11 Causes Of Body Odour

11 unexpected things that are making you smell
11 causes of body odour


If your stinkiness has you stressing out, it's safe to say you're only making it worse. Stress causes us to produce sweat and odour, so it's time to take a nice, deep breath. We have two types of sweat glands. Eccrine glands are spread throughout our bodies and open up into the skin. When we sweat through them, the liquid is evaporated to cool us off. These are the glands that produce sweat when we work out or are hot, and the sweat is mostly made up of water and salt.

The other type, apocrine glands, empty into our hair follicles such as underarms. These glands empty a milky liquid (sexy, right?) into the hair. When that fluid comes in contact with the bacteria on our bodies, it produces an odour. This is the type of sweat our body creates when under stress. 

Spicy foods

Certain spices like garlic or curry can actually make your skin smell. As we digest these spices, our bodies release a sulfur-containing gas.Don't eat these foods before an important meeting or a date.

The smell comes from how our bodies break down these spices and spicy foods. Components in a lot of aromatic spicing are very fat soluble. So they'll get stored in your body fat and get into your sweat and saliva and they'll influence body odour over time.

Low-carb diets

Low-carb diets are known for their quick weight loss. When your body doesn't have its usual supply of bagels and pasta to burn for energy, it starts burning fat instead. When you burn fat, your body produces a chemical that can make perspiration smell either like nail polish remover or fruity. The exact alteration to the natural body odour depends on a person's body chemistry. This new smell usually lasts for as long as you are on the diet.

Your favourite bra

It doesn't matter if you're going on a date with your husband or just to the park with your kids. When you're wearing a gorgeous, s3xy bra you just feel amazing. The problem comes if that bra doesn't get a break. Our bras sit on areas of our skin that are prone to sweat, like our chest and breasts. They're also not usually made of breathable fabric that wicks away moisture. The result is sweat trapped in the fibres of the bra, causing a smell. The moisture can make bacteria and fungus overgrow. Make sure to rotate your bras and wash them frequently.

Not washing your clothes enough

Make sure all of your items of clothing are getting a good wash on a regular basis. Washing clothing regularly decreases the number of bacteria available to break down our sweat into odor-causing byproducts.

Not wearing socks

When you wear sneakers without socks, your feet heat up and start to sweat. When there is no ventilation, that smell stays with both your feet and your new kicks. 

Allergies and sinus infections

As if allergies and sinus infections weren't annoying enough with their pounding headaches and runny noses, it's time to add another symptom to the list — bad breath. When your nose and sinuses are inflamed or swollen, bacteria can grow in there and start to smell. You might notice the bad breath when you're eating or brushing your teeth. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids to kick both the infection and the smell.

Too many cocktails

We've all been there. You got talked into coming out for one drink, and the night just took off from there. One cocktail turned into five, and now you notice that you kind of stink. It's not just the smokey bar. That smell comes from the way our bodies break down alcohol.

The body treats alcohol as if it was toxic, and therefore tries to break it down and excrete it as quickly as possible. Most alcohol is metabolised in the liver and is excreted from the body in urine. But if you drink more than the liver can process or if your liver is damaged, some is excreted via breath and sweat.

Don't worry. You don't have to give up your weekly happy hour to smell like a rose — just go slow. Try drinking at a slower pace and make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the night.

Eating too much red meat

The 'meat sweats' is a real thing, and it's not good. Red meat can be hard for our bodies to digest, and that can lead to an unpleasant smell. As our systems break down that glorious burger, the burger's amino acids leave a residue in our intestines. Once our enzymes break down that residue, it can mix with that pesky skin bacteria and cause a smell.

The bacteria need a couple of hours to ramp up to their most odiferous point. You can smell worse within two hours of eating red meat.

Because our bodies are working hard to digest that red meat, it's common to start sweating more. Make sure to always pair your meat with a big glass of water to help with the smell.


Pregnancy is a magical time when you feel truly connected to the little miracle you are growing in your belly. It's also a time of swollen ankles, crazy cravings, and new body odours. Your whole aura changes when you're pregnant and that includes your personal aroma. As your basal metabolic rate increases so do blood supply to the armpits, v*gina—everywhere.

Not only are your sweat glands going crazy when you're pregnant, but the change in hormones can also lead to bad breath and v*ginal odour. You're probably the only one noticing your bod's new aroma, so shake it off and get back to that giant chocolate bar.


If you're experiencing menopause right now, you know that in addition to trouble sleeping and serious hot flashes, body odour is just one more thing you need to worry about. When our hormone levels are changing, such as in menopause, our internal temperature rises and causes more sweat. Once those hormone levels stabilise, the hot flashes and night sweats should go away.


Jemimah Abimbola Posts

I am passionate about writing, I love to read and am also a big foodie.