DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Sweating and body odor can occur when you exercise or exert yourself, you're in a hot environment, or are nervous, anxious or under stress. This type of sweating and body odor is natural and healthy.
Sweating is usually only a minor nuisance. The odor probably is more troublesome. Although perspiration is practically odorless, perspiration can sometimes cause an unpleasant smell when it comes into contact with bacteria on your skin.
Unusual changes in sweating — either excessive perspiration (hyperhidrosis) or little or no perspiration (anhidrosis) — can be cause for concern. Likewise, changes in body odor may be a sign of a medical problem.
For normal sweating and body odor, however, lifestyle and home treatments can effectively manage your symptoms. In some cases, a prescription antiperspirant or deodorant may be needed.
- Smith CC. Idiopathic hyperhidrosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 29, 2010.
- Mauro TM, et al. Biology of eccrine, apocrine, and apoeccrine sweat glands. In: Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=2956361. Accessed Oct. 14, 2010.
- Fealey RD, et al. Disorders of the eccrine sweat glands and sweating. In: Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=2985825. Accessed Oct. 14, 2009.
- Morelli JG. Disorders of the sweat glands. In: Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/108020522-2/761896310/1608/1544.html. Accessed Oct. 14, 2010.