Sweating and Body Odour: Everything You Need to Know


Sweating and body odor are facts of life for most people.

Heavy perspiration and body odor can happen during exercise, warm temperature (like we have here in Nigeria), or when one is nervous, anxious or under stress.

Two Main Types of Sweat gland

Our body has two main types of sweat glands, and they produce two very different types of sweat. Both types are odorless, but the type of sweat produced in armpits and groin smells bad when it combines with bacteria found normally on skin.

These two types of sweat glands are eccrine and apocrine. Eccrine is the most numerous type that is found all over the body especially on the palms, soles of the feet, and forehead. Apocrine is mostly the armpits. They end in hair follicles instead of pores.


As we mentioned, sweating is natural. When it becomes a problem is when it is excessive or you start noticing a foul odour.

People are wired differently. Some people naturally sweat more or less than others. Body odor also can vary from person to person. But as a rule of thumb, you should see a doctor if you experience any of the symptoms described below:

  • You suddenly begin to sweat much more or less than usual
  • When sweating disrupts your daily routine
  • You start experiencing night sweats for no apparent reason
  • You notice a change in your body odor

You should definitely speak to a doctor if you experience any or all of those symptoms listed above. There could be an underlying health factor that is causing it. So, it is essential to nip it by the bud before it gets out of hand.


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 as we highlighted above. Lifestyle and home treatments can usually manage symptoms caused by normal sweating and body odor effectively.

If you are still unsure, it is best to speak to a qualified medical doctor. You can speak to any of our doctors by calling our toll-free number 08000HEALTH (08000432584). Our doctors are available 24/7.


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