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All people have body odor when they don't bathe often enough. If you bathe regularly and still smell, something is wrong.

An ammonia odor is caused by infection with helicobacter, the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers or by eating too much protein. Ask your doctor to draw a blood test for helicobacter. If it is positive, you can be cured with antibiotics. If it is negative, you may need to eat less meat, fish, chicken and dairy products. A fish odor is caused by taking choline, a pill sold at health food stores,/ a hereditary condition called trimethylaminuria that requires avoiding fish and other dietary sources of choline/ or a vaginal infection. Feet smell because of infection with a bacteria or fungus.

The most common cause of body odor is a skin infection. Sweat doesn't smell when it first reaches your skin. The odor comes only after bacteria or fungus on the skin's surface break down the fat and ferment the sugar in sweat to form chemicals that smell. Only the sweat glands around the breasts, genitals and armpits produce sweat that contains fat and sugar and can smell. You can prevent body odor by washing these areas frequently to reduce the number of bacteria on the skin's surface and by keeping the skin dry by adding powder afterward. Use deodorants that contain low levels of bacteria-killing metals, such as aluminum, zinc and zirconium. You can also kill bacteria by using special antibacterial soaps, such as Hibiclens, Betadine and pHisoHex and by applying antibiotic creams.

June 7th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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