Archive for Personal Hygiene

Sweat and Smell Good!

Mariam Al Moatassem Bellah

I woke up one summer morning, took a cold shower, put on my clothes and prepared myself for a new day at work.

I ran to catch the bus and when I had sat down, I noticed that girl nearly my age sitting next to me wearing fine and neat clothes. She looked beautiful, but … what was that smell?

How come someone so pretty and attractive had that awful smell that repels people away and makes them feel disgusted?

I tried to breathe fresh air, then I gave up at last, pushed the window wide open, and got my head out like kids until the bus arrived to the underground station where another kind of suffering was about to begin. I think those who are used to taking the underground in Cairo everyday know exactly how I felt!

What are those awful odors, people? Haven’t you heard about soap and water?
I finally arrived at work feeling very weary, not only from the sun and heat, but also from people who smell too!

Let Your Body Breathe

I thought many times if there’s a way we could stop people from sweating, but after a long search on different medical websites I found that what I was thinking of may bring all people’s life on this planet to an end!

As our lungs breathe oxygen, our skin breathes through the sweat we secrete everyday so as to lower the body’s temperature and get rid of toxicants. A healthy person secretes an average of 1 liter of sweat daily. Here’s why we sweat:

1. The rise of body temperature in general.

2. Exercise and involvement in different kinds of sports.

3. Consumption of hot and pungent food (e.g. Jalapeno and chili pepper).

4. Physical or mental exhaustion, stress, or nervousness.

Sweat Is Odorless

Sweating (also called perspiration) is the production of a fluid that mainly contains water as well as a smaller amount of salts, excreted by the sweat glands in the skin.

The strangest thing is that sweat itself doesn’t have a smell! Yes, believe me: it’s odorless. There are two kinds of sweat glands responsible for hidrosis (the formation and excretion of sweat):

* Eccrine glands : These are small sweat glands distributed over the body surface that produce mainly water and various salts devoid of odor and color). They are important in regulating body temperature. They are particularly abundant on the palms of the hands, soles of feet, and the forehead.

* Apocrine glands : These are multicellular glands that produce sweat containing fatty materials. They are present in the armpits and around the genital area. Their activity is the main cause of odor, due to the bacteria that break down the organic compounds in the sweat from these glands.

So now we know that sweat itself doesn’t cause the bad smell, but it’s the bacteria that secretes an acid formed in the places that sweat the most.

Sweat As You Like

The best thing about sweating a lot is that it’s very useful and keeps you clean from inside, so now it’s your role to keep yourself clean from outside.

Many youth go through many embarrassing situations because of their bad sweat smell, although they take many precautions in order to stay clean. That problem appears the most when we spend long hours outdoors in the sun and the heat or when we’re in a damp or a closed place with many people. The big problem of sweat is that you can’t smell yourself, only others, and vice versa.

There are lots of ways we can apply to get rid of the sweat bad smell and they’re very easy:

* Take a warm shower daily using a natural loaf and strong-smelling soap or pamper yourself with a beautiful scented shower gel. You can take a shower more than once a day according to your skin nature. You could also use anti-bacterial soap or cleanser with a moisture.

* Drink large amounts of water and fresh juice everyday.

* Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables everyday and avoid food that contains caffeine like chocolate, tea, coffee, along with pungent food, pastrami, and hilbah (fenugreek) seeds.

* Change your clothes when they get dirty, greasy, and full of sweat and wash them immediately; that includes what you wear indoors and outdoors and your sleeping gown/pajamas, and of course change your underwear daily.

* Remove your underarm hair on a regular basis.

* Use suitable kinds of deodorant directly after shower. They come in different forms, such as powder, cream, splash, and roll-on. First You have to be sure that it doesn’t contain alcohol so as not to blacken your underarm. For girls especially, you can use natural fruit deodorants. They smell good and at the same time they are not very strong scented.

* Avoid synthetic clothes that are purely made of nylon and polyester. Exchange them with clothes made of cotton as it absorbs the sweat and does not cause dermatitis (skin inflammation). Or at least you can wear cotton underwear as it is the closest thing to your skin.

* Spraying perfume under your armpits won’t hide the bad smell. Instead, It will react with sweat salts causing dermatitis, black and dark areas in the skin. Plus, alcohol evaporates real fast!

* If you’re allergic to regular deodorants or don’t like them, there’s quite a wonderful natural option: crystal deodorant rock. It’s very cheap and odorless, and it doesn’t have any side effects. It can be found in herbal shops.

Good Muslims

Finally, if none of the above worked out for you and the bad smell still exists, you can seek a dermatologist’s opinion. You might need medical treatment.

Always remember that Muslims must be clean and should care for their hygiene. Instead of being a good person who smells so bad, be a good Muslim who always smells good.


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