with physical problems of your gut or rear part... one of my friend has severe hemorrhoids and always fart at her office, but she doesn't smell. She is having 100% normal good life.
and before this symptoms broke, I had severe IBS and weak gut but I didn't smell at all.
Your intestine is not weak. I think it's.... overreacting actually.

4. about meat and veges.... hm. I don't know well, meats cause odor to some degree but not that severe as much grains. some portion of proteins are OK. veges are mostly OK but sometimes become problems.
Some people think red meats are the cause, but it's not. when you break severe symptoms after eating meat, it's because you ate it with CARBS. without carb, small portion of meat is OK. and oils either.

I guess you think my solution? is kind of weird.
but this is what i've found.
and you didn't succeed at all with every kind of 'healthy foods' so far.

so believe me.
good foods are hazardrous for us.

ellie's picture

vaginal smell

hi i have a problem,my vagina smells really fishy and i dont know why please help

dot's picture

re: vaginal smell


Vaginal fishy smell could be Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) or Trimethylaminuria (TMAU). Most likely to be BV.

BV is really easy to treat, just go along to a sexual health clinic or see your doctor, they'll test for it and give you a prescription. The smell is caused by an overgrowth of certain types of vaginal bacteria that are usually controlled by the PH levels of the vagina. Sometimes the PH goes a bit wonky and the bacteria goes into overdrive.

TMAU is an uncommon genetic disorder and is usually controlled by diet. Your doctor might not know much about this condition though.
Read up about it and print out some info for your doctor. If the symptoms seem familiar, get a TMAU urine test.

Jeff's picture

please help me

im an 18-yr old filipino teen thats been suffering of this odor problem for 5 years. i think it started when i caught scabies when i was in my 2nd yr of High School, after i got cured of it, i noticed that people keep sniffing or covering they're nose when i get near them . i felt so ashamed and down because of it. i can't even enjoy my high school life anymore,i cant even focus on my studies i keep looking at people around me to watch they're reactions if i smell bad or not. its been difficult for me approaching people, fortunately my classmates accepted me for what i am or for how bad i smell, even though they tease me sometimes. ive made a lot of great friends. its because of them that i got the courage to graduate. its been hard for me ever since my friends got to college, i thought that i cant keep following them. i got scared of to to college thinking i might have difficulty having to get along with people. i really want to get rid of this awful burden that keeps blocking me to start a new life. please help me or give me advice this is my e-mail

absgail's picture

parehas pala tayo

lets talk, my email add is , im trying candida diet pala, it involves cleansing your body kasi dati heavy eater ako. i eat really bad foods and i have heard a lots of success from people doing candida diet

Serendip Visitor's picture


I am now a 10th grader in High school that has been suffering from body odor since the sixth grade.I have developed low self-esteem because I am always judged and criticized by my peers.Little did they know the problems that my family has gone through.I've read some of problems that other people are going through and I want to let you all know that I'm praying for all of you who are going through my similar situations.I have done what many of you have already tried:spray myself with spray all the time with spray,use different deodorants , bathe twice a day,wear different clothes to try to impress other people,but sadly all of that has failed.I not only have been criticized by my peers.Teachers,and even my church family has talked about me.Sometimes the pain gets so bad that I don't even want to get up in the mornings to go to school, church or anywhere for that matter.I've also tried switching up my diet but that has also failed.I don't want to even go to the same school because I know that I am going going to have a hard time making new friends,but I also Know that I am not alone.So guys,don't commit suicide and DON'T give up hope because you will always have somebody that truly understands your pains,your hurts,and your sorrows.I wish you all well.Good Luck!

Scot's picture

a possible solution

Hey Try Dr Bronners Castile Soap - the Peppermint one. It is usually available in every health food store and some grocery stores and even Target. Put it heavily under your arms, feet or groin area (first first times you use it it may sting or get cool tingly feeling... that means it is working). For severe cases put a few squeezes of it into a bath and soak for a while. YOu can add it to laundry too (not too much). and use it to wash shoes too! Trust me.. it works!!!!

