If you’re worried about excessive body odor and sweat, you’re in good company. Nearly 300 million Americans use deodorants and antiperspirants every year to help them smell sweeter. And with good reason — strong body odor can negatively affect your quality of life, making you feel embarrassed, self-conscious, and even ashamed.
At HK Dermatology in San Juan Capistrano, California, Dr. Klein and our team of providers help men and women struggling with excessive sweating and body odor. Many of our patients can stop body odor and excessive sweat in their tracks with nonsurgical, FDA-cleared miraDry® treatments.
Take a moment to learn more about how miraDry works and how it can help you eliminate excessive body odor and sweat.
Why do I have body odor?
Body odor (BO), or bromhidrosis, forms when your sweat mixes with the different bacteria on your skin and begins to break down. Even though sweat itself is odorless, people who sweat excessively (a condition called hyperhidrosis) often have stronger BO because they sweat so much.
How much BO you have also depends on the sweat glands producing the sweat. You have eccrine glands all over your body that produce sweat made of mostly water, salt, and other electrolytes to keep you cool. This type of sweat rarely causes body odor.
Sweat that comes from apocrine glands, which are found in your armpits, public region, and groin, is high in fats and other compounds that produce odor as they’re broken down by the bacteria on your skin. Most body odor comes from these types of glands.
While anyone can develop excessive BO, some things make you more susceptible to the condition. The risk factors linked to strong bromhidrosis include:
- Having hyperhidrosis or being more sweaty than most people
- Genetics or family history
- Being overweight or obese
- Eating strong-smelling or spicy foods
- Chronic or acute stress
Certain medications and medical conditions, like diabetes or overactive thyroid, can also change your body odor or make it stronger.
How can I get rid of excessive body odor?
At HK Dermatology, we know it’s never pleasant to feel self-conscious about the way you smell. Fortunately, there’s help for those who want to say goodbye to excessive BO.
For some people, making key lifestyle changes may be enough to tame their body odor. If you’re worried about the way you smell, be sure to implement these tips:
- Take a daily shower (or two, if you’re in a hot, humid area), and pay extra attention to the regions with the apocrine glands
- Use antibacterial soaps or cleansers designed to kill bacteria, like a benzoyl peroxide
- Use antiperspirants with a higher percentage of active ingredients, or a prescription-strength option
- Wear clothes made of breathable fabrics so your sweat can evaporate
- Keep hair in the armpits and pubic region trimmed, shaved, or waxed to reduce bacteria
- Avoid strong-smelling or spicy foods, including garlic, curry, and cruciferous vegetables
If you’ve tried everything you can and you’re still noticing excessive BO, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your provider at HK Dermatology, as you may be a candidate for safe and effective miraDry.
Understanding miraDry and body odor
Nonsurgical miraDry works to decrease your underarm sweat and odor using electromagnetic thermal energy. Your provider numbs your underarm area, then draws a grid to show the location of each sweat gland.
He then uses a handheld device to deliver the energy to the glands, destroying them to eliminate the source of your excessive sweat and body odor. Treatments usually take about an hour, and they don’t require any downtime, so you can get back to your normal activities right away.
Once the sweat glands are destroyed, they won’t return. This means the odor-causing bacteria no longer have the right kind of environment they need to thrive. The result? Body odor no longer has a chance to develop.
Ready to learn about what miraDry can do for your excessive BO? Schedule an appointment online or over the phone with a provider at HK Dermatology.