Child Body Odor – Causes and Cures


Does your child have locker room body smell or a wet sock? Kids normally need to start using a deodorant once they’ve reached the stage of puberty. This stage is between 9 and 14 years of age for boys, and 8 and 13 years of age for girls. However, some children emit noticeable body odor prior to puberty. There are children, even babies that produce more perspiration than usual. This is a condition called hyperhydrosis. They are otherwise healthy except for too much perspiration.

Before you run out and purchase all kinds of perfumes and deodorants for your child, let us first take a look at the causes of child body odor and what could be done to get rid of it.

Body and Sweat Odor

In contrast to popular belief, sweat or perspiration has no smell. Yes, that is certainly true, sweat doesn’t stink. Our body produces 2 kinds of sweat: First is the apocrine, a thick substance that is formed by glands in the scalp, underarm, and groin parts. Next one is the eccrine. This is an odorless, clear sweat that appears on our entire body, performing the important role of regulating the body’s temperature. Body odor would then occur when perspiration is exposed to bacteria on our skin. It is the combination of bacteria and sweat that causes the bad smell. This arises in places wherein sweat could not evaporate easily for instance the genital area or the underarm.

Getting Rid Of Your Child Body Odor

The key to getting rid of most body odors is to restrain the body’s apocrine production and to reduce bacteria on the surface of our skin.

Use anti-bacterial deodorant soap: Use antibacterial soap everyday.

Use acne cleanser: If the above product doesn’t work, use an acne cleanser that has benzoyl peroxide. This has strong anti-bacterial properties; however, be careful because excessive use could cause irritation and drying. You can as well try an anti-bacterial ointment or Neosporin.
Rubbing alcohol: Use rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or witch hazel for extra protection. These could help reduce odor-causing bacteria.

Try a home made deodorant: You can give your child homemade deodorant by mixing equal parts of Aloe Vera, witch hazel, and water. You could also add one teaspoon of glycerin with oil that has good smell. Mix them in a spray bottle.

Antiperspirants: These products are aluminum-based chemicals which plug the pores and stop you from perspiring. However, antiperspirants can cause irritation or dermatitis – swollen, red, itchy skin, especially in children.

Deodorants: Deodorants eradicate the smell of perspiration by neutralizing bacteria. These stuffs do not prevent perspiration, so they should be reapplied to stop the development of bacteria and bad odor. Deodorants and remedies like antibacterial cleansers, rubbing alcohol, or homemade deodorants can be less irritating to the skin of children than antiperspirants.

Daily Bathe: Regular bathing helps decrease the number of bacteria on the skin.

Thoroughly dry the feet after bathing: Bacteria increases in damp places for example between the toes. To absorb moisture, use powders like baking soda, cornstarch, or foot powders.

Wear socks and shoes made up of natural materials: Shoes that are made up of natural materials like leather or net material could help prevent sweaty feet by permitting the feet to breathe.

Change socks often: Change at least once or twice a day.

Wear loose clothing: Wear natural and loose fabrics like cotton, silk, and wool. This allows the skin to breathe.

Laundry detergents: Wash the fabrics with an odor fighting laundry detergent. Change underwear or clothes during the day if necessary.

Eat a well balanced diet: Toxins in the body can produce a bad odor. Eating a balance diet and eliminating waste efficiently will prevent excretions, including feces and urine from bad odor.

In most children, sweating and body odor is not related to any medical
condition. Once you find that your child body odor has a horrible smell, it must be evaluated by a doctor.