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Body odor... is it contagious?


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This is kind of embarrassing but I swear my body odor has changed since meeting and being married to my wife.

It smells like her body odor which is 'unique', or was, and so thats my question:

 

Is body odor, or the bacteria that die and produce b.o., contagious/transmittable?

 

Or is it probably something else causing this like the food we are eating?

 

Also, I want my old B.O. back...any suggestions?

 

I've tried vinegar under the arms, bleach solution, H202, a little bit of athletes foot spray(!), anything to kill off this strain so my old strain can prosper again.

 

Nothing seems to work.

Perhaps biotech is working on new, delicious smelling bacteria to inoculate unfortunate people like me with?

;)

I bet that stuff would *fly* off the shelves!

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Body odour consists of many more things than just bacteria; in fact, I don't think I've ever heard that bacteria is a main cause of it all. Your personal smell is probably much more an affect of your hormones and the food you eat. (People who eat large amounts of garlic will start to smell more like garlic.) Your wife and you now share the same microenvironment - you eat the same food, you use the same bathroom, you sleep in the same bed, your clothes get washed together. She probably doesn't smell the same as she used to either. Men's baseline testosterone levels also decrease as they enter into long term relationships.

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My apologies, I stand corrected. That's pretty interesting. In that case I don't see why you wouldn't exchange bacteria especially living in close contact the way you do. I searched for a few papers and it seems to me it's only a certain family of bacteria, so finding ways to kill specific strains and not others would probably be pretty difficult - they're all probably similar in their environmental requirements. Using something like bleach will kill EVERYTHING, not just one thing. Again, it's probably not that hers have completely taken over, but rather that the two of you have mixed your populations.

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Actually both is true. The dominant elements are a class of volatile carboxylic acids that are the result of bacterial action on secreted precursors. However, the product is also dependent on what is being secreted. Here it is known that there are large day-to-day variations, quite possible the result of e.g. food intake, but there appears to be a genetic basis.

However, bacterial skin flora generally does not get easily transmitted or changed, unless something really disruptive happens. This could be, e.g. the use of antibacterial substances or complete change of diet over time. The rationale behind this is that whatever is fit to colonize your skin will have an edge and prevent others from settling.

 

Oops. cross posted with paralith.

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Odds are, you will have a lot of trouble getting rid of bacteria on your skin. For one thing, they will be one everything you touched, and most of your house dust is going to be flakes of dead skin. For another, some bacteria are embedded deeply into your skin, and you'd have to peel yourself like a tomato to get them out. I don't think it is a clever idea to try to kill off the bacteria on your skin, but replacing them may be a better option.

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Even if you sterilize yourself (which is kind of possible) chances are that you will be colonized by the selfsame bacteria. If I recall correctly the microbiota of skin was not that complex and (numerically dominated) by relative small number of genera. Unless your skin properties change rapidly the original biota will form itself again over time.

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Maybe you can first test to see if the food you eat is causing your body odor, I

mean there are probably a lot of variables or causes. So try an experiment:

First try to eat different food from what your wife eats. And if you start smelling different then thats the cause, but if you don't then "research" some more.

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  • 1 year later...

I hear ya! I want my old, almost undetectable, body odor back!

 

Now it is so vile, I can't stand it myself. I can't imagine what it is like for others who are near me. Feh!

 

There must be some way to inoculate my armpits with more aggressive and low-odor bacteria (and fungi??).


Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged

BTW, I tried dirt and no obvious difference. Maybe I need to apply dirt or maybe vermicompost to my armpits on a regualr basis to start seeing a difference. High quality vermicompost has thousands of time more bacteria than regular thermophilic compost.

 

I'll keep ya posted.

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I've always wondered why some people have a "unique" smell. and think it is due to genes. might be lacking some enzymes to break down some chemicals in the sweat.

I think can try going vegetarian for a while. Beef have a smell, goat have a strong odor too. Vinegar would have been better to include small amounts in the diet, instead of applying on the skin. Might improve women's bad odor problem, don't know about men though.

 

Some trivals...Stelechocarpus burahol - This fruit is said to deodorize the body. but I personally don't think I'll take it because I'm afraid it may make one impotent for a short while. I've never take it before, so I don't know what's its effect. It is a rare fruit that is not in commercial production. I've only seen it in pictures.

 

If the above is true, there might be other herbs and fruits that might do that too. maybe the apples , peaches might do it already.

Edited by skyhook
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:doh:

 

wouldn't be so quick to dismiss it. soap can and does kill bacteria. if you are planning on causing a deliberate infection of some microbes, first you need to eliminate those already present THEN put some starter colonies on. just rubbing youself in dirt isn't going to work and anything it did do would be undone at the next wash anyway.

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UUUpppssss, sorry you missunderstood me!

 

I thought your post was quite funny actually, not because I thought it was wrong or silly, but because it was such an obvious thing to point out and noone else did!

 

Soap, definitely:D

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  • 1 year later...

OMG! Enough with the chemical treatments, you're scaring the kids. ;)And then there was the time I tried sulfuric acid and chamomile tea combined with chemo and radiation treatments, but that didn't seem to help... :rolleyes: (Actually, I'm a little surprised that you didn't try athlete's foot cream or triple antibiotic gels.)

 

It sounds like the bacteria had a battle, and yours lost. Diet contributing to body odor makes sense; also, eating what your wife eats might also change the environment of your skin due to what's excreted in the sweat, giving her bacteria an advantage over yours. Who knows, it might also change your gut bacteria.

 

BTW, it also seems that you might not like the way your wife smells? That would be a cause for concern for me. If I'm sharing a bed and having intimate moments with someone, I would want to like the way she smells A LOT. I would also guess that your [future] kids will smell like her too, because they will be born from her body and nursed at her breasts.

 

I think you're outnumbered. :blink:

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I'm wondering whether your body odour, if at all noticeable, has actually changed. Perhaps what you are experiencing is either some sort of lingering memory of your closeness. Perhaps if your wife does have a noticeable odour whatever is causing it (e.g. bacteria) has infected your nose. Has any of your friends mentioned you smell like your wife? Perhaps not because you would have to wonder how they knew.

rolleyes.gif

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