Surprising causes of body odour

By May 27, 2016Skin

Does something smell fishy, literally water war? It may be you! Yup, it’s true. Your BO may not just be a result of you forgetting to use your deodorant. Get a whiff of these lesser-known reasons for your unpleasant scent.

Firstly, it’s important to know that sweat, itself, doesn’t smell. The strong odour is produced when bacteria on your skin begin to break it down into chemicals.

It’s in your genes

Trimethylaminuria – what a mouthful! It’s also known as Fish Aroma Syndrome. It’s a rare genetic disease; the cause is unknown. Basically, your body is unable to break down a chemical compound called Trimethylamine, and it leads to an offensive rotting fish odour that is given off in your sweat, urine and breath.

It can be diagnosed through a urine test, but unfortunately, there is – currently – no cure. However, according to the National Human Genome Research Institute, the odour can be lowered by avoiding certain foods.

But genetics doesn’t stop there. You may also have inherited extra smelly feet! Bacteria thrive in dark, warm places; socks and closed shoes provide them with the ideal environment. This problem is easier to manage: you can reduce the smell through attention to your personal hygiene. Also, make sure that you always dry in between your toes after a bath or shower.


If left untreated, diabetes can cause diabetic ketoacidosis. Your body doesn’t have enough insulin and it begins to break down fat, instead of calories, for energy. This leads to a build-up of a chemical compound called a ketones, which can cause a strong smell.

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Stress sweat

There are two different types of sweat glands: eccrine and aprocrine. When you become stressed, the aprocrine gland secretes a fluid that bacteria love because of the fat and protein content – this causes the bad smell.

 You may be stressed and not know it. Here are some of the stress triggers that you need to know about.


A diet rich in vegetables, is an essential part of good nutrition, but there are certain veggies, such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts that are rich in sulphur, which can contribute to BO.

Alcoholic drinks

You know that your breath isn’t minty fresh after a night of drinking, but did you know that alcohol can actually leak from the pores in your skin? So, if your normal “morning breath” is anything to go by, you better jump into the shower and rinse off your body as well.

But, Guys, don’t stress! If you’re having trouble with your body odour, we may have a few tricks up our sleeves to help clench the stench.