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How to deal with body odor and sweat in adolescence

How to deal with body odor and sweat in adolescence

Adolescence is a phase of many physical transformations. Infantile bodies gradually transform into adult bodies, bringing with them the feminine contours, the masculine muscles, the hairs and ... the odors. Babies are scented and the children at the end of the day are only filthy, even sweaty. And what happens to teenagers who suddenly begin to exhibit body odors?

Sweat is key to maintaining the body temperature of all humans, of any age. There are 2 types of sweat glands: the eccrine and the apocrine, responsible for the sweating process. The eccrine glands are scattered throughout the body and act throughout the life of the individual. The apocrine glands, located mainly in the armpits, groin, genital area and nipples, only begin to act at the onset of puberty, becoming very active throughout the body. adolescence. These glands are attached to the hair follicles of these regions and produce a type of sweat that contains fatty acids and proteins that, in contact with the bacteria of the skin, are metabolized and produce the bad smell. Bacteria, in contact with worn and sweaty clothing, can produce the same bad smell on clothing.

Sex hormones, responsible for the secondary sexual characteristics of both sexes have their levels very high during puberty and are also responsible for the increase of perspiration and odor formation in adolescence.

The apocrine glands and normal hormonal variations of adolescence are therefore responsible for increased sweating and odors so common in this age group.

Young adolescents are not always aware of changes in the characteristics of their sweat, leaving the parents the role of alerting them and guiding them about the care to be taken. Over the years the understanding and acceptance of the new body make them apt to take care of themselves.

Normal causes of increased sweating:

Ambient heat

  • Drinks and hot foods
  • Beverages and foods containing caffeine or alcohol
  • Pepper foods
  • Physical exercise
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Fever.
  • Pathological causes of excessive sweating:


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Cancer
  • Infections
  • Heart problems (bankruptcy)
  • Side effects of medications.
  • Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis is a fairly common benign condition in adolescence, especially focal, ie localized in one or more specific areas of the body, bilaterally. The most affected regions are the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet and the armpits. Its cause is still unknown, but it seems to have some genetic inheritance. Even people who do not tend to sweat a lot may have sweating above normal in some situations, such as physical or emotional stress, hormonal variation, and changes in the sympathetic system (which regulate sweat production). Some people are very uncomfortable and have their daily lives affected by this condition, for example, young people who perspire so much in tests that erase their own writings or athletes who can not hold the ball during a game because of the moisture in the hands. For these cases, treatment is indicated.

Causes of sweating with odor (Bromhidrosis):

Poor body hygiene, predisposing bacterial or fungal growth

  • Food rich in seasonings and condiments, such as onion, garlic and pepper
  • Medications - some medicines can smell sweat
  • Wear previously worn clothes
  • Wear synthetic clothing
  • Hormonal alterations
  • Individual characterization
  • Treatment

The control of hyperhidrosis and bromidrosis begins with guidelines and behavioral measures and only in the event of failure is indicated the drug treatment or surgery. Behavior

Bathe daily Do not wear the same T-shirt and underwear after wearing them all day Avoid synthetic clothing, give preference to cotton or linen Shave underarms and groin - helps to evaporate sweat and reduce sweat and odor Black tea packs can "soothe" the sweat glands Use daily deodorant: If the major problem is excessive sweating, choose an antiperspirant deodorant with aluminum in it.

Medical treatment

Botox: applied in the desired region, prevents sweating in this area for about 6 months

Anticholinergics by mouth: act in all glands, preventing excessive sweating- may have side effects such as dry mouth and eyes, constipation and urinary retention

  • Iontophoresis
  • Thoracic sympathectomy: surgical procedure and more invasive, indicated in the failure of all previous .

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