How can you tell your husband that he smells bad without hurting his ego? This was the question on the mind of Mrs. Yinka Adeyemi (not real name) for many years.
She was worried about how her husband would feel if he told him that he stinks.
Adeyemi stated that many times, she turned down her husband’s request to go out together.
For a long while, Adeyemi said she endured the foul smell from her husband, adding that she later realised that if she kept quiet about it, the problem would persist.
“I don’t know how it started, but it is disgraceful when we go out together. I am only trying to handle it with wisdom so that it won’t affect our marriage. His body odour is annoying. But I still love him,” she said.
Adeyemi is not the only person whose husband smells badly. Besides, women also have body odour. It’s a big issue in many homes, experts say. Findings also show that those whose partners have body odour usually don’t know how to tell them.
According to experts, those with body odour are usually unaware of it.
This is Mrs. Bimbo Adesuyi’s case, who said body odour ruined the cordial relationship she had with her husband. The 44-year-old maintained that it had not been easy living together with her husband.
“My husband’s body odour has become a serious issue. Whenever we are together in the home, the odour is disturbing and irritating. In fact, I want to find a way to avoid him but it is not easy doing that,” she said.
The situation of a teacher, Mr. Kunle Akinto, is similar. Akinto said his wife’s body odour affected their sex life.
The 50-year-old said at some point, he considered leaving her because of the foul smell.
“I have been managing the issue for some years but it has not been easy. It is sad that we no longer sleep together on our matrimonial bed because of her body odour.
I don’t allow her to meet some of my colleagues when they come to our house because the odour will put them off,” she said.
Also, a civil servant, Bayo Fapetu, said his wife had it for many years, adding that it was difficult to tell her how he perceived the issue.
Fapetu stated, “Even our children are not comfortable with their mother’s body odour. They often ask me questions about it. But I always have nothing to tell them because I don’t want to belittle their mother before them.”
According to a dermatologist, Sebastine Oiwoh, body odour is an offensive or abnormal smell emanating from the sweat generated by the skin.
Oiwoh said the foul smell was usually caused by the breakdown of sweat by normal resident bacteria in the skin, food, drugs, metabolic disorders and others.
According to the expert, body odour can also result from ingestion of certain food substances like garlic, alcohol or some drugs.
The dermatologist added that it could also be caused by some predisposing skin conditions as well as obesity, diabetes mellitus and other similar diseases.
Oiwoh, who noted that body odour could be triggered in those with some metabolic disorders like trimethylaminuria (amino acid disorders where there is fish odour smell), identified personal hygiene as vital in managing the condition.
He said, “Treatment depends on the causes of the foul smell. When the cause is known, like skin disorders, it can be treated. Other simple measures include washing of armpits regularly as one sweats.
“Another effective measure to undertake is the regular shaving of hair in the armpit. The armpit is where sweat and bacteria usually accumulate.
One should also ensure removal of clothes where one sweats. Keeping the skin dry is key. After engaging in personal hygiene, such people may consider using deodorants compatible with their skins.”
A medical doctor, Dr. Jide Aremo, said body odour could become evident at puberty due to the increased influence of sex hormones.
The doctor explained that obese persons, those who eat spicy foods like garlic regularly as well as individuals with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and other chronic debilitating diseases, are prone to body odour.
Aremo stated that people who sweat too much are also inclined to body odour, adding that body odour in any individual could be caused by diet, gender, health and medication.
He explained that apart from treatment options such as good personal hygiene, use of deodorant and antiperspirants, antiseptic soaps, those suffering from it should cut down on food and beverages likely to cause sweating like alcohol and caffeine.
He also advised them to shave armpit and pubic hair regularly.
Aremo advised that couples, whose partners have the condition, to find a good way to help them.
“There was a man married to a lady. The man had bad breath, medically referred to as halitosis. He had lived with it for years.
One day, the man annoyed his friends and they told him his mouth smelt. They said they wondered how his wife had been able to cope with him,” he said while narrating how a woman helped her husband.
“The man went home sad. He confronted his wife and asked her why she didn’t tell him all this while that he had bad breath. The wife said, ‘Really? I thought the smell coming from your mouth is the normal smell that all men have. In fact, I thought those who don’t smell like you are abnormal.
“As you can see, this woman has massaged his husband’s ego with wisdom. The husband or wife whose partner has body odour can insist both have their bath twice a day. But they should be careful so that they don’t deflate their partner’s ego.”
Aremo also advised them to seek professional help for specific treatment options.