Mumbai: We’ve all been there:the nauseating odour in a bus or from a colleague sitting just next to us.It can affect our relationships and take a levy on our self-confidence.“Body odour is caused by a bacterial reaction with sweat, mostly in areas that are not exposed to air,like the armpits or inner thighs,” says Dr Shireen Furtado, Consultant Dermatologist, Aster CMI Hospital, Bengaluru .
While it is common to have a soft smell while we sweat, a strong smell can be due to an underlying health condition.If you smell strong, seek medical help instead of trying to control the smell,” she says.
Most of us use deodorants to cover-up the odour.But these products are usually not from natural sources. Most of them contain aluminium, parabens, glycol, sulphate and chemical-based fragrances. These can lead to skin allergies,” explains Dr Deepika Lunawat, Consultant Dermatologist, Fortis Malar Hospital and Mahi Clinic, Chennai.She suggest”Patch-testing any product that you apply on your skin is important.” She adds that using natural oils, shea butter, baking soda and arrow root powder can control sweat or bad odour.
Keeping yourself clean is the first step to keeping body odour at bay.
“Drink a lot of water, exercise and eat healthy food. A balanced lifestyle helps to eliminate toxins from the body,” says Dr Furtado.Bathe regularly, changing clothes each time you do, and wear loose clothes that allow the skin to breathe. Dr Jaishree Sharad( Medical Director) states ,”Home remedies eating half a teaspoon of crushed fenugreek seeds daily can also help. “It has anti-oxidant properties and will help flush out toxins and control the bacterial growth.
The aroma of oils
Making natural deodorants is easy and cost-effective. Add a few drops of it to rose water, says Blossom Kochhar, who practises aromatherapy, in Delhi.. After a bath, mix two drops of lavender essential oil with a teaspoon of water and apply it all over your body. These mixtures must be reapplied when necessary.Ylang ylang oil is also good.
Baking soda is a mild cleanser and helps to maintain the pH level of the skin.Mix a portion of baking soda, cornstarch and coconut oil. Transfer it to a container and keep it in the refrigerator overnight to set. Apply it on the areas prone to sweating ,the ratio depends on you skin.A mixture of a quarter teaspoon of baking soda with two drops of lavender essential oil also helps to lighten the underarm skin,” says Blossom.
Dilute lemon juice in water and store this in spray bottles. Use this when required. “This makes you feel fresh and also cleanses the underarms.Mix a pinch of epsom salt with aloe vera. Apply this on sweat-prone areas. Let it dry for 10 minutes and rinse. “Epsom salt cleanses and prevents bacterial overgrowth in body folds,”Neem leaf paste (neem leaf powder is available at Ayurvedic stores or online) applied on the underarms also controls bacterial growth. Leave it on for 15 minutes and wash it off.