Are you starting to notice that though your child takes regular baths, there’s a whiff of unpleasant odor that catches your nostril’s attention? Kids do naturally get smelly especially when they play outside and start to sweat, but when you catch a sharp stinky smell of armpits, it can mean that puberty is starting! To know more about body odor in kids and how to address this, we consulted Aesthetic Physician and mom-of-two Doctor Christine Tayag-Hizon, and here’s what she discussed.
Body odor is caused by a host of factors including bacteria, sweat, and hormonal changes. When the apocrine sweat glands, found in the armpits, start to mature or become activated, the sweat produced contains oil or fat which can cause body odor.
Eccrine glands are distributed over the entire skin surface and regulates our body temperature through sweat production. Apocrine glands, on the other hand, are found in the underarm and groin areas which contribute to heavy sweating with odor.
Apocrine sweat glands start to mature at the onset of puberty. Dr. Christine tells us that puberty can manifest as early as the age of 7 for girls and 9 years old for boys, in general. Stinky sweat or body odor is normally not a cause for concern at this age bracket, but if your child exhibits other signs of puberty at a much younger age, it is best to mention this to your doctor.
Smelly armpits and stinky sweat isn’t uncommon among children and this can be primarily addressed through proper hygiene. Now this may not be that easy for kids to understand and a lot of times bad body odor can cause them to feel embarrassed, especially as they get older. A good way to explain body odor and hygiene to your kids is by being encouraging and having them practice cleanliness routines.
Dr. Christine recommends training your kids to develop proper hygiene routines at an early age. These routines or habits include the following:
Remember Moms and Dads, good hygiene is key in staying fresh and clean. If you notice other strange odors coming from your child, other than the usual, always consult your doctor.