How do you manage sweat and body odor?

Last updated on October 8, 2020


Is there any way I can better manage my sweat and B.O., which is quite strong? I have to wear sports strength antiperspirant, on a normal day! 


The smell is due to the fact that you are producing more oil, sweat, and skin cells because you are growing. All of this is being trapped by your clothing giving a warm, moist place for bacteria to grow. The bacteria are not harmful, but you notice the smell that they give off while feeding. When you wash with soap, it drastically reduces the bacteria population, but eventually, they come back. But there are some simple things you can do to slow down the growth. 

  • Don’t put the same clothing, especially underwear, on after you bathe. Always put on clean clothing. Otherwise, you wash off all the bacteria only to put the bacteria that got on your clothing right back on your body.
  • Make sure you are dry before putting your underwear on. Bacteria love moisture, so give them as little starting moisture as you can by staying naked for a while. One idea is to just take a bathrobe in when you bathe and then wait until later to dress. When you get older and need to shave, you can shave before getting dressed, and that gives the rest of your body time to dry a bit.
  • Consider the material your clothing is made of. Some material traps moisture, while others wick it away. Looser clothing allows more airflow near the skin, which keeps you drier and slows down the bacteria’s growth.
  • Wash your clothing regularly. Avoid wearing the same things two days in a row.
  • Don’t wear underwear at night when you sleep. Instead, get some loose pajamas or perhaps a different set of boxers just for night time use. Changing clothing interrupts the growth of the bacteria and gives your body a chance to dry out.
  • Use an antiperspirant under your arms. Deodorants mask the smell of body odor but don’t stop the moisture. Antiperspirants are deodorants with an agent to slow down your production of sweat. It won’t stop all sweat because you need to sweat to maintain proper body temperature, but every little bit helps.
  • If you are sweating badly in the groin region, you can use a little body powder between your legs to help dry the skin there.
  • For foot odors, take off your shoes as often as you can so both your feet and your shoes can dry out. Wearing socks when you wear shoes actually decreases foot odors because socks can be washed to remove the bacteria.
  • Dust anything you can’t easily wash, such as the insides of shoes or sports equipment, with baking soda. The smells are acidic and baking soda neutralizes them.