Body odor Classification and external resources ICD-10 L75.0 ICD-9 705.89 DiseasesDB 28886 eMedicine derm/597
Body odor or body odour, sometimes colloquially abbreviated as B.O., is the smell of bacteria growing on the body. The bacteria multiply rapidly in the presence of sweat, but sweat itself is almost completely odorless to humans.
Body odor can smell pleasant and specific to the individual and can be used to identify people, though this is more often done by dogs and other animals than by humans. An individual's body odor is also influenced by diet, lifestyle, gender, genetics, health and medication.
Propionic acid (propanoic acid) is present in many sweat samples. This acid is a breakdown product of some amino acids by propionibacteria, which thrive in the ducts of adolescent and adult sebaceous glands. Because propionic acid is chemically similar to acetic acid with similar characteristics including odor, body odors may be identified as having a vinegar-like smell by certain people. Isovaleric acid (3-methyl butanoic acid) is the other source of body odor as a result of actions of the bacteria Staphylococcus epidermidis, which is also present in several strong cheese types.
Body odor is largely influenced by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules. These are genetically determined and play an important role in immunity of the organism. The vomeronasal organ contains cells sensitive to MHC molecules in a genotype-specific way. Experiments on animals and volunteers have shown that potential sexual partners tend to be perceived more attractive if their MHC composition is substantially different. This behavior pattern promotes variability of the immune system of individuals in the population, thus making the population more robust against new diseases.
One study suggests that body odor is genetically determined by a gene that also codes the type of earwax one has. East Asians (those of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese descent) have the type of sweat glands that even after hitting puberty still don't produce the chemicals found in the perspiration of other ancestral groups. East Asians evidently have a greater chance of having the 'dry' earwax type and reduced axial sweating and odor. This may be due to adaptation to colder climates.
Body odor may be reduced or prevented or even aggravated by using deodorants, antiperspirants, disinfectants (e.g., triclosan), special soaps or foams with antiseptic plant extracts such as ribwort and liquorice, chlorophyllin ointments and sprays topically, and chlorophyllin supplements internally. Although body odor is commonly associated with hygiene practices, its presentation can be affected by changes in diet as well as the other factors discussed above.
Body odor is caused by the actions of skin flora, including members of Corynebacterium, which manufacture enzymes called lipases that break down the lipids in sweat to create smaller molecules like butyric acid. These smaller molecules smell, and give body odor its characteristic aroma.
- ^ James, William; Berger, Timothy; Elston, Dirk (2005). Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. (10th ed.). Saunders. ISBN 0721629210.
- ^ Freedberg, et al. (2003). Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. (6th ed.). McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0071380760.
- ^ Ara K, Hama M, Akiba S et al. (2006). "Foot odor due to microbial metabolism and its control". Can. J. Microbiol. 52 (4): 357–64. doi:10.1139/w05-130. PMID 16699586.
- ^ Wade, Nicholas (2006-01-29). "Japanese Scientists Identify Ear Wax Gene". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/29/science/29cnd-ear.html?ex=1296190800&en=7f6c667589328421&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss. Retrieved 2007-07-05.
- ^ Yoshiura K, Kinoshita A, Ishida T et al. (2006). "A SNP in the ABCC11 gene is the determinant of human earwax type". Nat. Genet. 38 (3): 324–30. doi:10.1038/ng1733. PMID 16444273. http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v38/n3/abs/ng1733.html.
- ^ "Chlorophyll and Chlorophyllin". http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/chlorophylls/. Retrieved 2010-01-29.
- ^ "Learn How to Fight Body Odor". http://www.mdhealthnetwork.org/BodyOder.html. Retrieved 2007-07-05.
- ^ Buckman, Dr. Robert (2003). Human Wildlife: The Life That Lives On Us. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 93-4
- Flores G (2004). "Immunity, smell linked". The Scientist 5 (1). http://www.the-scientist.com/news/20041105/02.
