Welcome to the OutUK series looking at gay men and their health brought to you in association with the NHS website.
Each week we'll tackle a different topic in our A to Z of Gay Health. We'll have features and advice on everything from relationships, sexual health, mental and physical conditions and how to stay fit. You can follow any of links provided below for more information direct from the NHS website, or view any of our Previous A to Z Features.
You should also know that OutUK has produced a special report about: Coronavirus Covid-19.

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This Week - O : Odour

Body odour is a common problem. You can usually treat it yourself.

How to treat body odour yourself


  • wash your armpits, groin and feet at least twice a day with soap and dry thoroughly

  • shave your armpits regularly

  • use antiperspirants and deodorants

  • change and wash your clothes regularly

  • wear natural fabrics like cotton, wool and silk

  • wear antibacterial socks


  • do not eat too much strong smelling or spicy food

  • do not drink too much coffee or alcohol

A pharmacist can help with body odour

You can ask a pharmacist about:

  • stronger antiperspirants
  • armpit or sweat shields to protect your clothing
  • foot powders for sweaty feet
  • soap substitutes that are gentler on your skin

Find a pharmacy

See a GP if:

You have body odour that has not got better after treating it yourself and:

  • it's affecting your self-esteem
  • you notice a change in how it usually smells
  • you suddenly begin to sweat much more than usual

Treatments from a GP

If you have severe body odour and sweating, a GP may suggest:

  • stronger, prescription antiperspirants
  • injections in your armpits to reduce the amount of sweat
  • surgery to remove the sweat glands

Read more about treating excessive sweating.

Causes of body odour

Things that can make body odour worse include:

Body odour may also be linked to excessive sweating and smelly feet.

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We'll have more information and advice next week on another topic in our A to Z of Gay Health. We have covered many subjects in this series and you can catch up with all of our Previous A to Z Features.

If you want to find out more about this week's subject you can visit the Original article on the NHS website. If you are worried by any aspect of your health make sure you go and see your doctor or book an appointment at your local clinic.

Photos: LightFieldStudios and one of VladOrlov, Stockcube, darak77, ajr_images or rawpixel.com.


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