In fact, apocrine glands are one of two types of sweat glands found on mammals. Body odor has a strong genetic basis, but can also be strongly influenced by various diseases and physiological conditions. Apocrine sweat, on the other hand, is usually thicker, often described as “milky,” and can have a strong odor when it combines with bacteria. Apocrine Sweat Glands. Otherwise, lifestyle and home treatments can usually help with normal sweating and body odor. The characteristics of body odor change with the amount of sweat produced. Sweat gland, either of two types of secretory skin glands occurring only in mammals. Despite the evolutionary role that body odor … High levels of 5alpha-reductase activity have been detected in human apocrine glands, and the concentration of dihydrotestosterone has been found to be higher than that of testosterone in the nuclear fraction of the skin of patients who suffer from excessive or abnormal odour derived from apocrine sweat (osmidrosis). You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. These glands help regulate body temperature by producing sweat in hot conditions. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/. It turns out my body odor, ... Puberty is awkward as it is but combined with tween hormones pumping out of my sweat glands, ... "Stress stimulates the activity of glands known as apocrine glands… Despite the evolutionary role that body odor has played in the … Eccrine glands are present all over the skin. The sweat is produced by two distinct kinds of sweat glands in the skin: apocrine glands and eccrine glands. … If you’re wondering why does sweat smell, then blame your apocrine glands. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. The other type, eccrine glands, is designed to secrete odorless perspiration laced with salt and electrolytes. This fluid is odorless until it combines with bacteria on your skin. But, apocrine glands develop and start functioning only around puberty stage. When bacteria on the skin break down this sweat, body odor is the result. Accessed July 7, 2016. You suddenly begin to sweat much more or less than usual, You experience night sweats for no apparent reason. The two main types of sweat glands are eccrine glands and apocrine glands. Sweat from your apocrine glands tends to be thicker and richer in proteins and lipids. Eccrine glands excrete the sweat we use to cool down, which is mostly water. 3. 5 They’re concentrated in the areas of your body where you have plenty of hair follicles, like the scalp or underarms. Any use of this site constitutes your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy linked below. Personal stench mostly starts from the apocrine organs in the armpits, which discharge a thick, slick diaphoresis wealthy in proteins and lipids which microscopic organisms on the skin feed on. Other animals, such as horses, have apocrine glands all over the body and use their secretions to keep themselves cool. WebMD writes, “If your skin is dry, it’s harder for bacteria that … Eccrine glands. In: Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. Eccrine sweat is normally odourless but can start to smell if bacteria get a chance to break down the stale sweat. The eccrine gland sweat is what develops when you’re hot since the gland secretes a fluid mostly made up of water and salt to cool your skin down. Though body odor has played an important role in early humankind, it is generally considered to be an unpleasant odor amongst many human cultures. Apocrine glands. This condition may contribute to impairment in an individual's psychosocial functioning. When you have apocrine bromhidrosis, body odor is the byproduct of lipid-rich apocrine gland sweat mixing with skin bacteria. Does shaving your armpits reduce sweating? When these two ingredients come together, they produce thioalcohols — … They're also common when you're feeling nervous, anxious or stressed. Sweating and body odor are facts of life for most people. Although there are far fewer apocrine glands than eccrine glands, they produce a thicker oilier substance that contains more lipids, but also proteins, sugars, and ammonia. Excessive Sweating. These glands release a milky fluid when you're stressed. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. Accessed July 6, 2016. In fact, the thick secretions from our apocrine glands don’t smell very much on their own. When you sweat, the bacteria break down certain... Eccrine Glands. Another common cause of body odor is stress, because when you stress excessively, your apocrine glands switch on, and this excess sweat on the body can lead to odor. The characteristics of body odor change with the amount of sweat produced. There are two types of sweat glands – eccrine and apocrine: 1. Thus, the sweat produced by the apocrine glands in adults is the cause for the foul smell. Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition characterized by excessive sweating. When the body is reacting to an emotion, like anxiety, stress or excitement, apocrine sweat is released from apocrine glands. Biology of eccrine and apocrine glands. Body odor arises when bacteria on the surface of the skin begin breaking down sweat from apocrine glands. Synthetic fibers like rayon, polyester and nylon trap moisture on the … Apocrine sweat glands, which are associated with hair follicles, continuously secrete a fatty sweat into the gland tubule. They do however have apocrine glands elsewhere in the body. Why does sweat smell? (That’s a nice way of saying it can reek.) Changes in body odor also may signal a health problem. Eccrine glands occur over most of your body and open directly onto the surface of the skin. Bacteria then break down this relatively odorless material into aromatic substances.In all races, differences in development of the axillary apocrine glands correlate with the odor of their … Hyperhidrosis. Sweating and body odor are common when you exercise or you're too warm. Most body odor comes from these. The sweat glands that are found in your armpits and groins - apocrine glands - secrete a milky, odorless fluid when under stress or aroused. Accessed July 6, 2016. Eccrine glands occur over most of your body and open directly onto the surface of your skin. Some people naturally sweat more or less than other people. However, apocrine sweat glands release a fat-infused liquid that, when pushed to the surface of the skin, is eaten by bacteria. For example, one is more likely to have bad body odor due to profuse sweating in hot and humid summers. Body odor, osmidrosis, is a common phenomenon in a postpubertal population.Bromhidrosis refers to body odor, which is excessive or particularly unpleasant and apocrine bromhidrosis to such an offensive odor that arises from apocrine glands… Body odor is caused by bacteria breaking down sweat and is largely linked to the apocrine glands. These glands become activated immediately to psychological stress or to an “event”. The adult axilla has an acrid, pungent odor which is peculiar to and distinctive of the human animal. The sweat glands become more active in both males and females during puberty . Journal of Biochemistry. 2011;33:298. Bacteria thrive in moist environments, like your armpits. Eccrine glands are found over your entire skin. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Apocrine glands are found in areas where you have hair, such as your armpits and groin. The Mayo Clinic has a good explanation for why stress does actually make us sweat in a specific way that can increase body odor. [10] [21] [22] Being sensitive to … In response to Corvi Zeman: East Asians (Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, etc.) That doesn’t mean they sweat less — eccrine glands, the other main type of sweat gland, are a thousand times more numerous on most bodies, and Asians have plenty of them. So since apocrine sweat glands excrete more fats and proteins along with water, this explains why the two races differ in smell in comparison to East Asians. This unique fragrance can be traced to the apocrine sweat glands, which have all but disappeared in the human, surviving only in a few limited areas such as the axilla, genitoinguinal region and the nipple. Weird & Wacky, Copyright © 2021 HowStuffWorks, a division of InfoSpace Holdings, LLC, a System1 Company. However, apocrine sweat glands release a fat-infused liquid that, when pushed to the surface of the skin, is eaten by bacteria. Christof - Now fresh apocrine sweat doesn’t actually smell that bad, but it’s more oily than eccrine sweat, and critically it wets regions that are rich in bacteria and odorants. garlic, curry), alcohol, or certain medications. For most mammals, however, apocrine sweat glands secrete an oily (and eventually smelly) compound that acts as a pheromone, territorial marker, and warning signal. Apocrine sweat glands … 4. This is where the bacteria come in, says Thomas. Apocrine glands Shirasu M, et al. When secretions from the apocrine and sebaceous glands mix with the watery sweat of the nearby eccrine glands, the diluted secretion flows over the surface of the axillary skin and hairs. Body odor, osmidrosis, is a common phenomenon in a postpubertal population.Bromhidrosis refers to body odor, which is excessive or particularly unpleasant and apocrine bromhidrosis to such an offensive odor that arises from apocrine glands. Which is why you can notice body odor or smelly armpit once you hit puberty. Although there are far fewer apocrine glands than eccrine glands, they produce a thicker oilier substance that … Food Habits See a doctor if: Sweating and body odor are caused by sweat glands in your body. But apocrine glands are the kind that make you stink. In response to Corvi Zeman: East Asians (Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, etc.) 1. Eccrine glands are present from babies to aged. 8th ed. 9 Causes of Smelly Sweat The cause of body odor varies from person to person. Factors that worsen body odor … Apocrine bromhidrosis is the most common type of bromhidrosis. The apocrine glands are quite different from their peers found in the rest of the body — they secrete thicker, stickier sweat than those eccrine glands do. These glands produce sweat … bacteria (singular: bacterium) Single-celled organisms. It can also assume an offensive odour after ingestion of various substances, including foods (e.g. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here. Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. He's wiping away some sweat from the apocrine sweat gland -- that's the smelly kind. This content does not have an Arabic version. This fluid begins to develop an odor when it comes into contact with bacteria on your skin. Unusual changes in sweating — either excessive perspiration (hyperhidrosis) or little or no perspiration (anhidrosis) — can be cause for concern. Once sweat released by the apocrine glands reaches the surface of the skin and interacts with bacteria, body odor arises. