Bromhidrosis also known as bromidrosis or body odor, is a common phenomenon in postpubertal individuals.
Formation of body odors is mainly caused by skin glands excretions and bacterial activity. Excessive secretion from either apocrine or eccrine glands that becomes malodorous on bacterial breakdown is the predominant cause of bromhidrosis.
Inadequate hygiene and medical or dermatologic conditions associated with hyperhidrosis or overgrowth of bacteria may further contribute to its development. Examples include the following:
Various types of treatment option can be opted such as:
Hygiene and topical antibacterial agents: Hygienic measures, such as adequate washing of the axillary vault, prompt removal of sweaty clothing, and the use of topical deodorant (which covers the odor and decreases bacterial counts) are beneficial. Regular shaving of axillary hair prevents the accumulation of sweat and bacteria on the hair shafts. Use of topical antibiotics such as clindamycin and erythromycin and antiseptic soaps may yield clinical benefit by limiting the growth of the contributory bacteria that decompose apocrine secretions, liberating fatty acids that have peculiar smells. Treatment of coexisting skin conditions, such as ntertrigo, erythrasma, and trichomycosis axillaris, is important.
Drying agents: Measures to enhance drying and limit maceration, such as the use of antiperspirants including aluminum chloride, may improve bromhidrosis of either apocrine or eccrine origin, particularly if hyperhidrosis is a contributing factor. Antiperspirants, unlike deodorants, contain aluminum salts, which inhibit sweat production.
Conservative methods are ideal for mild cases. However, they do not offer a definitive cure, and results may be unsatisfactory if odor reduction is short lived and incomplete.
Surgical removal: Surgical treatment improves the long-term management of bromhidrosis. In recent years, new techniques with less morbidity have been developed.