WARNING: This site features very frank discussion and occasionally explicit images of medical conditions.
Parental guidance is recommended.

Video

Boy 1: Fishy, is the word i’d use maybe

Holly Oaks actor 1: Musky

Boy 2: Maybe Oniony

Hollyoaks Actress: Beef Curry

Boy 3: Just disgusting

Girl 1: I’d just go into a boy’s changing room

Hollyoaks Actress 2: I’d actually want to get my perfume out and go spraying noise.

************

Dr Dawn: As you get into your teens you may notice that you and your friends start to smell. And I’m not talking nice smells! I’m talking body odour.

That’s because during puberty it’s not just the outside of your body that changes. Under the skin your body starts to develop sweat glands.

Sweating is normal.On average, we lose over a litre of sweat every day.

Our body produces sweat to cool itself down – which is why we sweat more when it’s hot or during exercise.

Fresh sweat doesn’t smell but when left on the skin it gets broken down by bacteria and develops the characteristic smell of BO.

************

Boy 3: As I’ve got older I’ve noticed that i’m sweating a lot more

Boy 4: When i was 12 my parents and my friends started telling me that i smelt. I thought they were joking but when i found out that it was true i felt really embarrassed.

Hollyoaks Actress 2: I can honestly say no i’ve never ever ever suffered with body odour. I must be very lucky, i don’t perspire a lot, that’s because i’m lazy and don’t do any exercise.

************

Dr Dawn No-one wants to smell and a bit of attention to personal hygiene is all that is needed.

Washing twice a day with a pH balanced soap, especially under the arms and genital areas will remove stale sweat.

Don’t forget – sweat can seep into clothes as well as hang about on the skin, so wear clean clothes and change your underwear and socks every day.

As well as keeping clean you can also buy deodorants or antiperspirants to help combat body odour.

Deodorants work by killing bacteria and masking underarms smells with a fragrance.

Antiperspirants are designed to prevent the sweat developing in the first place.

DONíT think these sprays are INSTEAD of washing.

You can’t cover up a smell that’s already there ñ bacteria will feast on your old sweat and the new sweat you add on top.

There is a reason why teachers tell you to shower after PE!

************

Boy 5: Old sweat smells a lot different to new sweat…

Boy 2: Yeah

Boy 5: If you know what i mean, If you leave your sweaty gym kit in your room for ages, it’s going to really hum.

Boy 6: In school i had PE and i came home and my mum was saying ‘what’s that smell’ and it was me so i’ve learnt that i’ve got to start washing more.

************

Dr Dawn: Everyone’s sweat smells differently and some people will sweat more than others. Sweating during exercise doesn’t mean you’re unfit. It’s an essential function of the body. Sweating does NOT mean you have bad hygiene.It doesn’t mean you’re dirty.

But if you feel your antiperspirant or deodorant isn’t working or you’re sweating when you’re just sitting still and not even warm – you may be suffering from excessive sweating, a condition called hyperhidrosis. Only one percent of the population has this, and it commonly affects the armpits, face, palms and soles of the feet. I have met people who have to carry spare clothes with them wherever they go because they sweat so much.

If this sounds like you, talk to your pharmacist about a Chlorexidine solution which will help reduce bacteria and an aluminium based antiperspirant which you can buy without prescription. But if you find these over-the-counter treatments aren’t doing the trick go to your GP; there are other treatments available so don’t give up hope.

Read the video transcript

Am I Normal: Body Odour

Dr Dawn Harper discusses what is and isn’t normal when it comes to body odour. As your body develops sweat glands, body odour can become a serious issue, but there are simple and practical steps to help alleviate the problem. Includes discussion with teens from across the country and the cast of Hollyoaks.

If you’d prefer to watch this video on your mobile, then download our specially produced version for your mobile phone from the Channel 4 Mobile site.

Just text Normal to 84444

Texts and data are charged at your standard network rate.
Terms and Conditions at channel4.com/mobile

Explore Am I Normal? >

Am I Normal?: Sex And Relationships >
Am I Normal?: Mental Health >
Am I Normal?: Drugs And Alcohol >

If you think your child may be going through early puberty, check our guide especially for parents on Embarrassing Bodies: Kids website.

With thanks to:
Hollyoaks
University of Birmingham Hockey Club
Llanelli Youth Theatre
Tetbury Hospital

Did you find this useful? YesYes NoNo

751 of 1157 people said they found this useful

Comments and Questions

Comments & Questions are now archived, but if you see anything on the site that worries you, please report it and one of our moderators will look at it as soon as possible.
Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

I am 19 and still no signs of breast development and no period by I have pubic hair . Is it normal?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

it may mean you are in the first stages of puberty. You have to remember that periods vary between everyone and also the stages in which puberty occurs is different also

