why does it smell behind your ears
Growing up I am sure we all heard the saying, whether from our moms or on TV, " don't forget to wash behind your ears". Personal I don't remember my mom speaking out those words, but I do remember my dad telling me not to forget to wash some other parts which I won't discuss at the moment, but of course equally as important. Ok, back on the subject. Did you ever rub your finger behind your ear and accidentally smelled your finger and noticed an unpleasant smell, which some people compare it to the smell of Swiss cheese? The odour behind your ears is due to oil-producing glands. These glands produce an oily fat called sebum. The body produces sebum naturally. Sebum in itself is odourless but its bacterial disintegration produces a smell. These odours are most prominent in oily areas of the skin like the face, behind the ears, under the arms, around the nipples and at the groin. These are all natural odours the human body produces without will. We can mask these smells with perfumes and soaps, but that's all we're able to do, only mask them. The odours still exist under all that perfume. For lack of a better description, this is the scent bloodhounds follow when chasing someone in the woods. Not our perfume, but our natural body scent. Because of the fold between the ear and the skull the oil produced by the gland gather and are not evaporated easily as on other parts of our skin.
These in it's self produces the odour. But also more bacteria can collect in between the skull and ear, thus causing a more profound smell. We have all seen on TV and movies where they rub cologne behind the ears. Well this is not such a wise idea. The oils and bacteria along with the perfume can change the chemistry and produce a smell worse than the original natural odour. Some of us sweat more than other and most of us just wipe down our faces and forget to wipe behind the ears. Frequent sweating can logically increase bacteria behind the ears and thus increasing the smell. People who wear glass also tend to sweat more in this area. For people who tend to sweat more than others, especially in the hot summer season, it may be good practice to carry wet naps to clean behind the ears as needed. These naps also contain antibacterial ingredients. Hey! I've been caught in emergency situation where I've had to used these naps to refresh under my arms when duty called per say. Yes! I was a good boy scout when I was younger, always prepared. There are of course many other conditions that can occur behind the ears that are more serious and in themselves cause odours.
But these are usually outstanding to the touch and also visible. Conditions like lumps and cysts under the earlobe. These are usually treated by dermatologist by draining out the fatty oils accumulated. Some never return again. Sometimes the cysts come and go without intervention. These issues I would like to discuss on another article. As far as the issue of just a fowl smell behind the ears without other serious condition, don't lose any sleep over it. Just good old personal hygiene is all you really need to treat this condition. That is why if you keep your skin clean of bacteria with anti-bacterial soaps, you can avoid body odour. the premier
And there is this study too (http://onlinelibrary. wiley. com/doi/10. 1002/cbdv. 200690015/abstract). So what fatty acids an individual's skin produces varies from individual site to site and with intra-individual age, likely by arousal state, and inter-individual as well, including by gender. Which bacteria are colonized where (producing which enzymes to produce which products from those fatty acids) also has variation between sites likely with age, and between individuals, including by gender. More on the bacteria of the skin (http://www. sciencemag. org/content/324/5931/1190. full) (but behind wall I think).
We characterized the topographical and temporal diversity of the human skin microbiome with the use of 16S rRNA gene phylotyping, and generated 112,283 near-full-length bacterial 16S gene sequences from samples of 20 diverse skin sites on each of 10 healthy humans (7) (fig. S1 and table S1). Nineteen bacterial phyla were detected, but most sequences were assigned to four phyla: Actinobacteria (51. 8%), Firmicutes (24. 4%), Proteobacteria (16. 5%), and Bacteroidetes (6. 3%). Of the 205 identified genera represented by at least five sequences, three were associated with more than 62% of the sequences: Corynebacteria (22. 8%; Actinobacteria), Propionibacteria (23. 0%; Actinobacteria), and Staphylococci (16. 8%; Firmicutes). At the species level, we observed greater diversity than revealed by culture-based methods (2). Propionibacteria species and Staphylococci species predominated in sebaceous sites (Fig. 1A). Corynebacteria species predominated in moist sites, although Staphylococci species were also represented (Fig. 1B). A mixed population of bacteria resided in dry sites, with a greater prevalence of -Proteobacteria and Flavobacteriales (Fig. 1C). In general, sebaceous sites were less diverse, less even, and less rich than moist and dry sites.
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