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  • "Everyone's armpits stink."

  • That's rude.

  • Not mine.

  • "Sweating is a good way to detox."

  • May I have that one?

  • Go for it.

  • Ooh, this is a good one.

  • "Smelly foods only affect your breath."

  • This is false.

  • Hi, I'm Dr. Michelle Henry.

  • I am a board-certified dermatologist

  • practicing in Manhattan, New York, and I'm the founder

  • of Skin & Aesthetic Surgery of Manhattan.

  • Hi, I'm Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali,

  • board-certified dermatologist here in New York City.

  • And today we'll be debunking myths about body odor.

  • Dermatologists are the skin experts.

  • So who knows more about sweat glands than us?

  • "Sweat is smelly."

  • So, this is not true.

  • So, we actually have two types of sweat.

  • We have sweat that comes from our eccrine glands,

  • and so those are the glands that are everywhere,

  • and it helps us with thermoregulation.

  • So it helps to cool us down when we're working out

  • when we're getting too hot.

  • And then we have apocrine glands.

  • So those are sweat glands that we see in areas

  • like the underarms, the groin, the chest,

  • all of the areas that we sometimes

  • associate with being smelly.

  • But the actual sweat from the apocrine glands

  • does not smell.

  • Why does that area smell?

  • It's the bacteria in those areas.

  • So the bacteria in those areas

  • will use what the gland produces as food.

  • And it's the byproduct of that

  • that actually smells stinky.

  • That was the most beautiful description

  • of sweat I've ever heard in my life.

  • Thank you, I try.

  • So, fun fact:

  • There are thousands of types of bacteria

  • and fungus and yeast

  • and things like that on your body.

  • It's completely normal. It's part of our microbiome.

  • So, some quick tips to remember

  • to help with the smelly odor.

  • So, No. 1, it's OK to shower every day, I promise you.

  • No. 2 is eat a healthy diet.

  • You know, if your body is not producing at an optimal level,

  • it will tell you, it will show you,

  • and you will smell it. If anything becomes excessive,

  • there are certain medical conditions that do cause it.

  • It's OK to go check out and make sure.

  • "Everyone's armpits stink."

  • That's rude.

  • Not mine.

  • That is a myth. There's actually 2% of the population

  • that has a special mutation.

  • I believe it's the ABCC11 gene.

  • They don't have smelly odors.

  • So not everybody's armpits stink.

  • There are a lot of different treatments

  • for treating "smelly armpits."

  • No. 1, showering.

  • Using antibacterial soap is probably

  • the easiest hack for all of it.

  • We have oral medications we can give,

  • we can have prescription antiperspirants,

  • and we even use Botox.

  • I know, I know, you're going to be thinking,

  • "Botox? That's for the other stuff."

  • You actually can use Botox

  • to minimize the sweating in the area.

  • It only lasts about three months or so,

  • so you have to kind of come in regularly,

  • but often our patients just do it

  • in the spring or summertime

  • and then kind of do their own thing during the wintertime,

  • and usually they're fine.

  • "Smelly feet mean bad hygiene."

  • No, this is incorrect.

  • Smelly feet means smelly feet.

  • It doesn't mean bad hygiene.

  • We know that we're producing sweat everywhere

  • and that sweat then becomes bacteria food.

  • Well, the feet are a really unique area.

  • It's one of the highest concentrations

  • of sweat glands on the body.

  • And although there are more eccrine glands

  • than the apocrine glands,

  • it's still creating a moist environment.

  • It's the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and yeast.

  • And because our feet are often enclosed in shoes,

  • in dark areas, that's literally yeast food.

  • So this is why we see a lot of fungus

  • and a lot of yeast on the feet.

  • And because of this, the feet are going to

  • be a little bit more prone to having a smell.

  • Agreed. And it's a very common thing.

  • We see a lot of our athletes, gym rats,

  • all those people in between.

  • The one thing I tell my patients:

  • Always make sure you wash your feet when you shower.

  • Using antibacterial soap is actually a great idea.

  • Just make sure everything is cleansed

  • and you pat dry as quick as possible

  • before you put on a pair of fresh socks.

  • Yes. Socks are important as well.

  • So wearing cotton socks that are absorptive

  • and they're going to kind of wick away

  • that moisture from the feet, that helps a ton.

  • "Your signature scent never changes."

  • This is incorrect.

  • And so, just like we are dynamic beings,

  • we're changing, our hormones are changing,

  • our microenvironment's changing,

  • our diets are changing,

  • and all of these things play a really critical role

  • in how we smell. You know?

  • As we get older and our hormones change,

  • you know, we all know that teenage boys smell

  • a little bit different than they smelled when they were 6.

  • I kind of wish they could put those, like,

  • new-baby smells in a bottle.

  • Oh, that would be amazing.

  • It's best smell ever.

  • That's my favorite smell.

  • Remember, a baby's covered in amniotic fluid

  • for months and months and months and months.

  • So you have this certain scent

  • that people equate to that new-baby smell.

  • Also, as we get older,

  • our skin barriers tend to deteriorate a little bit

  • and there's more oxidation

  • of certain things on our skin itself.

  • So that "old-person smell," hate to say that,

  • is actually due to changes in how our skin

  • is protected from the environment around us,

  • and the oxidation of these certain chemical compounds

  • can actually cause a specific scent.

  • So next time you go visit your grandparents

  • and things like that, just keep that in mind.

  • The more you've been around a certain smell,

  • the more you get used to it, right?

  • And so it's really when your body

  • kind of hits up the shock system,

  • where you smell something you're not used to smelling,

  • that's when you kind of form an opinion about it.

  • So just remember,

  • if there's something you don't necessarily agree with,

  • does not mean that it's incorrect.

  • It's just your perception of that odor

  • and everything kind of going around

  • that really forms your opinion of it.

  • "Sweating is a good way to detox."

  • May I have that one?

  • Go for it.

  • I don't like that.

  • So, this is a huge myth.

  • So, you know, our body is an amazing machine,

  • and 99% of how we detox

  • is through our liver and our kidneys.

  • And that's why it's really important

  • to keep those organs very safe.

  • That's how we get rid of all of the negative toxins

  • and byproducts in our bodies.

  • Your body's job is to kind of maintain this equilibrium,

  • keep this steady state.

  • And that's what the sweating does.

  • It helps you kind of keep this normalized temperature.

  • And so if you do go up too much,

  • it's its way of bringing it back down.

  • And while I love a great sauna,