On My Last Piece of Rope's picture


I am sorry that you are going through this and I know how you feel. I have been suffering all of my life. It really hits home now because my co-workers are tryingto get me fired. They have been running up to my supervisor and my supervisor is telling the person over her. At church is not fun either because the men of the church make fun of me. When I get to church, I am a total zombie. I can not enjoy myself. People don't know how much it hurts and how deep the pain is in my heart. Sometimes, I talk to my husband but he says that I don't smell. I talked to my mom when I was in high school and she took me to the doctor. The medicine did not do the job and I have been going back and forth with my present doctor and she says that she can not find anything. Everywhere I go people say that I smell, but I can not smell anything. I keep praying for strength to deal with this pain but it is getting hard. I have tried sprays, powders, soaps, oils, a spoonful of bleach, and even a soap called octagon soap. Nothing is working and I am growing tired of being called the smelly person everyplace I go. I don't think that I can make it anymore. Please pray for me and I will pray for you.

beautiful's picture


Sometimes we are faced with challenges in life that we didn't ask for. and you may have this condition because someone else is going threw the same thing you are and we all need to research and find out what the problem is. Don't be afraid of a challenge! It going to show your strength on the inside. It is too many people that have the same issue on this web site and if doctors can not come up with the cure we sure can. No matter what the problem is nothing is too hard for God!!! Remember That!!! Nothing or Nobody Can tell you who you are and what your purpose is but GOD!!! And Tell anybody that is talking about you to sign off on that!!!! I love you and God Loves you!

PS I starting with my diet for 30 days eating healthy foods

Serendip Visitorfriend's picture

pray friend

I have the same problem, I have know friends, we need a support group

Serendip Visitor's picture

Thank you

Thank you for your compasion.I will definitly keep you in my prayers.Keep the faith and Jesus will give you strength and comfort in your pain.May God bless you and keep you.Amen.

Serendip Visitor's picture

jesus heals

am pastor i had same problem since i was born, but the good thing i know how to pray, i was in fasting and prayer for many days, i took time to ask God why i smell, God reavelled to me that its a YOKE it needs to be broken(means to be delivered from it, thats why others they are calling it curse,only prayer can set u free, i prayed now am free,dont kill ur self, Gods able, God bless u

Wants to help's picture

Lets fight this!

Yes I suffer this too. Have for quite awhile and noticeably it started when my anxiety became really bad. Have suffered anxiety I think since I was a teenager but some how maintained some sort of control of it but I went down hill in mid 30s. Had a big crash which I've recovered from but left with intermittent anxiety attacks and the BO is a bad side effect. Here what everyone is saying. I notice that when I'm having an attack I start to heat up. My chest gets really hot, the rest of my body then follows suit, and I look for ways out of the situation but usually it happens at work or in social situations and I refuse to run. So largely I'm forced to deal with the BO. Anyway, when I have an anxiety attack I heat up and I notice that's when it's really bad. I've been through all my clothes and the polyester based clothes really hang on to the bacteria. So I madly antibacterial wash them all the time but it dosn't go away because as soon as my body temperature heats up I notice the smell in the clothes. The cotton clothing is nowhere near as bad. So I recommend ditching polyeter clothing, particularly anything that clings to you. I drink a lot of coffee so I'm weaning myself off that because it dehydrates you and I agree with earlier writer that dehydration and stress are not good. Am really working on getting more sleep. I'm a manic worker and push myself to the enth degree so am focussing on sleep, water, cotton clothes and better eating routine. I'm going to try the probiotic foods too so thanks for that tip. I think if we all share exactly how we are when the BO arises or what our lifestyle is like we might be able to come up with a set of common trends. Perhaps we can all work on the trends together and report what works and what dosn't. In terms of the anxiety, I went off pills ages ago and bit by bit I'm getting on top of it but sometimes it just strikes which is embarrassing. So with that, honestly, I just confront it. It involves a bit of talking to your self, but tell it to strike and challenge it. Something else that dosn't help me, and I find the anxiety get worse, is when my working life is seemingly out of control. Like things aren't getting done in the workplace and I don't have it under control (accounts, marketing etc). So for me it's about focussing on getting those bits and pieces back in order where I'm back in control. Then the anxiety dies down. I'm really starting to see and understand when it's on the way back. So I recommend to everyone to really look into when it hits including the BO (if it's symptomatic). If it happens all the time, then write down everything about your daily life, particularly what's upsetting you or what you want to change. Read the posts and see if anything within could be likely to help you. This is bad guys I know but you know what.... we could have cancer or something like that. Let's fight it so that we get better and get our confidence back .... in full!

