I have a young teenage son that apparently stops girls in their tracks. Even though he’s a handsome young lad I’m really joking about a very embarrassing topic., What I mean is that his body odor is so strong that it apparently offends most of the others around him. His physical education teacher told my wife that they really like him but he really has a strong odor and needs to wear deodorant. I tried to tell him without leading to the fact that someone at his school brought it up because his school is very small. He would be humiliated if he knew. My son told me that he does wear spray on deodorant. We decided to get him the stick or roll on kind. I have the same problem though so I understand. This is the second year in a row that someone has complained about his strong odor. And since this is a very special school we can’t afford for him to be dropped over something this silly. However, I do understand.
So what can we change that would eliminate or dramatically reduce the body odor. He takes daily showers on top of this in the morning before going to school. I personally think it’s the hormones combined with his typical high anxieties probably from just being a young teen. It’s an embarrassing topic to discuss with just anyone and the person that brought it to our attention plays a significant role in the student body attendance - cut or approve for return. We have too much money wrapped up into this to just walk away and send him to another school and he is set to gain a lot by attending it. So bailing is not an acceptable option at the moment.
I know that trimming body hair is supposed to help, but I don’t want him trimming and end up tripping if you know what I mean. He’s a very good boy with a well formed conscience. No matter where he goes he’ll still have the problem. Any wholesome solutions for a potential future priest would be most appreciated. He talk about it from time to time since since his 12th birthday.
Hi there! I was wondering if your son has ever tried prescription antiperspirant? There is a product I started using after high school (would I have known about it before!) and I use it because I sweat profusely, I always wore two shirts to school and know how embarassing a situation like that can be. While I didn’t have a problem with odor per se, I believe wetness contributes to it. Anyway, what I use isn’t prescription exactly (although you used to have to ask the pharmacist for it special), but it’s not like regular deoderant either. It’s called Certain Dri. It’s the most awesome stuff I’ve ever found, and maybe it will help your son too. Either way, I hope you find a solution!
As someone who has dealt with excessive perspiration in the armpit areas, I also recommend CertainDri anti-perspirant. It is OTC, but it stopped my perspiration dead in its tracks - even in the South Indian heat.
I’d recommend two things - switch to stick deodorant and make sure he is fastidious about applying it daily.
I would have him checked out by the doctor. Different types of body odors can indicate a medical problem. One thing you might also consider is the soap or body wash he uses. Sometimes the scent of shampoos and body washes smell gross once they are on an actual body. You might also try going to a naturopathic or health food store. My sister gets an all natural deodorant that has some type of bacteria that kills the odor causing bacteria. (She tried all the over the counter stuff and said this is the only thing that works for her.) The only places that carry it are health food stores. Good luck.
I’d also check the kind of foods he’s eating. Preservatives and hormones in milk and meat can cause these problems. Even though its expensive it may be best to go organic for his sake. I don’t eat too much meat but when I do its preservative-free and hormone-free (which usually, but dosn’t always, mean organic) I’ve never had a problem with smelling but I noticed that it makes a difference. I went on a long hiking trip where we started to eat only natural foods and grains for the sake of carrying things…and the first week or two without anti-perspirent our smell was awful…after a couple weeks of good food we hardly smelled. And we were told by off-trail guides that this was incredibly typical.
Chances are, he is spraying a cologne like “axe” and thinking that is antiperspirant. Ain’t gonna work.
First, trimming the hair under his arms is vital. If the chemicals in the antiperspirant does not reach the skin, it is not effective. Weekly trim with scissors or beard trimmer will do the trick. Trimming is to be done when hair is clean, dry and free of chemical residue (no big cakes of deoderant in the hair).
Shower using a deodorant soap and rinse well. Teach him to use a washcloth or scrubbie to make sure that he is really CLEANING his armpits and groin area.
Out of the shower, dry off with a clean towel. Do not apply any antiperspirant until the skin is DRY. Follow package directions and allow the product to dry well before putting on clothes.
Cotton underpants and a cotton t-shirt (as undershirt if he wants to wear another kind of shirt) as well as cotton socks are a must.
If he has PE in school, a good shower and re-application of antiperspirant after the class is a must.
I agree with the others about looking for a better deodorant… not just something that covers smells - but something stronger. I’ve also heard good things about that CertainDri brand - and if that doesn’t work, talking to his doctor may be appropriate. Body powder can help to keep him cool and dry as well - not just “smelly sprays” but cornstarch powders that absorb moisture.
Also, consider shopping for better athletic clothing. There are many cool-wick fabrics that draw the moisture away from your body - maybe the sweat is hanging on his heavy cotton shirts and holding in the smell? Definitely splurge for the true cool-wick athletic clothes.
Another thought is to be sure he wears clean clothes every day and get him changes of his PE uniform. Have him bring the dirties home every night to be laundered.
We all get used to our own scent and he may not be aware that the shirt he wore last week that didn’t make it into the laundry is going to be super stinky the next time around! This will be especially true if he wears a uniform with a jacket. Get some fabreeze or something like that to ‘clean’ the jacket in between dry cleanings.
I know nothing about the brand of deoderant that others are mentioning, but the levels of ‘active ingredient’ in normal brands does vary also, so at least be sure you are buying a strong version.
And just so he doesn’t explode from all the scents–try to either coordinate his soap, deoderant, colonge, etc., or find unscented and yet strong versions!
*I know what kage is talking about with just using a body spray like axe. Our son uses axe dry deodorant and body spray…plus takes showers daily. We went through a period when he was stinky…and this seemed to resolve it. (daily showers + using a dry deodorant) Sad we had to tell a teen to take showers daily…but…lol In Florida, especially…boys’ sweat just has a particular odor to it! :ouch:
I hope things improve with your son, OP…I know it can be embarassing, but just try to help him out, and hopefully he won’t be offended or anything. :o*
Years ago when I was a teen I used to read Dear Abby and Ann Landers on a daily basis. There was one reader who complained about the same B.O. problem you described. Other readers piped in with their own surefire solution. They praised an antiperspirant that was sold in rock form. I found one such product and I include the link below:
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