TEENAGE DIRTBAG MY LOVELY SON 14 HAS TERRIBLE BODY ODOUR. HIS SO-CALLED MATE HAS MENTIONED IT LOUDLY. I HAVE TRIED THE MEDICAL DEODERANT ANHYDROL FORTE AND IT HELPED FOR A BIT. BUT THE PROBLEM IS GETTING WORSE. I BOUGHT LOADS OF NEUTRADOL FOR HIS ROOM AND I USE INCENSE STICKS BY THE CASELOAD! THE DOCTOR GAVE US SOME SHOWER GEL LIKE OILATUM OR SIMILAR,IM OCT 2015, CANT REMEMBER THE NAME OFFHAND AND SOME SKIN CREAM, I THINK ITS CALLED CELEBRIUM. THESE HELPED FOR A BIT BUT HES STILL A STINKY PUP! I MAKE HIM SHOWER ONCE EVERY TWO DAYS AND APPLY ANHYDROPOL DEODERANT EVERY DAY. ITS REALLY STRONG! I JUST WANT TO NAIL THIS MINOR PROBLEM ONCE AND FOR ALL! CAN YOU HELP ME? HES SUCH A LOVELY LAD. I REALLY FEEL FOR HIM AND ITS A MINOR PROBLEM. I JUST WANT TO NAIL IT ONCE AND FOR ALL! PLS SOME CURES, OVER THE COUNTER TREATMENTS PREFERRED. NOT TOO EXPENSIVE PLS. VERY CONCERNED MUM, WEST X, UK





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Make him bath everyday

Im only 13 but I think I sweat to much.one time I was walking a little faster than usual on the way to school and my whole body started sweating, on that day it was only like 10 degrees or so. I sweat from doing the littlest of things even in really cold weather. And it is affecting my social life coz I smell of bio even though I bathe 2 times a day.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I'm 16 years old,and have recently been sweating,and it's getting really bad,to the point where I have sweat patches,this is really embarrassing ,therefore I always wear jackets to try hide it,even when it warm,what can I do to stop it???





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Im 14, I shower everyday and shave my pubic hair. Im not experiencing any yellow discharge or anything that could be signs of an infection but my vagina always has a smell and its kinda gross. Is this normal? Whats something safe I can do about it with out telling my parents?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I sweat a lot help me





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hi I'm 14 and lately I've been suffering from period like pains but am not due till mid next month. I have also been told I am quite badly dehydrated as I usually go all day without a drink as I am not thirsty and when I do drink 99.9% of the time it's not water...am I normal?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hiya I am 15 I have found out I had laboure when in looked online last year I havent told anyone not even my mum and I dont feel comfortable to go to the doctors and I amberresed to go near anyone and when I wear certain nickers it can be abit uncomfortable I dont fancy an operation for it because am 15 and to young to go alone I dont fancy sharing this with my mum





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I sweat a lot , it's been happening for awhile I've been to docs and they said I'm fine , I'm a very clean person but even when I've had a shower I can still smell BO from my armpits . I've been suffering from very bad night sweats now for about 1yr . I've been to the docs and they did tests and said I'm fine , I'm changing the bed twice a night I'm only 31 female Would b great if u can help me





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hey I'm 14 and I think I have BV I have smelt like fish for about 2 years now and haven't been to anyone about it because I'm too scared, I haven't even told my mum I have been bullied because of this and it's ruining my life and I was hopeing that somebody knows how to get rid of it I thought I was the only one but thank god I'm not





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines


More Information

  1. Tinnitus

    In Conditions - Sufferers of tinnitus can hear noise within their ear or head that…

  2. Premenstrual Syndrome

    In Conditions - Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is the catch-all term given to a range…

  3. Diabetes

    In Conditions - Diabetes affects over 2 million people in the UK alone and many mor…

  4. Sunburn

    In Conditions - Sunburn is caused by ultraviolet (UV) light overheating and blister…

  5. Quick Health Advice: Excessive Sweating

    In Videos - Dr Pixie discusses the causes of excessive sweating and the treatme…

  6. Doctor Responses: Excessive Sweating

    In Videos - Dr Christian answers your most frequently asked questions about exc…

  7. Body Check: Sweat

    In Videos - Dr Christian explains the importance of knowing your sweat levels a…

  8. Trichotillomania

    In Conditions - Trichotillomania is a compulsive disorder that results in sufferers…

  9. Hyperhidrosis

    In Conditions - Excessive sweating in the face, hands, feet and armpits, or over th…

  10. Bodies Behaving Badly

    In Episodes - Episode 1 of Embarrassing Teenage Bodies examines conditions includ…

  11. Problem Piercings

    In Conditions - People have been piercing their bodies for thousands of years, but…

  12. Varicocele

    In Conditions - Varicocele are formed when varicose veins appear around the scrotum.

  13. Episode 7 - Back to the Clinic

    In Episodes - This week the doctors are inviting some of their most serious cases…

  14. Sweaty Palms

    In Conditions - Hyperhidrosis can affect any part of the body where there are sweat…

  15. Doctor Responses: Excessive Hair

    In Videos - Dr Pixie answers your most frequently asked questions about excessi…


Am I Normal?

Share, explore, vote, watch… Am I Normal? is a bold new Channel 4 project that will redefine what you think of as ‘normal’.

Visit Am I Normal? >

Important Notice

The information provided on this website (including any NHS Choices medical information) is for use as information or for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. We do not warrant that any information included within this site will meet your health or medical requirements. This Embarrassing Bodies site does not provide any medical or diagnostic services so you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.


If you want to embed our videos in your site, read our embedding T&Cs here