- Male sweat boosts women's hormone levels -- from UC Berkeley, February 2007
- "Odors and metabolic disease" from Miami Children's Brain Institute
- Causes of body odor
Disorders of skin appendages (L60–L75, 703–706) Nailbehavior: Onychotillomania · Onychophagiaother: Ingrown nail · Anonychiaungrouped: Paronychia (Acute paronychia, Chronic paronychia ) · Chevron nail · Congenital onychodysplasia of the index fingers · Green nails · Half and half nails · Hangnail · Hapalonychia · Hook nail · Lichen planus of the nails · Longitudinal erythronychia · Malalignment of the nail plate · Median nail dystrophy · Mees' lines · Melanonychia · Muehrcke's lines · Nail–patella syndrome · Onychoatrophy · Onychocryptosis · Onycholysis · Onychomadesis · Onychomatricoma · Onychomycosis · Onychophosis · Onychoptosis defluvium · Onychorrhexis · Onychoschizia · Platonychia · Pincer nails · Plummer's nail · Psoriatic nails · Pterygium inversum unguis · Pterygium unguis · Purpura of the nail bed · Racquet nail · Red lunulae · Shell nail syndrome · Splinter hemorrhage · Spotted lunulae · Staining of the nail plate · Stippled nails · Subungual hematoma · Terry's nails · Twenty-nail dystrophy Hairnoncicatricial alopecia: Alopecia/Alopecia areata (Alopecia totalis, Alopecia universalis, Ophiasis)
Androgenic alopecia (male-pattern baldness) · Hypotrichosis · Telogen effluvium · Traction alopecia · Lichen planopilaris · Trichorrhexis nodosa · Alopecia neoplastica · Anagen effluvium · Alopecia mucinosacicatricial alopecia: Pseudopelade of Brocq · Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia · Pressure alopecia · Traumatic alopecia · Tumor alopecia · Hot comb alopecia · Perifolliculitis capitis abscedens et suffodiens · Graham-Little syndrome · Folliculitis decalvansungrouped: Triangular alopecia · Frontal fibrosing alopecia · Marie Unna hereditary hypotrichosisHirsutism · Acquired generalized hypertrichosis · Generalized congenital hypertrichosis · Localized acquired hypertrichosis · Localized congenital hypertrichosis · Patterned acquired hypertrichosis · Prepubertal hypertrichosis · X-linked hypertrichosisAcneAcne vulgaris · Acne conglobata · Acne miliaris necrotica · Tropical acne · Infantile acne/Neonatal acne · Excoriated acne · Acne fulminans · Acne medicamentosa (e.g., steroid acne) · Halogen acne (Iododerma, Bromoderma, Chloracne) · Oil acne · Tar acne · Acne cosmetica · Occupational acne · Acne aestivalis · Acne keloidalis nuchae · Acne mechanica · Acne with facial edema · Pomade acne · Acne necrotica · Blackhead · Lupus miliaris disseminatus facieiPerioral dermatitis (Granulomatous perioral dermatitis) · Phymatous rosacea (Rhinophyma, Blepharophyma, Gnathophyma, Metophyma, Otophyma) · Papulopustular rosacea · Lupoid rosacea · Erythrotelangiectatic rosacea · Glandular rosacea · Gram-negative rosacea · Steroid rosacea · Ocular rosacea · Persistent edema of rosacea · Rosacea conglobata · variants (Periorificial dermatitis, Pyoderma faciale)UngroupedGranulomatous facial dermatitis · Idiopathic facial aseptic granuloma · Periorbital dermatitis · SAPHO syndromeFollicular cystsUngroupedAcrokeratosis paraneoplastica of Bazex · Acroosteolysis · Bubble hair deformity · Disseminate and recurrent infundibulofolliculitis · Erosive pustular dermatitis of the scalp · Erythromelanosis follicularis faciei et colli · Hair casts · Hair follicle nevus · Intermittent hair–follicle dystrophy · Keratosis pilaris atropicans · Kinking hair · Koenen's tumor · Lichen planopilaris · Lichen spinulosus · Loose anagen syndrome · Menkes kinky hair syndrome · Monilethrix · Parakeratosis pustulosa · Pili (Pili annulati · Pili bifurcati · Pili multigemini · Pili pseudoannulati · Pili torti) · Pityriasis amiantacea · Plica neuropathica · Poliosis · Rubinstein–Taybi syndrome · Setleis syndrome · Traumatic anserine folliculosis · Trichomegaly · Trichomycosis axillaris · Trichorrhexis (Trichorrhexis invaginata · Trichorrhexis nodosa) · Trichostasis spinulosa · Uncombable hair syndrome · Wooly hair · Wooly hair nevus
Sweat glandsBody odor, Chromhidrosis, Fox–Fordyce disease
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
body odor — n an unpleasant odor from a perspiring or unclean person … Medical dictionary
body odor — body ,odor noun uncount B.O … Usage of the words and phrases in modern English
body odor — noun malodorousness resulting from a failure to bathe • Syn: ↑body odour, ↑B.O. • Hypernyms: ↑malodorousness, ↑stinkiness, ↑foulness, ↑rankness, ↑fetidness * * * noun [noncount] … Useful english dictionary
body odor — Synonyms and related words: BO, bad breath, bad smell, beaded brow, beads of sweat, cold sweat, diaphoresis, exudate, exudation, fetidity, fetidness, fetor, foul breath, foul odor, frowst, graveolence, halitosis, honest sweat, lather, malodor,… … Moby Thesaurus
body odor — n. smell that is unique to a person s body, smell of perspiration … English contemporary dictionary
body odor — Hohono … English-Hawaiian dictionary
Odor — Aroma redirects here. For other uses, see Aroma (disambiguation). Allegory of the senses by Jan Brueghel the Elder, Museo del Prado An odor or odour is caused by one or more volatilized chemical compounds, generally at a very low concentration,… … Wikipedia
body odour — noun malodorousness resulting from a failure to bathe • Syn: ↑body odor, ↑B.O. • Hypernyms: ↑malodorousness, ↑stinkiness, ↑foulness, ↑rankness, ↑fetidness * * * body odour UK U … Useful english dictionary
body odour — N UNCOUNT Body odour is an unpleasant smell caused by sweat on a person s body. Syn: B.O. (in AM, use body odor) … English dictionary
Odor in the Court — Ugly Betty episode Episode no. Season 2 Episode 12 Directed by Victor Nelli, Jr. Written by … Wikipedia