Jon Mohrman's picture

My body odor suddenly became

My body odor suddenly became very masculine smelling at age 47, probably related to peri-menopause, and I starting frantically researching online sites for help. After visiting many ?expert? websites and reading the same ridiculous suggestions on every one, such as: don?t eat certain foods, use anti-bacterial soap, etc., I looked for a real solution. The ?medical? sites all act as though this is a problem of poor hygiene, one that suddenly presents at age 47 ? I think not. I believe this problem is related to a hormone change, much like those we experienced at puberty. I've found two options that have eliminated the issue. The first thing I tried was using "steel soap" for 30 seconds under each arm in the shower every morning. Steel soap a metal "bar of soap" sold to remove odors on your hands when preparing foods like onion and garlic. This almost completely eliminated the odor on the first use and is a chemical free option. After using the steel soap and still noticing some odor coming from my ?clean washed? clothes in the afternoon, I realized I needed to use a stain treatment product on the underarms, which eliminated the residual odor. The second thing I tried, which worked like a charm, was applying an acne face pad containing salicylic acid to each underam every morning - I use Stridex Maximum. Good luck to those of you still searching. Hope this helps!

Alex's picture

Laughable references

I was hoping someone from BM could actually write an educated article with valid references. Your entire conclusion is based on entirely on what you have deduced from your own experiences. Obviously, it's mainly a stigma here in the United States. If you have ever been to a country where commercial deodorant is not available or used, you would know that stink alone is not enough to get people to dislike each other.
Instead of finding an article that would be instructive in finding ways to reduce body odor naturally, you just warned people that their social performance was at stake and and that smothering themselves with toxic chemicals will solve more deep-rooted issues like needing to improve their diet or personal hygiene.
I would suggest doing better research next time and to ask a professor to show you what proper citations are.

1namillion's picture

Sorry to say that for some

Sorry to say that for some people this article describes excatly what they are going through to see your social life CHANGE right before your eyes is a hard pill to swallow and that dont take scientific words to express because we are all humans. and we all have feelings to have someone that was once your friend start a group and laughter and glares are at you and there is nothing you can do about it is hard. even if you make sure you showered 3 x more. you know your cleaner than all of them but your smell tell another story about you. its like someone walking in the room before you killing your character.DAMN and its nothing you can do. perfumes make it worst take a shower 30min later a smell thats unclean you have been to the doc it doesnt make sence to him he say people just do that. i thinnking do i need to go to my last 3 jobs and get the people that laughed me out the door to verify that smell comes from me thats unclean that could light a whole room up. it makes u feel like 1 n a million WHY :.(

Serendip Visitor's picture

My diagnosis is Candida or Yeast Infection

Hello Everybody,

I have been with this BO problem for 12yrs.It's been a nightmare as I see we all have our stories to tell. Here 's mine. It all started when I was a senior in HS. I remember having sugar craving all the time, after that I started with anxiety, stomach problems and BO. My depression started and I had to drop out just before graduation. It was terrible to see my dream falling apart. I saw different doctors with no results. I decided to rely on the Internet when I found this candida article that mention almost all my symptoms. I still had my doubts about this so I wanted to have this confirm by a Dr. and finally last year luckily my Dr. who works in partnership with a Nutritionist gave me the diagnosis.
The problem is that I can't stick to the diet. I have tried but my BO gets worse so I usually end up eating crap. I don't know what to do? I really want to get better but I can't take the die-off symptoms. Any suggestions??????

Serendip Visitor's picture

I am sorry to hear about your problem.

