WHAT YOUR BEST FRIEND WON'T ADMIT
The worst place is a crowded London bus mid-summer. There is no mistaking it. The moment you step inside and the doors slam shut, you already need a knife to slice your way through the terrible odour. If you’re jammed between a heap of other standing passengers and the money collector it reaches its zenith. The topic of course, is that unflattering term called BO, short for body odour. A more euphonious term is probably Body Dysmorphic Insence, or something like that.
Body Odour is universal, but probably because westerners wrap up more and sweat more, with moisture trapped in key spots where it cannot readily evaporate, they head the field. Sweat glands are most prolific in the armpits. Followed by scalp, hands, groin between the toes and soles. Of course, there are millions all over the body. It is part of the heat regulatory system. Sweat glands just under the skin react to heat. Body fluid, really salty water, is pumped to the surface. Here it evaporates, cools the skin and body. The hotter the body, the greater the volume which in very hot days can reach thousands of mLs. It evaporates in air.
Germs go mad no air, and it stays on the skin surface. Encased in man made nylon fibres, in dark spots germs and fungi jump aboard and madly multiply, then promptly die. Rotting bugs have a nasty odour. The longer they stay, the worse it becomes. So what to do. Ideally, wear cotton underwear, not nylon or similar fibres. This allows the skin to "breathe". Try and avoid sitting and working in really hot humid places. Don't overdress in hot weather.
Air conditioning helps. Sit in a breeze for a while, but don't get a chill. Shower often, at least twice a day in hot weather. Dab dry with a soft towel. Do not rub vigorously as this makes you hotter. Take moist face cloths to work and use often in vital spots - underarm, groin, feet and hands.
Tea Tree Oil helps, underarm deodorants may help, but not much. Those with a mild antiseptic such as tea tree oil are probably best. Aluminium based ones are out of favour. Drink lots of water to replace sweat if taking medication, the odour of this sometimes comes out in the sweat making it smell worse. Change and wash underwear at least daily. Before venturing out, take a sniff of yourself to see how sweet you really are.
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