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THE PUBERTY PORTAL: I know a little about body changes

The Secret Behind the Smell

The truth about B.O.

cartoon girl and boy, both noticing smell coming from armpit

Blame your body odor on sweat. Really! It’s actually hard to stink if you aren’t pumping out any sweat at all. Everyone has sweat glands in their body, which do just what their name implies: secrete sweat. However, thanks to puberty and its ramped-up hormones, these glands not only become more active, but they also start to release more oil into your more abundant sweat, too.

Even though you need sweat in order to have B.O, it turns out B.O. isn’t really caused by sweating. The actual stink comes courtesy of microscopic bacteria.

We all have bacteria living on our skin (which is totally normal). When we sweat, the bacteria eat the proteins in our perspiration, and when those bacteria break down the proteins, an odor is released. Voila - B.O.! 

By the way, this is also why taking a bath or shower every day - and using soap - is the best way to get rid of that stink. Bathing (and we mean actually lathering up, not just rinsing off with water) literally washes the bacteria off your skin, getting rid of the smell.

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