my father suddenly developed a terrible smell a few years ago that just seems to be on his whole body. it stays in his shower, washer & dryer, car, and obviously clothes and sheets. he has no new health issues or medications. i dont know where it originates – – could it be his armpits, and then the smell is so strong that it permeates all of his stuff? are there any specifically medical tests he should be having, in case it’s due to some hidden illness?
Hi Terry, thanks for your question. Underarm body odor can certainly make a whole person smell. Also, specific bacteria living in the underarm are usually also present on other skin sites, but increase the likelihood of making a person smell as a whole. But usually the body sites that are of particular interest for BO is: armpit and groin, as apocrine secretions are only secreted in those areas. Apocrine secretions are precursors for body odor. The bacteria that “eat” them, will convert it into smaller and volatile compounds that can have a smell. Best, Chris
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