Understanding Body Odor

Andover and Lowell, Massachusetts - Nashua, Salem and Manchester, New Hampshire


There are two glands that produce sweat:

·         Eccrine, which produce watery sweat that helps cool the body

·         Apocrine, which secrete sweat filled with lipids that are waxy and fatty

Eccrine sweat glands are found throughout the body. Apocrine glands are found where hair follicles are most concentrated.

Body odor is not caused by sweat – it is caused by bacteria that are attracted to the secretions of the apocrine sweat glands. Having excessive hair around these glands gives bacteria more surface to cling to and can make body odor worse, but in cases of excessive sweating, even the removal of underarm hair may fail to prevent the issue.

Antiperspirant deodorants target apocrine sweat glands to prevent their secretions and are effective at controlling body odor for some people. Steps such as minimizing your intake of pungent foods can help as well. Excessive cleaning of underarms however should be avoided, as this can dry the skin and cause the production of even more sweat.


If traditional methods such as antiperspirants, careful food considerations, and hair removal have failed to control your body odor, it may be time to look into a more advanced approach such as miraDry®. Andover plastic surgeon Dr. George Chatson would be honored to meet with you to discuss this professional treatment and help you determine if it can help restore your comfort and confidence.

To learn more about treating excessive underarm sweating, please contact George P. Chatson, MD today. Dr. Chatson maintains offices in Andover, MA and Nashua, NH to better serve people living throughout our region.