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Body Odor in Children – Baby Odor Causes, Treatment and Remedies

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If you are into browsing about in online parenting and health forums, then you have likely come across questions such as “Why does my child have a body odor?” “What causes body odor in children?” “How can I treat body in my fifteen year old child?” If you can relate to any of these questions, then you have come to the right place. This article will share with you some of the causes of body odor in children and highlight some of the ways to get rid of the problem. We’ll also briefly discuss various treatment options that you can use to eliminate that pesky body odor in your loved one.  

Body Odor in Children Causes – What Causes Body Odor in Children

What are some of the causes of body odor in children? In a general sense, sweating is the major cause of body odor, especially after puberty when the apocrine glands get activated by the hormonal changes associated with puberty. The sweat gets metabolized by the skin bacteria resulting in foul smelling acids that are responsible for body odor.

Body Odor in Children - Causes

The question then arises, “what about those children who get a body odor at a tender age, say 5 or 8 years? Well, it could be that your child’s diet contains a little too much of aromatic foods such as garlic, onions and spices. The compounds in these foods can get released through the sweat resulting in an unpleasant body odor.

Although rare, getting body odor at a relatively early age can indicate a condition known as precocious puberty whereby a child goes into puberty at a younger than normal age. You can know if your child is experiencing this condition by looking for other signs of puberty such as pubic hair, breast development etc.

Medical conditions such as trimethylaminuria, otherwise known as fish odor syndrome can also cause body odor in children. This rare disorder is notable for a foul smell that is similar to that of rotting fish.

Some people, children included, are also born with a notably higher than normal number of sweat glands which can lead to overproduction of sweat, and in some cases a body odor.

Body Odor in Children – Getting rid of it

Now that we know some likely causes of body odor in children, the next question is, “how do you get rid of children body odor?”

Proper hygiene: Teaching and encouraging your child to observe proper personal hygiene should be the first line of action in getting rid of body odor in children. This means showering every day to reduce the amount of sweat and bacteria on the skin of your child.

Close attention should be given to the armpits, groin area and feet since these areas are especially prone to body odor. If your child is active, say s/he is involved in some sports, s/he should take a second shower after his or her exercise session.

It is also paramount that the child changes clothes every day especially underwear and socks. Using an antibacterial soap to bathe is also advisable as this can reduce the number of bacteria growing on your skin. Less bacterial activity often means less body odor.

Avoid spicy and string smelling food products: spicy foods and foods with strong aromas such as garlic and onions are often the culprits for body odor in children and adults alike. Reducing your children intake of such foods can therefore help to get rid of body odor.

Deodorants: If personal hygiene measures and observing proper diet for your kid doesn’t seem to help, you should then consider using a deodorant or antiperspirant for your child. Mild deodorant is enough in the majority of cases. In fact Jennifer Shu, MD, a pediatrician and the author of Baby and Child Health: the Essential Guide from Birth to 11 Years points out, “antiperspirants are though to be safe but may be overkill for most kids. They stop the sweat itself — but sweat can be a good thing, since it helps the body cool down”.

Most of the deodorants labeled as “natural” usually don’t contain antiperspirants and are generally advised for children.

If none of the above options seem to clear the body odor in your child, then you should seek medical attention. Further evaluation and tests by a doctor may be needed to rule out medical conditions such as trimethylaminuria and diabetes – it is so unfortunate but diabetes seems to be affecting younger and younger people nowadays.

Underarm Odor in Children – Choosing an appropriate deodorant

Body Odor in Children
Body Odor in Children

As we have already highlighted, using a deodorant should not be your first option when it comes to controlling underarm odor in children. Proper hygiene and eliminating potentially offending foods such as spices, garlic and onions should be your first options and deodorants should only be used if these options fail.

Armpit Odor in Children
Armpit Odor in Children

With that in mind, mild deodorant products that are free of antiperspirants are the best choice for children. You can identify them by looking for the word “natural” on their packaging materials. You can either buy them in your local grocery store or drugstore, or online.

It is also advisable to stay away from deodorant products that contain phthalates. Although commonly found in beauty and skin care products, phthalates may be harmful to children.

Body Odor in Young Children – Aluminium Chloride to Your Rescue

Aluminium chloride and other aluminum salts including aluminium chlorohydrate and aluminium zirconium are commonly used in antiperspirants. These salts dissolve in sweat to form a barrier over the sweat glands.

You can try using Anhydrol forte which contains aluminum chloride to fight body odor in your child especially if you suspect that your child was born with an above normal number of sweat glands. Anhydrol forte works by reducing the rate of sweating

Baby Body Odor – How to Get Rid of it Naturally

How to Get Rid of Body Odor in Children
How to Get Rid of Body Odor in Children

Baby body odor may not be an issue to the little angel but is certainly is an issue to the parents. Although healthy babies are usually free of odor, they may occasionally catch on a milk or urine smell. Babies can also develop a sour smell when dirt or sweat gets trapped in their neckline.

Cleaning your baby and changing her clothes frequently often helps to get rid of body odor. You should also dress your baby in loosely-fitting clothes made of natural fibers to allow ample air circulation.  Baby powders also help to control by body odor by keeping the baby’s skin free of sweat. You may also want to use fragrant baby wipes to wipe your baby clean after feeding.

How to Treat Body Odor in Children

If you are wondering how to treat body odor in children, then here is a simple plan you may want to try: eliminate spicy foods and adopt a stringent cleansing routine, use Anhydrol forte as the second option, and if that also fails, see your pediatrician to rule out any underlying medical condition such as fish odor syndrome, otherwise known as trimethylaminuria.

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