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How to fight offensive body odours

The most common offensive body odours are the mouth, the skin, the ears, the nose and the throat. The ear for that matter is a delicate organ and is quite vulnerable to disease. A discharge from the ear that has foul smell should be taken seriously and a doctor must be consulted. The condition signifies middle ear infection (otitis media).

If the condition is not treated immediately, meningitis (deadly diseases of the coverings of the brain) may occur. To avoid ear conditions that produce bad odour, a doctor recommends high ear hygiene; no sharp instruments should be used.

Offensive odours from the nose may be a result of various nasal conditions, the commonest being sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses) rhinitis (infection of the nasal cavity) infections such as syphilis (kaswende) and tuberculosis, some cancers and foreign bodies harboured in the nose.

It is mainly bacterial infections, which cause foul smell in most of the cavities, which primarily may be infected by virus. Besides offensive odour from the nose, sinusitis may manifest in headaches and or pain on bending. Treatment for sinusitis involves cleaning of the sinus by a specialist doctor. Nasal conditions affecting the bone of the nose may cause foul smelling dark discharges and can be smelt within radius of one to two meters from the patient.

Infections of the throat like those of the ear and nose do contribute also to offensive odours. Chronic tonsillitis is the most common cause of bad odour. The bad odour can only be smelt when the infection is present. The mouth, like the ear and nose can and does contribute to offensive odours. Bad odours from the mouth may be a result of either poor oral hygiene or could be a manifestation of other diseases.

A chronic lung infection like lung abscess, chronic tonsillitis, kidney and liver diseases, and diabetes are the commonest disease conditions that manifest with bad smell. Patients suffering from throat tumours such as cancer of the food pipe (oesophagus) and postnasal space cancer may also experience bad breath. Bad breath is also common in people who do not brush their teeth properly and frequently or those who do not brush at all.

Mouth washes (antiseptics) may help but brushing of teeth is very paramount to minimise the bad smell. The presence of purulent ulcers or sores in the mouth and bleeding gums may cause bad breath. Treatment for these conditions should be sought primarily in order to eliminate foul smelling. Decaying teeth should be pulled out and cavities properly filled by a dentist in good time.

Gum diseases should also be treated early enough. Bad smell can also occur from the sweating secretions from the armpits if no proper cleaning or washing is done, the feet and the groins if not washed properly will also give bad smell. Fungal infection of the skin that affects the groin, the feet and armpits causes bad odour.

This infection does not affect the glands but instead affects the hair on the armpits and groin of the skin. Another species of fungus known as candida albicans affects the genital organs resulting to a condition referred to genital candidiasis. This is characterised by a thick, foul smelling discharge with itching in the woman’s private parts. Uncircumcised males can also harbour candida, which causes foul smell from the male sexual parts.

In females, poor hygiene during menstruation is a common cause of bad odour from the woman’s private parts. Sanitary towels should be changed often and that one takes bath or cleans the private parts at least twice a day to avoid offensive odours. To treat causes of bad odours, it is emphasised to stress on the importance of high hygiene standards in general for everybody. A regular bath and change of clothes is of significance importance, if one is to adequately curb bad odours.

Use of medicated soap helps reduce the bacteria population from the body’s hidden parts such as the armpits and between the toes. It is also advised to trim or clean shave the armpits and the pubic area to eliminate bacterial or fungal population in these areas. Use of a medical deodorant that absorbs the sweat can also be useful. With sweaty feet, please dry your feet after washing.

Please change your socks every day. Where offensive odours are a manifestation of an underlying disease condition, it will help to do overall body hygiene will assist in diminishing oneself of bad body odours that are usually very embarrassing in public places. A little more time spent on cleaning oneself may just do the trick.

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Author: Dr ALI MZIGE

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