Excessive perspiration with offensive odor
Sweating with body odor is a normal phenomenon of your body which occurs as a result of metabolic processes happening inside you. There are special glands in the body which secrete it. These glands are of two types. One for the watery, odorless secretion termed as eccrine glands. These open directly on the body surface and have a generalized distribution over it. Their secretion helps in cooling the body surface as it evaporates. The other one for the thick, viscous secretion is known as apocrine glands. These are present in areas where there is dense hair growth such as armpits and genital area. Secretions from these glands when come in contact with bacteria on the surface, it gets odor in it.
The amount of secretion of your sweat depends upon many factors like physical activity of your body, emotional state of the person etc. For example, if a person is facing any fearful situation, he/she will have more sweating. Pattern of sweating is different among different people. Some people perspire very little while others may perspire excessively in the same atmospheric conditions. Some might have too much sweating on palms and soles with offensive odor and rest of the body has very less perspiration while some have profuse sweating on their head with or without odor.
- A term, ‘hyperhidrosis’ is used to describe excessive perspiration. When hyperhidrosis is due to without any cause, it is called as primary hyperhidrosis and when it is due to some underlying cause, it is termed as secondary hyperhidrosis. Little or no sweating is known as anhidrosis. Similarly, this can also be primary or secondary in origin.
- Generally, people having hyperhidrosis may have offensive body odors. Though it is a general character of their body but it turns out to be a big problem for them while being socialized. Reason for this offensive odor is having high level of salts in their sweat resulting in increased bacterial reaction over it. The area of excessive sweating and offensive odor depends upon the type of gland involved and its distribution over the body.
- Common areas for excessive sweating with offensiveness are feet, groins, armpits, genitalia, area behind ears and umbilicus. Unusually, rest of the skin may also get involved.
- Other risk factors and causes for excessive perspiration and offensive odor include puberty age group, obesity, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism etc. Persons having diet containing too much spices are also prone to it. Persons who have excessive foot sweat and wear shoes for a longer time are prone to offensive foot odor.
General Measures for its prevention
- Hair removal: Remove hair from armpits and groin region regularly. Hairs on these regions are thick in consistency and hence evaporation of sweat becomes harder, leading to more bacterial exposure and hence more offensive odor.
- Deodorants or body spray: These helps in making the surrounding area acidic and hence difficult for bacteria to thrive. Hence, less reaction and lesser smell.
- Avoid spicy food: Too much spicy food, garlic and other strong-smelling foods have the capacity to make sweat odor more offensive.
- Bathing habit: Try using warm water while bathing as this helps in killing the bacteria more efficiently. Bath at least once a day during lesser hot weather and more than once during excessive hot weather.
- Avoid synthetic clothes: Synthetic clothing doesn’t absorb and doesn’t allow your sweat to evaporate resulting in more sweat and more offensive odor. Cotton, silk etc. clothes are most preferable to reduce sweat odor.
- To prevent foot sweat odor, feet should be washed at least twice a day with warm water and dry them afterwards thoroughly especially between toes. Change your socks every day. Use two pairs of shoes on alternate days to make sure that they dry completely before use.
When the above measures are insufficient, one should consult a physician to know if there is any secondary cause for this or not. There are many homeopathic remedies which can treat excessive sweating. These are selected on the basis of law of similia, i.e., individualized medicines are selected according to symptoms similarity. Following is a list of best homeopathy remedies for excessive and offensive sweating:
Graphites: Especially for offensive foot sweat. Best suited to persons whose skin is rough and hard in consistency and has tendency to suppurate easily.
Hepar sulph: For profuse sweating day and night without relief. Profuse perspiration which is sticky in consistency and has sour, offensive odor. Suited to oversensitive persons especially for slightest pain.
Lycopodium: Indicated when there is viscid and offensive perspiration especially of feet and armpits.
Nitricum acidum: Used in people having offensive sweat in armpits at night. Sweating of palms and hands which get cold and blue nails. When the offensive foot sweat leads to soreness of toes with sticking pains. For persons who are prone to take cold.
Psorinum: For offensive odor of sweat in profuse amount especially from feet. A filthy odor comes from the body which is difficult to remove even after bathing. Sweats easily when walking. This medicine works excellently when given to persons with unhealthy skin and are extremely sensitive to cold.
Silicea: For offensive sweat on feet, hands and armpits. Parts become icy cold to touch with sweating. Silicea is suited to persons having very low vital heat and assimilation power of the intestines is also low.
Sulphur: It is indicated when there is profuse perspiration on hands with heat from hands. Perspiration in armpits smells like garlic. There can be burning sensation in soles and hands at night.
Thuja occidentalis: For profuse, sweetish and strong odor of perspiration. Perspiration only on uncovered parts or on whole body except head especially while sleeping.
Perspiration is a natural phenomenon of body meant for temperature regulation and removal of waste products from our body. In this process when our sweat gets in contact with the bacteria present on our skin, it becomes offensive. Though, not injurious for health if excessive perspiration with offensive odor is primary in origin, but can become a problem for a person in his/her social life. To overcome this problem, one can adopt some simple habits like bathing daily, use deodorants, changing socks, use warm water, etc. if not controlled with these, one can go for medicinal intervention under which Homoeopathic treatment has most promising results and has best treatment for excessive perspiration with offensive odor. Treatment should be taken with the advice of any qualified registered medical practitioner only.