why does my child have body odor
If you have noticed an odor that your child carries, it may not be as superficial a problem as you suspect. Many disorders exist that can be the cause of a prepubescent child possessing body odor and the problem needs to be addressed. If you know that your child is clean and she is too young to be going through puberty, you should explore the reason for her odor with her physician. Phenylketonuria is inherited and is a metabolic disorder that causes a musty odor in the child #039;s body. This disorder can cause intellectual and developmental disabilities due to the body not being able to process a portion of the protein phenylalanine. This protein is in most foods, such as meat, milk, eggs, and nuts. If the phenylalanine level gets too high in a child #039;s body, brain damage can occur, but avoiding these foods can allow him to live a normal life. All babies born in the United States are tested for phenylketonuria at birth, which makes it easier to diagnose and treat earlier, according to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Trimethylaminuria causes a fishy odor in affected children #039;s sweat, urine, and breath. This disorder is caused by an inability to break down trimethylamine, which can be a genetic mutation or can be caused by an increase of bacteria in the digestive system.
The odor that trimethylaminuria causes interferes with a child #039;s relationships and social life. Signs of isovaleric acidemia present shortly after birth. Children who have acute illnesses occurring as a result of isovaleric acidemia possess a distinctive odor of sweaty feet. This odor is caused by the buildup of a compound called isovaleric acid in affected individuals. Isovaleric acidemia is cause by a buildup of organic acids in the blood, urine, and tissues. This buildup can be toxic and lead to health problems. The signs of this disorder present themselves within a few days after birth and they include poor feeding, vomiting, seizures, and lack of energy, according to the National Institutes of Health. If an abnormal amount of sweat accompanies your child #039;s odor, he may have hyperhidrosis, which is a condition that causes an unpredictable and excessive amount of sweating in the body. It is caused by overactive sweat glands and seems to be linked genetically in families. Hyperhidrosis causes a child emotional pain but there are treatments available to treat the sweating such as antiperspirants, Botox, medication, lontophoresis and surgery, NIH advises.
When your child carries an odor, it does not always mean that she has a disease or condition that you need to worry about. Before you panic, look for a life style reason. Change her diet if she is consuming caffeine, garlic, onions, curry, or other strong spices. Make sure that she is washing properly and often enough. If these changes don #039;t effect her body odor, take her to her physician.
An eight-year-old with smelly armpits? IsnБt that a little young? Not necessarily. For the vast majority of kids, stinky sweat is an early sign that puberty has begun, says Beth Cummings, a pediatric endocrinologist at IWK Health Centre in Halifax. The onset of puberty is happening earlier for many girls Б according to Cummings, itБs within the range of normal for girls to begin experiencing some changes at age eight. With boys, itБs about nine. And, she explains, Бif weБre seeing pubertal changes in a seven-year-old girl, most of the time itБs a normal variation in development. Б Boys, on the other hand, should be assessed by a doctor for changes happening before age nine. That funky smell that pubescent kids have is associated with adrenarche, the medical term for body changes that begin when the adrenal glands become more active.
This is also the reason for the oily skin and hair, and pubic hair that come with puberty. Sweating increases in pubescent boys and girls, especially in the underarm and groin areas because the apocrine glands mature under the stimulation of hormones. БThe increase in hormonal activity is what causes sweat to develop an odour,Б says Cummings. If a girl this age has stinky sweat, but no other concerning symptoms (such as other signs of puberty, a growth spurt or headaches), thereБs probably no reason to worry, says Cummings. But she suggests parents mention it to the doctor during a regular checkup. ThereБs no way to prevent body odour related to early adrenarche except good hygiene. БKids this age can be pretty vulnerable to teasing, so you want to help them try to prevent it,Б says Cummings. Regular is the key to prevention, including a thorough scrub under the arms. , but probably need some encouragement to do a thorough job themselves. Hint: A nylon body scrubber along with a liquid body wash are much easier to manage than a face cloth and bar of soap. For some kids, bathing wonБt be enough to prevent body odour throughout the day, especially when theyБre active. Cummings recommends either a deodorant or antiperspirant.
Deodorants work by covering up the smell of sweat, while antiperspirants actually stop or reduce the amount of sweat produced. While Cummings says there isnБt a concern with kids using deodorants or antiperspirants, there are several natural, unscented products on the market, including deodorant crystals and baking-soda-based products. Health-food stores are a good place to look for these. The website of the Environmental Working Group rates hundreds of brands for chemical content. Visit and click on БSkin Care. Б For sweaty kids, clean underwear and T-shirts every day are a must. Cotton or other natural fibres absorb sweat more readily. Our bodies contain two kinds of sweat glands. The eccrine glands are spread all over the body and help to cool us down when weБre too hot because of the weather, a, exertion or spicy food. Sweat, which is mostly a combination of water and salt, cools the body as it evaporates. The apocrine glands are located under the arms and in the groin, and they produce oils as well as sweat after puberty begins. They also cause sweating when weБre hot, as well as when weБre stressed. Now that the kids smell better, next stop: their closets. Read more:
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