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Do people around me sneeze because of my body odour?

Q: I am a 32 years old male suffering from a strange skin disorder for the past two years. Wherever I go, people start sneezing. I think it is because of my body odour. I have consulted many dermatologists, but no cure yet. Please help.

A:Your problem seems to be foul-smelling sweat or what is called 'bromhidrosis'. Bromhidrosis is a condition of abnormal or offensive body odour, to a large extent determined by apocrine gland secretion, although other sources may play a role. Sudoriferous (sweat) glands are divided into two types: apocrine and eccrine. Improved hygiene and topical therapy are the main treatment options for mild cases of bromhidrosis and may include the following:

  • Washing the underarm at least twice daily with germicidal soap.
  • Regular shaving of underarm hair to prevent accumulation of bacteria and sweat on hair shafts.
  • Prompt removal of sweaty clothing.
  • Use of topical deodorants.
  • Treatment of coexisting skin conditions such as intertrigo, erythrasma and trichomycosis axillaris.
  • Electrolysis to remove hair shaft and follicle.

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