Q: Please Doc, my 8year old boy has started having this odour especially when he sweats. Please, what can I do to stop this or is it normal because when I checked his armpit I found some hair coming out? Please I need answers ASAP. Thanks
A: Thanks for writing in. Is this normal? Well, from around the age of 8 to 10 years, children begin to sweat a little more and of course with the sweat comes the possibility of body odour. So, this is the time to teach him some hygiene lessons that will be helpful forever
He needs to take a shower twice a day or failing that, at least once a day. This helps wash away sweat as well as reduce the number of bacteria on his skin.
Most people don’t know but sweat on its own is virtually odourless. But when bacteria that live naturally on your skin mix with sweat, they multiply quickly and become smelly.
Teach him to towel off after a bath or shower. He needs to pay close attention to areas where he sweats a lot. Sweat causing bacteria love moist areas.
Get him a deodorant or anti-perspirant to use on his underarms twice a day, in the morning and the evening. Deodorants do not actually prevent sweating, but they mask the smell of bacteria on the skin. Now that he has underarm hair, he has to shave that and groin area hairs frequently as they trap sweat and encourage smells.
Change undergarments frequently. Honestly, panties and underpants should be changed whenever you take a bath. And please remember to wash the discarded ones when you change.
When sweating heavily or in very hot weather, he should change clothes frequently…and it’s important to wash those sweaty clothes before wearing them again! Fresh clothes help keep body odour down.
Teach him to change his socks too, especially if he tends to have foot odour. Deodorant powders or detergent based running shoe cleaners used in shoes are useful.
Be sure to reassure him that this is all part of growing up and as is usual with this process, he has new responsibilities that go with this stage
Have a good night, y’all