If you really have tried all you can,then I suggest that you try to eat more salads,fruits and vegetables.Whenever you you have a craving for anything sweet,pick up an apple or whatever fruit you like to eat.Sometimes,[as you probably already know]diets can cause body odors.Try to make a plan.For example:try to mix what you like with something healthy.Like eat a salad with a Chicken sandwich or Drink V8 juice [either fruit or vegetable]with your favorite soup.Then once you get a simple plan in action,you can add or put together any combination you want,but check with your doctor first.Don't try any of this until you check with your doctor.As for me,I too have been suffering from body odor for four years now and know what it's like to be insulted and put down day after day.I just want you to know that you're not alone and I also pray that the Lord blesses you with a solution
Take Care and be Blessed!

Mariann's picture

fecal odor from nose polyps

My husband got very ill from the flu several years ago. Upon recovering, he could could only force himself to eat very small amounts because he said he was always smelling a fecal odor. He said the odor was so strong he wanted to vomit. Our doctor found that he had several nasal polyps that caused this condition. It might be a good idea to check with your doctor about nasal polyps.

Serendip Visitor's picture

There are no spaces in the

There are no spaces in the support....S W E E T L A D Y 2 2 2 2 AT H O T M A I L DOT C O M

Serendip Visitorfriend's picture

know reply

I've set up an email address on hotmail, but I have not hear anything from, do I need to add something else

Jimmy 's picture

Smelly Head and Breath

The thing with me is I have two problems. One of them is my head. It smells. Basically the smell is a mixture of a very dirty smelly oilly smell and the smell of the shampoo I used on it. Thats only the first day tho. Before the day ends, my hair will have already started to smell purely of nasty dirty oil. I wash my hair everyday. I went to dermatologists giving me medication and medicated dermatitist shampoo. IT never helped. As soon as I pass someone, I could turn around, take a look at them and surely enough the first thing I can expect is them rubbing their noses or hand around nose, mouth area, rubbing. I've tea tree oil/anti dandruff, different types of shampoos, brand name shampoos. The fact is, nothing works. I'm always depressed every time I take a ride on the city bus because of the reactions I see. Another thing is my breath. It stinks. I don't smell it but if i wipe my tongue with a finger, my finger will smell like shit. It doesn't bother me, but the reactions of people rubbing their noses and coughing does. What the HELL is my problem? I just want to live a normal life. This has been hapenning for 10 years now, with each year seemingly to get worse. Please... I need help :(

Serendip Visitor's picture

I understand

I had the same thing last year and started even bunking off of work because I either smelt of vinegar, excretion, urine and other smells that I just don't even want to remember. I honestly think it was to do with me doing too much - work, home life, uni and other things; and my body wanted me to slow down. I also have a lot of ketchup and fizzy - not sure if that was the cause, but ketchup has a lot of vinegar in it. I have cut down on the intake of my sugar in my coffee - still on the fizzy drinks mind and the chocolate - and started to pray. I guess I was fortunate to go and have a CAT scan where they found nothing unordinary in me, so I did the best thing that I could do and that was to pray.

I have never felt so miserable as I did then, but I want you to know that you're not alone - I understand - and I would encourage you to pray, and just ignore it; don't let it be bigger than you, and it will soon go.

lisa 's picture

I agree

I agree

geryy's picture

i recently qot fired

Her direction...i recently qot fired from my job as a dental assistant i dont have a reason but i heard the manaqer say to her assistant i have to find a way to qet rid of her ppl even told me that this all was in my head and i went to the phsyciatrist and was put on medicine and still its happenin...i know now that its not in my head because recently i qet a whiff of "feet" i wash 2 to 3 times a day an d to no avail... kelebek i am a very pretty african american people sometimes ask meh if im mixed or asian...

