Body odours are natural and normal, but there are bad body odours which may signal a problem.
Caller Mpho asked the Naked Scientist Chris Smith why his eight-year-old has bad body odor.
Smith explains why there may be a number of causes.
When we sweat, the water that is in the sweat feeds bacteria and those bacteria use other chemicals and oils secreted from apocrine glands and dead skin, and they take that banquet and turn it into body odour.— Chris Smith, Naked Scientist
Some people do have a condition where they produce a lot of sweat and this can be a nerve situation and some can be helped with this by deactivating the part of the nervous system that drives the production of sweat.— Chris Smith, Naked Scientist
There is a rare condition, called trimethylaminuria and this is where people have fishy smell and it is because of a metabolic problem - it is that they can't break down certain molecules and those molecules have a fishy smell. For these unfortunate people, through no fault of their own and not through bad hygiene, their body just produces these smells.— Chris Smith, Naked Scientist
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