Bromhidrosis (body odour) is a body smell disorder greatly caused by apocrine sweat gland secretion.
The skin contains two types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine glands, whose secretions can cause body odour.
Eccrine glands, which are found in great amounts throughout the entire body, secrete an aqueous fluid known as sweat that helps to control body temperature. This fluid is normally odourless unless it is contaminated with other secretions or cutaneous residues that can produce a disagreeable smell.
Apocrine glands are far less abundant. They are mainly located at armpits and the anogenital area, and produce small amounts of a waxy substance of nearby hair follicles. The amount of wax produced by people with bromhidrosis is much greater than normal. Odour is caused by the action of skin bacterial flora that normally occurs when excessive amounts of that “waxy food” are decomposed. For this reason, it is important to keep the skin free of bacteria to eliminate odour.
Bromhidrosis can be generated by metabolic causes, for example, diabetes, thyroid disease, and adrenal disorders, among other conditions.