You enter a lift and everyone looks at you. Wow! Am I so attractive? Some people in the lift pinch their noses and make faces. Oh dear! I am so embarrassed. It must be my body odor….
The teen years bring lots of exciting new experiences, from that first love to body changes that happen during puberty. However, these pubertal changes are not always perceived positively because they include acne, increasing body hair, body odor and noticeable sweating.
There’s a reason why teens worry about noticeable sweating. They worry what others will think. According to the survey, conducted by Harris Interactive’s Youth Query for Certain Dri Anti-Perspirant Roll-On, 54 percent of teens said if they noticed a fellow student was sweating a lot, they would think he or she was nervous, followed by sick (27%) or dirty (22%).
Sweating can sometimes seem annoying and embarrasing. However it is important to remember that sweating is body’s mechanism to cool itself when it gets too hot.
Without the ability to sweat, a medical condition called anhidrosis, the body can overheat and even develop heat stroke, a life-threatening condition.
Sweat is produced by sweat glands in the skin. There are two types of sweat glands, eccrine sweat glands that are distributed all over the body and apocrine sweat glands that are limited to the axilla (underarms) and anogenital area (groin). The apocrine sweat gland produce sweat that, once it has contact with bacteria has a distinct body odor.
Teens normally sweat when:
- it is hot
- eating spicy foods
- they are angry, anxious, or nervous, etc.
- they have a fever
What can you do to reduce sweating and body odor?
- Shower daily
Personal hygiene is exceptionally important during the teen years. While it won’t stop sweating, frequent shower will keep skin clean and will help stop body odor, since body odor is usually a result of bacteria left on the skin from perspiration.
During normal days, bathe at least two times a day and after physical acitivities e.g. after sports practise. During hot days you can bathe three or more times a day.
- Apply deodorant
Once you start going through puberty, it may be a good idea to start using underarm deodorants and anti-perspirants.
- Dress for Success
For teens, fashion is often very important. Choose lightweight clothes from natural-made fibers like cotton, which help absorb perspiration.
If you’re still worried about noticeable underarm sweating, avoid solid, light colors, which make underarm wet rings more noticeable.
Change your clothes often
Causes of Excessive Sweating
There are a number of medical conditions that can cause excessive sweating including:
- diabetes mellitus
- heart failure
- medication side effects
- drug withdrawal
Since just about everyone sweats, how do you know if you have a problem with excessive sweating. One easy way is to simply compare your sweating to other teens in similar situations. For example, you should be sweating while playing volleyball, but it shouldn’t be so severe that sweaty palms interfere with you holding the ball.
If your excessive sweating frequently interferes with your daily activities, or if it is intolerable, then you should seek help. There are many treatments that can help control excessive sweating but see a doctor first to exclude medical conditions that can cause it.
Antiperspirant and Deodorant
The terms ‘antiperspirant’ and ‘deodorant’ are often used interchangeably but they do in fact refer to different products. There are different types of antideodorant and antiperspirant available over the counter. Some are sprays and others are roll one. Some are mild and others are stronger.
Antiperspirants control sweat and body odor in two ways: firstly by preventing sweat reaching the skin surface and secondly by reducing the bacteria that causes body odor via antimicrobial ingredients.
Deodorants differ from antiperspirants as they only contain antimicrobial agents to prevent body odor; they do not control the flow of sweat.
Both antiperspirants and deodorants often contain fragrances to help mask the smell of body odor.
There is no evidence that these products are linked to any health problems.
Some deodorants are highly perfumed. Make sure that you are not replacing one smell with another one that other people will not enjoy either.
Some people may be allergic to deodorant sprays and perfumes, so don’t spray them around other people in change rooms.
Sweating and body odor are very embarrasing especially during teen years. However with proper hygiene and products, this can be avoided. If you think you are sweating excessively compared to your peers, you might need to see a doctor.
|Last Reviewed||:||28 August 2021|
|Writer||:||Dr. Salmah bt.Nordin|
|Reviewer||:||Dr. Nazhatussima bt. Suhaili|