Why do I have bad breath?
Bad breath is a product of sweat gland secretions combined with bacteria and can occur whenever the sweat glands are highly active.
Where are the sweat glands? The sweat glands of the human body are divided into large sweat glands and small sweat glands. The large sweat glands, also known as parietal glands, are located mainly in the pubic area, ears, nipples, and armpits, with the largest distribution in the armpits, while the small sweat glands are found all over the body.
The sweat glands have different functions, the small sweat glands are responsible for the discharge of sweat, the sweat glands will secrete fatty acids, if the secretion of excess fatty acids due to bacterial decomposition of the epidermis, it will produce an unpleasant pungent odor. In addition, the hormonal secretion from puberty onward will cause the sweat glands to secrete fatty acids, so the time for the odor to appear is often during puberty, and may also last until after puberty.
In terms of gender, men have more active sweat glands and are more likely to have bad breath than women.
Some people may equate excessive sweating with bad breath, but in fact, excessive sweating does not necessarily mean bad breath. Since the raw materials (fatty acids) for sweat and bad breath come from different ducts, a patient with bad breath may not sweat much, but the possibility of excessive sweating combined with bad breath cannot be ruled out.
So what causes the excessive secretion of fatty acids that leads to bad breath?
Causes of fox smell
Halitosis is genetically linked. If one parent has bad breath, there is a 50% chance that the offspring will have bad breath; if both parents have bad breath, the chance increases to 80%.
2.Hygiene or Bacterial Infection
If personal hygiene is poor, fatty acids and bacteria can accumulate in the armpits, causing an unpleasant odor. Some people with skin infections such as trichomycosis axillaris or erythrasma may also develop bad breath.
The 3 Best Ways to Improve Bad Breath
Unless the sweat glands that secrete fatty acids are removed, it is difficult to get rid of bad breath. However, there are some simple ways to reduce bad breath and its occurrence in your daily life:
1.Watch your diet
Spicy and irritating foods stimulate the secretion of fatty acids, such as chili peppers, curry, garlic, and alcoholic beverages. If you want to reduce your bad breath, minimize your exposure to these foods.
2.Keep your underarms dry and shave your armpits.
Bacteria often thrive in warm and humid environments, so to prevent your armpits from becoming a breeding ground for bacteria, maintain good personal cleanliness, avoid wearing hot and stuffy clothes, and be prepared to change clothes when you sweat a lot to keep your armpits dry and fresh.
In addition, sweat is also easy to stay in the armpit hair, and then let the bacteria have a place to hide, if the phenomenon of bad breath, shaving the armpit hair can also reduce the unpleasant odor.
3.Using antiperspirants or deodorants
Another way to reduce bad breath is to use antiperspirants, which are usually made with aluminum chloride, a chemical that, when in contact with perspiration, forms plugs that block the small sweat glands (that produce sweat), reducing perspiration and keeping the armpits dry.
Antiperspirants mainly target excessive sweating and do not improve the production of fatty acids, so to reduce the unpleasant odor, you can also use a deodorant to mask the smell.
To prevent bad odor from affecting your life, would it be better to combine antiperspirant and deodorant in the morning before going out to reduce bad odor? The answer is no. Antiperspirants and deodorants each have their own appropriate time of use, and you should read the instructions or consult your doctor before using them, otherwise they may cause skin irritation due to improper use.
The right time to use
In the case of antiperspirants, it takes 6 to 8 hours for aluminum chloride to have its maximum effect, and it should not be used when you are sweating, as the chemical is carried away by sweat.
Therefore, the best time to use antiperspirants is before you get ready for bed, and after you wake up, you should rub your armpits to wash off excess antiperspirant; you should also keep your armpits ventilated (e.g., wear sleeveless clothing) to prevent the hot environment from accelerating sweating.
Antiperspirants may also cause skin irritation. If this happens, your doctor may prescribe a low-strength steroid medication to apply to the affected area to minimize discomfort. Also, do not use antiperspirants immediately after shaving your underarms, as your skin is more sensitive at this time and you should wait one to two days before using them.
As for deodorant, it can be used in the morning after washing off the antiperspirant, drying the underarms with a hair dryer before spraying or applying.
Treatments for underarm odor
Generally, antiperspirants and deodorants can reduce the odor, but if the odor is still unpleasant, treatment is also available, and common treatments can be divided into surgical and non-surgical.
For non-surgical treatments, doctors may use medicated antiperspirant soaps or antibiotics such as clindamycin or erythromycin to reduce the number of bacteria in the armpits.
In addition, Botox has been used as a treatment to shrink the small sweat glands in the armpits, which in turn reduces sweating and keeps the armpits dry.
If the above treatments still fail to reduce the odor, the doctor may perform surgery on the patient. The basic concept of deodorant surgery is to destroy and remove the sweat glands that secrete fatty acids, and the methods include open knife scraping, ultrasonic waves and laser, which are different depending on the patient’s condition and financial ability, and health insurance does not yet cover deodorant surgery.
It is worth mentioning that the surgery only removes the large sweat glands and does not damage the small sweat glands responsible for sweating. Therefore, the sweating function of the armpits will remain normal after the surgery and there will be no compensatory sweating in other parts of the body.