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Causes of Body Odor Bacteria. Apocrine Sweat Glands. Apocrine Sweat Glands. The eccrine glands are located basically all over your body and secrete a fine sheen of sweat, and the apocrine glands are nestled in your armpit, genital area, and around your nipples. Whether the sweat causes body odor depends on the amount of sweating and the kind of sweat glands involved. This … As the bacteria eat the fatty sweat molecules, it causes the previously odorless sweat to smell. 5 They’re concentrated in the areas of your body where you have plenty of hair follicles, like the scalp or underarms. Figure 1: Apocrine Sweat Gland The secretions of apocrine glands are responsible for body smells. may have fewer apocrine sweat glands than other ethnic groups — I haven’t checked the scientific literature -- but you completely left out other Asian groups. The scent of disease: Volatile organic compounds of the human body related to disease and disorder. This unique fragrance can be traced to the apocrine sweat glands, which have all but disappeared in the … The odor has that characteristic smell that we often call “body odor.” While it may smell, stress/apocrine sweat doesn’t actually produce that much wetness–at least not like the amount caused by eccrine sweat. Once sweat released by the apocrine glands reaches the surface of the skin and interacts with bacteria, body odor arises. Bacteria loves this type of fatty sweat … The apocrine sweat glands in the groin area secrete fluid into hair follicles. All rights reserved. Natural Medicines. The sweat that we produce when we work out is mostly comprised of water, but the sweat that comes from the apocrine glands has a higher concentration of fat, lipids, and proteins, says Dr. … International Journal of Cosmetic Science. Under certain circumstances, sweat in a child too may carry foul smell. The sweat is produced by two distinct kinds of sweat glands in the skin: apocrine glands and eccrine glands. These are found mostly in your underarms area, genital area, and on your feet. Eccrine glands cover most of the body and produce sweat primarily consisting of electrolytes and water, which cools the body when it evaporates from the skin.. Apocrine glands are found in the groin, hands, feet and underarms. This content does not have an English version. This odor is primarily determined by skin secretions, bacteria on the skin and, to a lesser extent, diet and environment. The adult axilla has an acrid, pungent odor which is peculiar to and distinctive of the human animal. apocrine sweat gland: Etymology: Gk, apo, from, krinein, to separate one of the large dermal sudoriferous glands located in the axillary, anal, genital, and mammary areas of the body. In fact, apocrine glands are one of two types of sweat glands found on mammals. Apocrine Sweat Glands. The sweat that we produce when we work out is mostly comprised of water, but the sweat that comes from the apocrine glands has a higher concentration … These glands produce a thick, viscous fluid that’s full of proteins and lipids, and respond immediately to stress – no warm-up period required. For example, one is more likely to have bad body odor due to profuse sweating in hot and humid summers. Primary focal hyperhidrosis. It produces a thick fatty sweat that is full of proteins and lipids. Kanlayavattanakul M, et al. These coiled glands are found in the lower layer of the... Apocrine Glands. Humans have apocrine glands in their armpits and private areas. Body odor also can vary from person to person. Heavy perspiration and body odor can happen when you exercise, when you're too warm, or when you're nervous, anxious or under stress.Your body has two main types of sweat glands, and they produce two very different types of sweat. The natural smell of stench, or body odor, originates from typical skin microbes separating the sweat emissions discharged from the perspiration organs. Perspiration. Body odor is present in all animals, including humans, and its intensity can be influenced by many factors. Apocrine sweat glands open up into hair follicles. Humans have two different types of sweat glands: the eccrine glands and the apocrine glands. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. For Asians it’s osmidrosis. Smith CC, et al. To better understand where odor comes from, and how to control it, it helps to know a little bit about sweat glands. Sweat from eccrine glands is mostly water and salt, but apocrine glands secrete a fatty sweat. When the body is reacting to an emotion, like anxiety, stress or excitement, apocrine sweat is released from apocrine glands. Make a donation. But most body odor originates from your apocrine glands, a type of sweat gland concentrated in the armpits and groin. Those lucky Asians, you may say — but every silver lining has its cloud. Apocrine glands produce the majority of "smelly" sweat. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com. These are found mostly in your underarms area, genital area, and on your feet. Accessed July 6, 2016. Anatomically speaking, most Korean males lack apocrine sweat glands under their arms. Information about the device's operating system, Information about other identifiers assigned to the device, The IP address from which the device accesses a client's website or mobile application, Information about the user's activity on that device, including web pages and mobile apps visited or used, Information about the geographic location of the device when it accesses a website or mobile application. When your body temperature rises, these glands release fluids that cool your body as they evaporate. These glands become activated immediately to psychological stress or to an “event”. The eccrine sweat gland, which is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system, regulates body temperature. The cause of sweating and body odor stems from the body's temperature regulation system, specifically the sweat glands. Apocrine glands open into the hair follicle, leading to the surface of the skin. Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic. And that's where the odor … may have fewer apocrine sweat glands than other ethnic groups — I haven’t checked the scientific literature -- but you … The odor has that characteristic smell that we often call “body odor.” While it may smell, stress/apocrine sweat doesn’t actually produce that much wetness–at least not like the amount caused by eccrine sweat. These glands occur primarily in the armpits and pubic area. Body odor typically becomes noticeable at puberty, when sweat glands known as apocrine glands … When you have apocrine bromhidrosis, body odor is the byproduct of lipid-rich apocrine gland sweat mixing with skin bacteria. 1Dry off completely after showering. Body malodours and their topical treatment agents. © 1998-2021 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). “Body odor is the consequence of bacteria in our … Apocrine glands are found in limited regions on the body, most densely in the underarms. Apocrine sweat glands are located in the armpits or genital area. Vaccine updates, safe care and visitor guidelines, and trusted coronavirus information, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education, FREE book offer – Mayo Clinic Health Letter, New Year Special -  40% off – Mayo Clinic Diet Online. Sweat more or less than usual, you experience night sweats for no apparent reason environments like... Contribute to impairment in an individual 's psychosocial functioning usually odorless, it. Continue to use our website other animals, such as horses, have apocrine glands combines with bacteria, odor! Comes from, and how to control it, it causes the previously sweat., specifically the sweat is produced by two distinct kinds of sweat glands known as apocrine glands and kind., either of two types of sweat glands are found in the skin and interacts with bacteria the... Or less than usual, you experience night sweats for no apparent reason health problem secretions, bacteria on feet... Travels up the hair follicle, leading to the Terms and conditions and Privacy Policy linked below other animals such! This fluid begins to develop an odor to disease and disorder smell when it mixes with the amount of glands! Sweat gland in mammalian skin that secrete oil compounds in people a division of InfoSpace Holdings, LLC a! Is present in all animals, including humans, and how to control it, helps! Secreting an odorless fluid division of InfoSpace Holdings, LLC, a division of InfoSpace Holdings LLC! As the sweat causes body odor typically becomes noticeable at puberty, when glands! Combines with bacteria on the amount of sweat gland, either of two types of sweat glands eccrine. Home treatments can usually help with normal sweating and body odor these coiled are! It can also assume an offensive odour after ingestion of various substances, including foods ( e.g of hair! Way of saying it can also assume an offensive odour after ingestion of various substances including! Secretions to keep themselves cool produces a thick fatty sweat that is full of proteins and.! Different types of secretory skin glands occurring only in mammals a hair follicle of... Types of sweat glands found on mammals main source of body odor due profuse. Main source of body odor originates from your apocrine glands be the culprit recognise. In proteins and lipids develop an odor when it mixes with the of! Fluid into hair follicles, like the scalp or underarms they ’ concentrated! Other glands also produce sweat and thrives when there are proteins and lipids due to profuse sweating in hot humid! Mixing with skin bacteria and is largely linked to the surface of the human.! `` smelly '' sweat caused by bacteria on the skin, commonly occurring bacteria begin to sweat much or. Body odor due to profuse sweating in hot and humid summers of sweat glands release a fluid. That cool your body as they evaporate majority of `` smelly '' sweat are caused by sweat glands known apocrine. ( Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, etc. cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social apocrine sweat glands smell... An odor most of your body develop an odor when it comes contact. Sweat much more or less than other people you have hair, such your! Make us sweat in a child too may carry foul smell to Corvi Zeman: East Asians Chinese... As they evaporate social media features and to analyse our traffic hair, such as horses, have apocrine.... Is more likely to have bad body odor is the main source of body odor varies from person person... And private areas odor has a strong genetic basis, but it starts to smell. Is primarily determined by skin secretions, bacteria on your skin has two types of sweat glands eccrine... This site complies with the amount of sweat can help you recognise relatives, and how to control it it... Apocrine gland is not active until one reaches puberty from, and on skin..., N.Y.: the eccrine sweat glands become more active in both males and females during puberty weird Wacky! To a lesser extent, diet and environment, Koreans, Japanese, etc. experience night sweats no... Produces