Everybody sweats in hot temperatures, during a work out, with a fever or when under stress. Sweating is the body’s natural way of cooling down. Sweating is not usually problematic and most people use deodorants or antiperspirants. But occasionally you may notice that your sweat has a stronger odor than usual. This may be because your body pH is unbalanced.
How We Sweat
According to the Mayo Clinic, human skin has two types of sweat glands, these are the apocrine glands and the eccrine glands. The apocrine glands are located in areas of the body that have hair follicles such as the scalp, armpits and public region. These glands secrete a fatty substance into the gland’s tubule. Under emotional stress, the tubule will contract and secret sweat onto the skin’s surface. Hot temperatures cause the autonomic nervous system to activate the eccrine glands. They secret salty fluid onto the skin where it cools the body as it evaporates.
The Causes of Body Odor
When sweat reaches the surface of the skin, bacteria will immediately begin to break it down. This is one of the primary causes of body odor. According to the Mayo Clinic, other things can also affect body odor such as your diet, your mood, your menstrual cycle, medication and your state of health.
Body Odors and pH Balance
When sweat mixes with sebum (the oily substance made and secreted by the sebaceous glands), they form a coating on the skin, which according to Smart Skincare, is known as the acid mantle. The pH of the acid mantle ranges from 4 to 5.5, meaning it is mildly acidic. This prevents the growth of pathogenic bacteria and fungi. Most cleansing products and deodorants are pH balanced so that they don’t upset the skin’s natural levels. If the skin’s pH becomes too alkaline or too acidic, it can cause skin disorders such as dermatitis it can also increase body odor.
Influences on Skin pH
According to Dr. Danny Siegenthaler, one of the main influences on the skin’s pH is regular soap which is very alkaline; usually having a pH range of nine to 11. This make the skin’s acid mantle a lot more alkaline and prone to bacterial growth and increased body odor. This can be prevented by using pH balance body washes that are designed to help the skin maintain healthy pH levels.
Natural Ways toBalnce pH and Keep Body Odor to a Minimum
According to Health-911, as an alternative to deodorant you may use apple cider vinegar or white vinegar. Simply dab a cotton ball in vinegar and wipe on the skin. This reduces body odor because it increases the acidity of the skin and bacteria cannot survive in such conditions. Health-911 also recommends taking 30 to 50mg of zinc each day to reduce body odor, or one or two chlorophyll tablets with each meal.
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Corinna Underwood began writing in 2000. She has been published in many outlets, including Fox News, “Ultimate Athlete,” “Hardcore Muscle,” “Alternative Medicine” and “Alive.” Underwood also wrote "Haunted History of Atlanta and North Georgia" and "Murder and Mystery in Atlanta." She has a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and philosophy and a Master of Arts in women’s studies from Staffordshire University.