A dermatologist says: When the bacteria that grow naturally on your skin mix with sweat, the result is body odor. To smell fresh, you need to keep your skin dry and decrease bacteria on the parts of your body that trap moisture, such as the underarms.
Treatment: Shower with a body wash that includes a natural astringent, such as tea tree oil, which shrinks pores and limits how much you sweat. Follow with a powder pat down to absorb moisture; look for products made with baking soda rather than talc, which can irritate your lungs. Finish with a natural deodorant that contains potassium or ammonium alum to reduce bacteria, and essential oils made from anti-microbial herbs, such as rosemary, goldenseal or oregano, to mask odor. — Valori Treloar, M.D., dermatologist at Integrative Dermatology in Newton, Mass.
A dietitian says: Foods such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower contain the mineral sulfur, which causes an odorous gas that’s eliminated through your skin. Other types of body odor are usually a sign that it’s time for a nutritional detox. Undigested food in your gastrointestinal tract can produce smelly toxins that, as they build up, begin seeping out of your pores.
Treatment: Limit the aforementioned sulfuric foods, and cut hard-to-digest gluten, dairy and red meat from your diet. Also avoid tuna, shark and swordfish, which have high levels of the toxin mercury. In addition, eat at least 25 grams of flaxseeds, chia, hempseed or whole grains each day to boost your fiber intake, and drink eight or more glasses of water to help expel toxins. — Erica Kasuli, M.S., R.D., New York City-based integrative dietitian
A naturopathic doctor says: If you’ve ruled out hygiene and diet as causes of your body odor, look for underlying health conditions. Yeast infections can give you a fishy scent, as can a genetic disorder called fish odor syndrome, which occurs when your body can’t properly metabolize an organic compound known as trimethylamine.
Treatment: Zap a yeast infection with 500-milligram capsules of oregano oil, taken twice daily for two weeks. If you’re diagnosed with fish odor syndrome, stay away from foods high in trimethylamine, including milk, eggs, liver and peanuts. Large doses of the B vitamin choline (above 3.5 grams a day) from diet, supplements, or a combination of both, can also make you smell fishy. — Holly Lucille, N.D., R.N., West Hollywood, Calif.-based naturopathic doctor
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