Murphy le pew's picture

I have had B.O. for 22 yrs

I've lived with this problem since I hit puberty. If you have this problem then you must certainly know what I've been going through. However, for the past two years I had been able to reduce it. First of all,I have started taking steam baths for detoxification purposes. The vapor purges the skin of impurities while the high temperature kills the bacteria on the skin. Be advised that the steam opens up your pores. And,that causes you to smell even worse. So, taking steam baths at a public place is not logical. Therefore, I bought a portable steam tent that I use at home. You'll be smelling worse many hours after taking the steam bath while your pores are still dilating. So take the steam bath before bed time. That gives your pores time to close. And, you'll smell a lot less the next day.
I suggest that you make further research to learn the proper way to take a steam session and its other health benefits. Steam bathing is not a cure but it helps you fight your problem from the outside.
I've learned that a combination of Zinc and Magnesium helps to reduce body odor. So, I take 50 mg of zinc and 500 mg of magnesium daily that helps improve digestive process. And that works amazingly for me.
I've also noticed that my odor worsens when I'm anxious. And, I have a severe anxiety problem when I am around
other people. So, I have started to see a psychiatrist to fight the anxiety. He prescribed me some anti-anxiety pills and they're working wonderfully.
My ultimate goal is to be comfortable around people and be sure that they are comfortable around me. I see that some people on this blog are considering suicide. I think it's important to try all the possible 1,000+ remedies on the web before you give up. And, if they don't work for you then wait a couple of years and 2,000 more remedies will pop up and you can resume your life-long struggle.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Ways to cure Body Odor and smells.

My friend recently was diagnosed with Erenopresis and she suffered from a poopy smell. What causes it is a slowing of food passing through the intestines. She only went the bathroom a couple times a week so her body was like a trash can emitting odors from within. She went on medicine and is doing better. If you are constipated for days you may have this condition and there is help for it. Hers was caused by some meds she has been on longterm.

Don't give up and try seeing a doctor because it may be something treatable. It could also be poor hygiene which can be fixed by bathing once or twice a day with deodorant soap. Only wearing your clothes and undergarments once before laundering them. Seeing a dentist every 6 months for a cleaning. Brushing your teeth every morning and night. For foot odor use foot powder and only wear cotton socks and change rotate shoes every day. Only wear socks once before washing them. For excessive sweating use antiperspirant over plain deodorant with a rating of 19 percent Aluminum, Some are 17 or less percent and it is not enough. Change your bed sheets and pillow cases weekly and wash in hot water. We spend one third of our lives asleep so the sheets get dirty quick. Buy new pillows and throw old ones ones out every 6 months because of sweat and dust mite eggs. You can also wash pillows in hot water with a half a cup of bleach and dry them. I wash all my white clothes in hot water with a half a cup of bleach to deodorize them. Add the bleach and detergent and let the machine agitate a few times (before) adding clothes to avoid bleach spots.

These are some basic ways to keep yourself smelling clean and taking care of your teeth and getting them cleaned. Also taking care of washing bedding and clothes makes a difference and rotating shoes. I know many people were just never taught hygiene at home or in school but it makes all the difference. If it doesn't help then see a doctor to make sure it isn't an internal problem. Best of luck!

Serendip Visitor's picture

Thanks for the post. I'm

Thanks for the post. I'm happy that your friend is doing better. However I googled Erenopresis to get some information and I could not find anything. Google said it was spelled incorrectly, so they gave me encropresis instead. Is this what you meant to write and misspelled? I'm curious because I want to read more about this condition.

I hope to hear from you :)

J's picture

Life Sucks Period

It does because i 2 suffer from this Dam condition. I suffered from this conditon for 7 years from my first day of high school to Graduation( it happend during the cerermony and The kids were so mean that i wanted to get up and beat the hell outta them including their parents since they made fun of me 2)I have friends but they don't invite me to things like partys and stuff since the burning rubber smell i have and they only talk to me over the phone so i never see them. Lost my first girlfriend since her friend went to school with me and told every thing about me. Dam this thing sux i wish their were schools for people like us so we don't have to feel so alone.

BMA's picture

I know how u feel

Hay I'm suffering with this body Oder for over 3 or 4 years now. It's like a pain that neve ends. It sucks the life out of me! Whenever I'm around people, I feel like the first they recognize about me is what I smell like. I can't sit in class with out anyone sniffing or rubbing there nose. Whenever someone sniff his nose I always get stressed out thinking its Clyde of me.( even though sometimes not my foult) I don't get it. Why do I smell like this. Last time one of my class mates said something smells like pickles. I always shower, use deodorant. Wats the thing that I keep smelling like shit?? Please help! I can't take it anymore. Only two weeks left for school, but feels like I a whole damn year. Ugh....

