Why Has My Body Odor Suddenly Changed

Why Has My Body Odor Suddenly Changed?

In this article we will explain why your body odor suddenly changed. You may have noticed that it has been changing lately. Some of us are not aware of what causes our bodies to smell so unpleasant. There are many reasons why your body odor changes, but here we will focus on one: a chemical called p-cresol. P-Cresol is produced naturally by your skin cells when they sweat. When you exercise or exert yourself, the chemicals released from your pores react with other chemicals in the air and produce p-cresol. Your body produces p-cresol at regular intervals during its normal activity cycle, which means that you don’t notice any change in your own smell until it starts to decline after a period of time. However, if you do something that irritates your skin (such as washing your face), then the p-cresol levels drop even further. If you continue to do these things over time, the p-cresol level will eventually fall to dangerously low levels. Then your body’s natural defense mechanism kicks in and turns off all of the skin cells’ ability to make p-cresol. That means your skin stops producing any at all. The problem is, your body now has no way to mask the festering bacteria that are causing the bad smells from building up internally.

How to tell if it’s Really Changed

Body odor is actually not supposed to be a very powerful smell. It only has a slight aroma that closely resembles the earthy smell of soil. However, when bacteria like the kind that cause acne start to break down, it creates p-cresol.

P-cresol has a much stronger smell and is the main cause of body odor. When your skin cells can no longer produce p-cresol, you will begin to notice a powerful smell coming from your armpits. This is why people suffering from the condition known as hyperhidrosis experience extremely bad body odor even though they are very clean. They are not sweating significantly more than other people; they are just no longer balanced internally.

What it feels like

People suffering from an extremely low p-cresol level often experience a slight irritation on their skin at all times. This is because the p-cresol is no longer there to act as an antibacterial agent. Also, this person’s sweat glands are no longer able to regulate their body temperature as effectively.

The lack of p-cresol can make them feel hot when others are comfortable and cool when others are too warm.

What Others Have To Say

People with a low level of p-cresol have a harder time finding friends at an early age and notice that they always stand out in a crowd. They are also more likely to suffer from skin conditions like acne or rashes. As these people get older, they may notice that women are less attracted to them and seem to prefer men who have a stronger body odor.

This is why these men are labelled as having strong “sexual presence”.

Seeking Treatment

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above, then it is time to seek medical attention. First of all, you should make an appointment with a dermatologist who can run some tests to see if you have hyperhidrosis. If the tests confirm your suspicions, you may be prescribed a strong antiperspirant or even Botox injections.

If you are experiencing the higher levels of p-cresol shutdown then you will need to see a gynaecologist who can perform hormonal treatments for your condition.

It’s Time to Take Action

If you’ve decided that it is time to take action, you will need to make an appointment with your primary care physician or dermatologist. Be sure to explain your condition and any other medical concerns you may have to your doctor. He or she will be able to perform a physical examination and potentially run some tests.

In fact, if you suspect low p-cresol levels in your body, then you should ask for hormonal and blood tests. These will help your doctor form a more accurate diagnoses.

Living a Healthy Lifestyle

If after visiting the doctor you find out that you have a hormonal imbalance, then you will need to get on a treatment plan. This is one of those conditions that seems incurable at first, but can be managed with the right treatment. For example, if your p-cresol level is low because your testosterone or estrogen levels are low, then you may be prescribed hormone replacement therapy.

If you have been experiencing an increase in stress, then you may be suggested to try meditation or yoga as a way to relieve some of that burden.

Is It Curable?

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for p-cresol deficiency. The good news is that it can be managed with the right treatment plan. The bad news is that treatment can be very expensive and time consuming so it may not be covered by your health insurance. This is one of those conditions that will need ongoing maintenance so you will need to stay in contact with your doctors and take all the recommended pills, shots or other treatments


If you have been diagnosed with p-cresol deficiency, then there are a few things that you can do to help prevent the condition from getting worse. First of all, start an exercise routine and stick with it. Even something as simple as walking can help reduce your stress levels.

Second of all, you should start eating better by increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables. This will help to increase your antioxidant intake and reduce your exposure to toxins. Finally, you should try your best to manage your stress levels in a positive way such as the ones mentioned above or whatever way works best for you.

P-Cresol Deficiency Treatment Cost

As you might have already learned, p-cresol deficiency is a pretty rare occurrence and because it is so rare, there are no typical p-cresol deficiency treatment costs. This is mainly because the condition is so rare that most health insurance companies don’t even cover the treatments. Usually, the only time they do is if the condition is causing other medical issues such as infertility or excess sweating.

What all this means is that you and your family are probably looking at a very expensive treatment plan. Many people choose to pay for the treatment themselves if they can afford it. Others apply for grants or start fundraising campaigns.

Still others look into cheaper alternatives or even choose to do nothing and live with the condition. Whatever you decide, make sure you research all your options before making a final decision.

In the meantime, our advice is to seek out a good doctor and get on a treatment program as soon as possible. While some people may be able to live with this condition, you are not one of the lucky ones. The sooner you get on treatment, the sooner you can get your health back in good condition again.

P-Cresol Deficiency and Pregnancy

If you are a woman and have p-cresol deficiency, then the chances are very good that you are infertile. If you are a male, you may or may not be fertile. The condition can affect men in different ways.

Obviously, if you would like to have children in the future, then you need to seek out a doctor immediately. If you do not have health insurance, then see if your state offers any low cost programs that can help you cover the cost of diagnosis and treatment.

