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Odor, much like color, flavor or favor, is one of those words that are spelled differently in British and in US English. Brits will complain about body odour and Americans about body odor, but the spelling does not matter because this problem affects everyone around the world in the same way.

Body odor

Body odor or B.O. is one of those whispered or hushed words used for someone who simply does not smell nice. It is associated with perspiration, but many people mistakenly believe it comes from perspiration alone. The fact is, human sweat does not smell at all. It is the bacteria associated with the sweat that produce the unpleasant smell.

Everyone sweats and everyone sometimes has a small B.O. problem. For many people this is a minor problem, which can easily be solved with a shower and some deodorant. There are, however, those unfortunate ones who smell bad all the time, who sweat a lot and who find themselves in all sorts of embarrassing social situations on account of their body odor. For those people, dealing with body odor means dealing with the bacteria responsible for the smell.

Masking the BO problem

Most people resort to deodorants in order to solve the problem with unpleasant body odor. Deodorants are not the answer for this problem, because they only mask the smell, the sweat and the bacteria mix with the fragrance of the deodorant and the result is often even worse than the actual B.O.

Antiperspirants are a much better solution. They close the pores and reduce the amount of sweating, which in turn reduces the B.O. Antiperspirants can be non-prescription, over-the-counter products or prescription-strength products for those with a severe perspiration problem.

Personal hygiene

Since the body odor is a result of bacteria activity, it is only logical that the bacteria should be washed off. This can be done with antibacterial soaps, body washes and shampoos. Since the bacteria love moist environments, it is vital to towel-dry thoroughly after each shower.

Diet and BO

Diet plays an important role in the battle against body odor. Some foods are known for increasing the amount of sweat and some even make the sweat smell funny. This goes for strong flavored foods, like garlic, onions, strong spices, and Indian, Thai and other oriental dishes are particularly famous for this effect. People who frequently have B.O. problems should stay off those foods, curry in particular.

Drinking a lot of water is highly advised, because the water washes off the toxins and other agents that contribute to the unpleasant smell of sweat.

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