WTF Fun Fact 12958 – Odorless Sweat

Most sweat doesn’t smell. Body odor comes from the bacteria that feed on sweat in your armpits and groin only. Other perspiration is odorless sweat.

What sweat is odorless?

When most of us sweat, we can smell it. But that’s because getting sweaty means we sweat all over our bodies. However, the sweat that comes from our head, arms, back, and legs has no odor at all.

Only the perspiration from your armpits and groin produces body odor. If you use a strong antiperspirant in those areas, you can get all sweaty and not smell it.

Why does some sweat smell bad while some have odorless sweat?

According to Harvard Health (cited below):

“Your body has two main types of sweat glands — eccrine and apocrine — that release fluid (sweat) onto your skin’s surface when you’re hot. Sweat serves an important purpose. As perspiration evaporates, it cools your body temperature. Eccrine glands are all over your body. Apocrine glands are in areas like your armpits and groin. They produce a thicker, milky fluid. Sweat itself doesn’t have a smell. The odor happens when bacteria come into contact with the perspiration your apocrine glands release.”

Food and body odor

Your diet can also change the way you smell.

According to Harvard Health: “Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower produce gas. The breakdown of garlic and onions in your body releases sulfur-like compounds that waft out through your pores. And people with a rare condition called trimethylaminuria develop a fishy odor after eating seafood.”

Odorless sweat is still more common, however.

Can you stop sweating?

Those with a medical condition such as hyperhidrosis can address excess sweating with antiperspirants, other prescriptions, and even BOTOX. There’s even a surgery that can remove your sweat glands entirely.

However, sweat helps us cool down. So unless it’s ruining your life, it’s probably better to just sweat it out.  WTF fun facts

Source: “What’s that smell? Get rid of body odor” — Harvard Health Publishing

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