What are the smelliest parts of the body?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

The most odorous parts on the human body are generally moist dark areas that have a high concentration of glands and hair follicles.

For instance:

1. The groin. The pubic area is an odor hot spot. It is warm, sweaty, and has a good amount of glands and hair follicles. It is prone to infections, particularly in the vagina. It rarely gets exposed to the open air and is often covered with synthetic unbreathable clothing that traps moisture and bacteria.

2. The underarms. This area is the first place we think of when we think of body odor. It has a dense patch of hair and is loaded with sweat glands. People of European or African descent have many apocrine sweat glands, and East Asians have fewer.

3. The feet. It's no wonder that feet smell. As soon as man donned shoes to better traverse the terrain, it prevented the evaporation of a quart of sweat released from thousands of sweat glands each day. Closing up the feet creates a dark, moist, warm environment that bacteria love.

4. The mouth. Occasional episodes of bad breath are usually caused by the breakdown of food by enzymes in saliva. But more than 90% of the time it comes from bacteria living in gum pockets, under dentures, and on the surface of the tongue. Breath changes can also occur with certain gastrointestinal diseases, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, diabetes, and kidney disease.

5. The scalp. Anyone who has skipped a few days of shampooing knows hair can smell. The combination of oily sebum coming from sebaceous glands and many hair follicles is a perfect storm for bacteria growth. And if you are a head-sweater, that makes matters worse.

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