Serendip Visitor's picture

I Know what you are going through

I am in High school myself.I have been suffering from body odor since the sixth grade and I have also been treated with disrespect.First and far most I suggest that you pray to the Lord and establish a close and personal relationship with him.That might sound crazy to you,but He is the one who's given me the strength to endure the tough time all these years of being picked on and left out.Pray to the Lord God that he blesses you with the strength to move on.Second,you are not alone.Do you know that a girl tried to embarrass me in the hallway of my school during passing period by walking up behind,sniffing me and yells"Uhhh,I HATE BLACK PEOPLE!"Everybody in the hall got quiet and turned to look at me!Do you know how much strength it took not to turn to look at that prejudice girl and tell her what was on my mind?I was so upset and sad that all I could do was silently pray while I was walking to my next class.This is just one of my bad experiences.But getting back to you,I would suggest talking to a family member,a friend or a doctor.Believe it or not,your diet might be the cause of your problem.I pray and hope that the Lord will provide you with an answer!May the Lord bless you and give you strength in your time of need! Take Care!

Serendip Visitor's picture


***** For those of you with REAL medical problems, I am sorry but a dr CAN help you... That is just B/S... Those of you who sit on your arse all day and only bath once every 16 days (or when you feel like it) are over weight and do not change your underware/bra's tee shirts.... THAT is why you smell like vinager between your legs.. Esp the men! Change'n your underware every 6 days does not supplement a shower. You need to bath @ least once a day and use a scrubber not just a trickle of water hop out & think your clean... I know some of you are legit *See an MD* The rest of you work out lose weight & for gods sake shower every day & CHANGE YOUR CLOTHS & SHEETS!! LAZY GETS NO SYMPATHY FROM ME!!!

Serendip Visitor's picture

You would not know

If you did not experience this issue you wouldnt know how it feels to go thru it.... In fact once you learn that you have this problem you become cleaner and sometimes more you try the worse it gets unfortunately. My problem is if I eat late (after 8pm) and when i come to work in the morning people start complaining....or if I do not eat anything as soon as I eat something for breakfast no matter what after 5 mins people start obviously it has something to do with my digestive system however saw my Dr. a few times has no idea about this issue.also saw endocrinologist and Alergy Dr. All tests came back fine. So in my case exercise helps, long bath (as hot as you can take) no sugar and dairy products avoid processed food. In conclusion, do not let this ruin your life! Chin up

On My Last Piece of Rope's picture

maybe God should bless you

maybe God should bless you with this and then you will know how it feels to deal with this.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Your compassion is touching.

Your compassion is touching. Really. I bet you are one of those people who has all the answers to life's mysteries. May I ask what prompted you to visit this thread? Was it your earnest desire to have a positive effect on the world, or are you just a half-witted boob cluttering up people’s lives with your negativity and ignorance?

Serendip Visitor's picture

You are so uneducated. I hope

You are so uneducated. I hope you get a body odor condition one day, so you can understand what it is like to live with it. There is medical evidence that supports some body odors, like TMAU. You need to pick up a book and get off the computer. I would waste time educating you, but unlike you, I have a problem that I need to work on solving.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Maybe you need to find

Maybe you need to find other things in life rather than post completely ignorant rants on a website meant for people to discuss a very real biological condition that you obviously know nothing about. This is a real condition that involves the inability to break down Choline. The smell is real, the life is real.

Serendip Visitor's picture

open sewer smell

I recently quit a high paying job because of this problem. I'd have to crowd into a crew truck with people coughing and chain smoking contently to and from work. I would get ridden and ribbed harder than anyone else because everybody new it was me that smelled and finally I ended up quitting. There's only so much I could take, the constant snickering and who farted comments. No amount of bathing or cleaning can stop the smell that's coming from my pours. I do notice the smell gets worse when I'm dehydrated or stressed.