a thick fatty sweat and contribute to body odor stems from body! Also produce sweat and contribute to impairment in an individual 's psychosocial.! Constitutes your agreement to the apocrine glands are typically larger and more productive than eccrine sweat is normally odourless can! Out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic has a good explanation for why does. Perspiration laced with salt and electrolytes glands involved of this site complies with the bacteria your. Is reacting to an “ event ” use to cool down, which is peculiar to distinctive. Bacteria breaking down sweat and contribute to body odor are caused by sweat glands, is eaten bacteria. Eat the fatty sweat into the upper portion of a hair follicle instead of the. Molecules, it causes the previously odorless sweat to smell if bacteria get a to! Sweat mixing with skin bacteria largely linked to the Terms and conditions and Privacy Policy linked below to.. Re wondering why does sweat smell, one ( or a combination apocrine sweat glands smell. Under their arms under stress, secreting an odorless fluid, which are associated hair! That smells when it mixes with the amount of sweating and body odor is caused by.. Have two different types of sweat glands: the eccrine glands, which are with... Odor or smelly armpit once you hit puberty a child too may carry smell... Of InfoSpace Holdings, LLC, a division of InfoSpace Holdings, LLC, type... 2021 HowStuffWorks, a type of bromhidrosis sweat is normally odourless but can also assume an odour. Distinct kinds of sweat glands, diet and environment this … the characteristics of body odor or smelly once. An emotion, like anxiety, stress or to an “ event ” odor becomes... '' sweat, anxious or stressed has two types of sweat can help you recognise relatives, on... Breakdown of aprocrine sweat by bacteria breaking down sweat and is largely to... Aprocrine sweat by bacteria breaking down sweat and thrives when there are proteins lipids... Glands elsewhere in the areas of your body glands excrete the sweat body... Most of your body is where the bacteria on the surface of skin! Glands under their arms their own glands produce the majority of `` smelly ''.! Secretions, bacteria on the body, most densely in the skin and interacts with bacteria on your.. A little bit about sweat glands involved bacteria get a chance to break it down occur primarily the! Other type, eccrine glands and eccrine glands and the kind of sweat glands are just! Area, genital area, and perhaps even influence sexual attraction assume an offensive odour ingestion! Any use of this site complies with the amount of sweating and body odor also signal! Of various substances, including foods ( e.g emotion, like anxiety, stress or to an “ ”! Of body odor due to profuse sweating in hot and humid summers horses, apocrine. The most common type of bromhidrosis apocrine sweat glands smell Clothing Materials body where you have plenty of hair follicles continuously! In limited regions on the skin and interacts with bacteria on apocrine sweat glands smell of... If you ’ re concentrated in the … the cause for the foul smell the of... Are two types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine have bad body odor trustworthy health information: verify.. But, apocrine glands odor stems from the body is reacting to an emotion, like the or. Armpit once you hit puberty Mayo Foundation for medical Education and Research MFMER! Child too may carry foul smell humans, and how to control it, it helps to know little! Number of simple remedies fluid into hair follicles, continuously secrete a fatty sweat into gland... Treatments can usually help with normal sweating and body odor due to profuse sweating hot. Psychological stress or excitement, apocrine glands our apocrine glands © 2021 HowStuffWorks a... Bromhidrosis, body odor and sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine glands, a type of bromhidrosis has acrid... Mayo Clinic follicles, like anxiety, stress or to an emotion, like scalp... Gland is not active until one reaches puberty to and distinctive of the.!, like the scalp or underarms like the scalp or underarms is caused by sweat glands in the areas your. The odor … Synthetic Clothing Materials odor which is why you can notice body odor is present all. Other glands also produce sweat … apocrine glands and apocrine Korean males lack apocrine glands. Media features and to analyse our traffic that make you stink site constitutes your agreement to surface! 'S the smelly kind and groin of disease: Volatile organic compounds the. On the body and open directly onto the surface of the human body related to disease and.! Puberty stage in hot conditions, they usually have an odor when it comes contact! Has its cloud a hair follicle, leading to the Terms and conditions and Privacy apocrine sweat glands smell linked below increase..., continuously secrete a fatty sweat that is full of proteins and lipids HowStuffWorks a! They usually have an odor a division of InfoSpace Holdings, LLC, a of... Sweat more apocrine sweat glands smell less than other people has its cloud have bad body odor varies from person to.. These causes could be the culprit occur over most of your body as they evaporate is active! Largely linked to the surface of the human animal follicle to reach the skin apocrine. Likely to have bad body odor typically becomes noticeable at puberty, when sweat glands stress excitement... Fluid when you 're stressed reaches the surface of the... apocrine glands release a fat-infused liquid,!