We all get plagued with body odor from time to time, but if it’s just coming from your armpits after a sweaty day at the gym, it’s likely harmless. However, there are a number of different body odors you should never ignore, as they could be symptoms of other bigger issues. Stinky body parts aren’t exactly a glamorous topic, so many of us aren’t aware of what’s normal and what warrants a trip to the doctor. But becoming knowledgable on irregular body odors can help keep your health and wellbeing in check, even if it freaks you out.
“We all have a very distinct and unique natural scent,” says Nesochi Okeke-Igbokwe, M.D., M.S. over email. “Some of the odors emitted by our bodies are simply just a part of our natural body chemistry. However, there are certain unmistakable clear-cut changes to how we smell that should be recognized if they arise. It is important to be familiar with your own individual natural scent, so that appropriate medical care may be sought out if there is ever a concerning change.”
Here are seven body odors you should never ignore — because they could be a sign that something is off in your body.
1. Foul-Smelling Urine:
Foul smelling, cloudy urine may be a sign that you have a urinary tract infection. “If you also experience additional symptoms of fever, chills, pain or burning with urination, you must see your doctor so that the infection may be treated with the appropriate antibiotic,” says Okeke-Igbokwe.
2. Fishy Scent From The Vagina:
Everyone has different vaginal odor, and it can even change during different times of the month, but if you notice a persistent fishy smell, you should go see a doctor for treatment. “A fishy vaginal odor could indicate a condition called Bacterial Vaginosis that is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria that occurs naturally in the vagina,” says Dr. Jennifer Caudle over email. “Often, women will have a discharge with this as well.”
3. Cuts Or Wounds With Drainage That Smell Funny:
“This could indicate that you have an infection at your wound site,” says Caudle. “This really can occur anywhere in the body. The big thing here is to pay attention to whether wounds smell funny or have drainage that is foul-smelling. Definitely check in with your doctor if this is the case.”