Living with PCD

If you have been diagnosed with p-cresol deficiency and have been put on a treatment plan by your doctor, there are still things you can do to help yourself feel better. Even if you do not have the condition, there are steps you can take to improve your health.

Stay positive – As with any health condition, your outlook on life plays a big role in how you feel on a daily basis. Keep things in perspective. Focus on the positive things in your life and try to eliminate the negative ones when you can.

Get regular exercise – Doctors recommend that adults get at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity at least 5 days a week. If you are not used to exercising, then start off slow and work your way up to more intense workouts. There are many kinds of exercise you can try.

Running, swimming, dancing, cycling, yoga, hiking and aerobics are all good choices.

Eliminate junk food – Even if you are not eating for two, that doesn’t mean you should be eating junk food all the time. It’s bad for your health anyway, so eliminate it from your diet.

Improve your nutrition – Make sure you are eating a proper diet. Focus on eating plenty of vegetables and whole grains. Also, eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism going.

As for drinking, stay away from alcohol and stick to water as much as possible.

Hang out with positive people – Surround yourself with positive people who make you laugh and help you enjoy life. This is especially important if you have a low disposition and easily get discouraged.

Get adequate sleep – Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning, regardless of how much sleep you got the night before. As you start feeling better, you will notice your energy increase if you are getting enough sleep on a regular basis.

Get adequate sunlight – Even a little bit of sunlight does the body good. If you cannot get outdoors for long periods of time, then try to sit in front of a window (with the blinds open, of course) for a couple hours each day. If that is not possible, then talk to your doctor about light boxes that produce artificial sunlight.

Get a pet – Not only will a pet give you a reason to take walks, but they can be very uplifting as well. Just make sure you have the time to care for it.

Massage – If you can afford to, see a professional on a regular basis. If you cannot, look for massage techniques and tips online.

Meditation / Prayer – Try taking time each day to just meditate or pray. This can be done silently or out loud. Find a quiet place in your home where you will not be disturbed and take ten minutes (or longer if you wish) to just be still and think about anything other than the daily worries of life.

Nutritional Supplements – Even with a healthy diet, sometimes you may not be getting all of the nutrients and vitamins that your body needs. Your doctor can run a blood test to see what you may be lacking. Once you know what you are low in, you can consult with a nutritionist on what supplements will help.

Pamper Yourself – Get a facial, a massage or even get your hair done. It doesn’t have to be anything major, just something that will make you feel better about yourself.

Stimulate Your Mind – Read books, Sudoku, crosswords, play games on your phone or tablet, learn a new language, learn to speak French (or any other language), learn to play the piano… anything that will engage more of your mind.

Stay away from toxic people – This should go without saying, but stay away from anyone who is going to make you depressed, cause you grief or stress. Don’t surround yourself with negative energy. It only brings you down and causes you to remain stagnant.

Cut it off completely if you have to. You are better off being alone than being with negative people.

Stop multitasking – This is harder to do nowadays with all of the distractions we have, but it is very important that you focus on one thing at a time. When you are eating, eat. When you are working, work.

When you are talking to someone, give them your full attention. Juggling multiple things not only causes you to do a mediocre job at everything, but it also causes unnecessary stress.

Volunteer – Pick something that you are interested in and volunteer to help out. It could be at a nursing home, at a school, at a church, at a hospital…

there are so many places that could use your help and not only will you feel better about yourself, but you will be doing something good for someone else.

Walking – This is one of the simplest and oldest forms of exercise known to man. All you really need is a pair of good walking shoes. Go outside and take a stroll for at least thirty minutes (preferably in the great outdoors).

If possible, do this with a friend or your significant other. Talk about everything or talk about nothing…. just talk. This will not only improve your health, but it will also strengthen the relationship that you have with that person.

We hope you find these tips useful. If you would like to read more articles like this one, please visit our Health site.

Sources & references used in this article:

Scent of a patient: ethical implications of a patient with offensive body odor by G Jonke – The Journal of the American Dental Association, 2020 – jada.ada.org

Understanding the microbial basis of body odor in pre-pubescent children and teenagers by TH Lam, D Verzotto, P Brahma… – …, 2018 – microbiomejournal.biomedcentral …

Oral sodium phenylbutyrate therapy in homozygous beta thalassemia: a clinical trial by AF Collins, HA Pearson, P Giardina, KT McDonagh… – 1995 – ashpublications.org

Unexplained Repeated Pregnancy Loss is Associated with Altered Perceptual and Brain Responses to Men’s Body-Odor by N Sobel, L Rozenkrantz, R Weissgross, T Weiss… – BioRxiv, 2020 – biorxiv.org

Presence of mouse mammary tumor virus specifically alters the body odor of mice by K Yamazaki, EA Boyse, J Bard… – Proceedings of the …, 2002 – National Acad Sciences

Associative learning modifies neural representations of odors in the insect brain by WV Balassi, JF Crawford – 1990 – Univ of New Mexico Pr

Behavioral changes induced by Toxoplasma infection of rodents are highly specific to aversion of cat odors by T Faber, J Joerges, R Menzel – Nature neuroscience, 1999 – nature.com

“There are survivors”: Telling a story of sudden death by A Vyas, SK Kim, N Giacomini… – Proceedings of the …, 2007 – National Acad Sciences

Olfactory bulb acetylcholine release dishabituates odor responses and reinstates odor investigation by C Ellis – The Sociological Quarterly, 1993 – Taylor & Francis