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Body Odour

Rose wrote:

I'm a 17-year-old girl. I noticed my armpits smell badly since I was 10.

It is so embarrassing that people around you say you smell badly. I have tried several anti-perspirants. but they don't help. Sometimes I just feel that the world is so unfair.

Why can't I be a normal person?

I am so depressed and find no way to get help. I hope you can help me. and I guess body odour is related to genetic material problem cos my father, his brothers and sisters have got this problem.

Dear Rose

No, it's not nice having people say that you smell, and these days, it really shouldn't be such a problem.

First, you need to know how serious the problem is. Sounds silly? It's not. Many people think they smell bad, and they simply don't. One smell that your nose gets wrong is your own.

Some people, on the other hand, do have a problem, but possibly not nearly as bad as they think. You need to know. And I suspect that means going to a female doctor or nurse and discussing your fears- making it clear that you want straight answers.

Not easy; but it has to be done.

Now, if there is a problem, you need to know what it is, and how to treat it. I am not an expert - you may need expert advice that I can't give.

Broadly, there are three completely different kinds of problem.

  1. Hygiene problem; easiest; regular washing, regular clothes washing. Ask the pharmicist for advice on soaps and cleansers and deodorants. But be warned; an excess of chemicals can make things worse, not better. Take advice and follow it.
  2. Skin problem; if you have a bit of eczema or psoriasis or allergy problems, it is possible that a skin infection, probably fungal, is contributing to the problem. Damaged skin is easily infected, especially in your teenage years.You need to know, and if that's the case, it is treatable, though not always easily.
  3. There are some uncommon genetic conditions that are associated with odour. They are uncommon, and there are methods of dealing with the problem. Again, you'd need to know.

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