Thu, Oct 04, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Doctor calls attention to odor-causing condition

By Ou Su-mei and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A Taichung doctor has drawn attention to a condition called bromidrosis after a woman put off having the cause of her foul body odor diagnosed for 10 years.

The 28-year-old woman, surnamed Sung (宋), noticed at an early age that her body odor became stronger after exercise or during the summer, said Wu Wen-horng (吳文宏), director of Kuang Tien General Hospital’s Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

She changed her clothes frequently and used antiperspirant to mitigate the issue, Wu said.

However, last summer, when the air conditioning in her office broke down, her coworkers said that she might have bromidrosis and that she should seek medical attention, he added.

Sung was diagnosed with bromidrosis and her apocrine glands were surgically removed, after which her condition improved, Wu said.

Bromidrosis is due to the decomposition of apocrine gland secretions by bacteria, Wu said.

Most patients seek medical attention only after their classmates or peers speak to them about their body odor, at the suggestion of friends with similar experiences, or because they have a family history of the condition, he said.

There are three signs of bromidrosis: Wet and sticky earwax, yellow sweat stains under the armpits and foul body odor, he said.

The severity of bromidrosis can differ by gender, age, diet and weather, Wu said.

People with mild bromidrosis can alleviate the symptoms by showering often, shaving their armpits, using antiperspirants and reducing the intake of spicy or strong-smelling food, he said.

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