Body odour (BO)

Body odour is a common problem. You can usually treat it yourself.

How to treat body odour yourself


  • wash your armpits, groin and feet at least twice a day with soap and dry thoroughly

  • shave your armpits regularly

  • use antiperspirants and deodorants

  • change and wash your clothes regularly

  • wear natural fabrics like cotton, wool and silk

  • wear antibacterial socks

How to treat body odour yourself


  • do not eat too much strong smelling or spicy food

  • do not drink too much coffee or alcohol

A pharmacist can help with body odour

How to treat body odour yourself

You can ask a pharmacist about:

  • stronger antiperspirants
  • armpit or sweat shields to protect your clothing
  • foot powders for sweaty feet
  • soap substitutes that are gentler on your skin

How to treat body odour yourself

See a GP if:

You have body odour that has not got better after treating it yourself and:

  • it's affecting your self-esteem
  • you notice a change in how it usually smells
  • you suddenly begin to sweat much more than usual

Treatments from a GP

If you have severe body odour and sweating, a GP may suggest:

  • stronger, prescription antiperspirants
  • injections in your armpits to reduce the amount of sweat
  • surgery to remove the sweat glands

Read more about treating excessive sweating.

Causes of body odour

Things that can make body odour worse include:

Body odour may also be linked to excessive sweating and smelly feet.