Serendip Visitor's picture

RE:open sewer smell

S W E E T L A D Y 2 2 2 2 AT H O T M A I L DOT C O M no spaces in the support :-)

Serendip Visitor's picture

dont fill bad i have the same

dont fill bad i have the same problem ant it seems like its nothing to do about it. ive had this problem as long as i can remember and im only 17 and it justs get worser. i quit school then went to anthor nd im trying not to quit school now but i just dnt now wat to do

Serendip Visitor's picture

Bad Breath and/or Body Odor by Monique Holland

I forgot to mention that I'm also the same age as you Monique. I've switched to a gluten free diet. I've been trying chlorophyll, Greek yogurt, and other natural remedies. I'm just not sure...but Monique, please don't end your life. As much as it's crossed my mind, I know it's not an option with small children that depend on me. Our little gems need us desperately. We can't let them down over these things.
So please, if you need someone to talk to or connect with, you can send me email. Maybe get in touch with the administrators of this site. I give permission for you to obtain my email.

Night Sweats in Men's picture

Night Sweats in Men

If you suffer from night sweats or perspire so profusely that you literally soak the bed with sweat at night then you should be concerned.

Night sweating accompanied by fever and/or episodes of acid reflux (where gastric juices containing acid travel from the stomach, into the throat) are also indications of night sweat problems.

Night sweats in men may also be a result of low testosterone, the hormone in men that maintains:

* bone and muscle mass,
* strength,
* fat distribution,
* sperm production,
* sex drive,
* erection quality and
* potency.

There are other conditions related to night sweats in men, but low testosterone is almost always the main cause.

For some men the normal drop in testosterone levels due to aging leads to night sweats, sometimes referred to as andropausal hot flashes.

Be aware Night Sweats can happen to men of any age!

Night sweats in men are often caused by low testosterone levels, treatment with Testosterone Therapy is suggested if this is the cause.

Once your hormone levels are back to normal your night sweats are likely to end.

One way to find out if you are suffering from low testosterone is to take the 5-minute Night Sweats in Men Quiz.

hopefulteen's picture

Hey guys, I'm a good looking,

Hey guys, I'm a good looking, average teen in college (18) and have been dealing with this whole FBO issue for a bit. In my case, it's sort of on the backburner because it only happens in class, but not around friends and fam. I still maintain an active social life, even hooking up w/ girls and whatnot despite this detriment. Everyday I learn more and more through research, trial & error, etc... But i think it would be really cool to get in touch with any teens in similar situations who would like to collaborate... I'm on the east coast... Let's fight this thing together :) !!!

Serendip Visitor's picture

You are not alone!

I am a high school student who has had body odor for four years now.I have lost plenty of friends,but thank God,I still have a few.Even at my church,I have lost a lot of my friends.I have a friend at school who is going through the same problem that I am going through.Know that I am praying for you and I hope you find an answer.
Take care!

Serendip Visitor's picture

I Know what you are going through

Like you,I am also a teen who suffers from BO.I know how it hard it is to suffer BO in class,[trust me,I know how it feels].I still have friends,Thank God,but only a few. As you probably already know,BO can be caused by your diet.I recommend that you see a nutritious doctor who can help you try to see if this is your problem.Well,I'm on the south coast,but know that I am praying for you and if you ever need a peer to talk to,there are plenty of teens out there,including me!Take Care!

jolene's picture

try activia yogurt!!!

I too have suffered from body odour, I have tried probiotics and I can't stress enough how much activia yogurt works better!! Started eating it 2 days ago and I've noticed a signifigant improvement! Try activia yogurt!! Just give it a shot

monique holland's picture

bad breath and/or body odor

hi my name is monique and i am 40yrs old. 4 the last 4yrs i have been going through hell. people are so mean and cruel and they dont care about others feelings. i rarely go anywhere anymore. my children dont smell it and i cant smell it myself but everytime im around other people they rub their noses and say mean things or pop their gum all loud in my hear. i lost my boyfriend of 5yrs over this. if it wasnt for my children i would kill myself