Fear Of Body Smells

Our culture is obsessed with deodorizing and ridding our bodies of their natural aromas: as society becomes more technologically advanced, chemicals and plant essences are used to mask or eradicate body smells. If you fear the various scents that your body, or other people’s bodies, produce, you may suffer from Bromidrosiphobia.

Do You Hate Body Smells?

Our bodies produce a range of scents – some of them unpleasant. From body odor to menses… to pheromones that are designed to send signals to potential mates – there are many different smells and all of them serve some purpose. For those who fear body smells, whether from their own bodies or from other bodies – simply going out on the street can be enough to trigger Bromidrosiphobia.

The person with this phobia may have an unusually sensitive sense of smell, which makes it difficult to withstand body odor, bad breath, etc. Perfumes and deodorants, as well as antibacterial lotions and soaps, may be overused in an attempt to erase any natural body smells.

Excessive Sweating May Be A Trigger

However, it is difficult to eradicate the scents of our bodies completely. Sweating is normal and natural, and many people may wish they could stop sweating or worry that they sweat too much. Botox and other modern serums are used to arrest heavy perspiration and the odors it releases. These new treatments are still very untried, and no one knows if they will have harmful side effects in the future.

Is Deodorant Dangerous?

Deodorants and anti-perspirants have also been linked with the development of Alzheimer’s, because they contain aluminum. Doctors and scientists are not yet in agreement about the link between the metal and the disease, but many people today fore go deodorant because they fear Alzheimer’s. Some people prefer to have some natural body odor, rather than risk the disease or other harmful side effects. There are natural anti-perspirants, but sometimes they are not as effective.

This new consciousness of the potential hazards of aluminum may have given rise to more body odor in the general population. For those who suffer from Bromidrosiphobia, the risks of disease will be outweighed by their desire to smell fresh and clean. They may overuse products that promise to erase odors. They may also be repulsed by anyone who chooses to embrace nature by refusing to use such products.

Excessive sweating can be a symptom of disease. There are even disorder such as “maple syrup urine disease”, which cause the sufferer to emit a sickly sweet, acrid odor when they sweat or urinate. This disease was the subject of study in a Patricia Cornwell mystery novel. The killer in this story, titled Postmortem, would leave a distinctive sweaty-sweet aroma after a killing, which helped to trace and apprehend him.

City Life Can Be A Trigger

Today, people with this phobia may feel assaulted by unpleasant aromas wherever they go. They may fear vagrants, and other people they perceive as bad smelling and unclean. They will be likely to develop compulsions with regard to their own cleansing rituals. Clean clothes and frequent showers and baths will soothe them. Sometimes, obsessive-compulsive disorder may result from the adoption of too many rituals. This disorder can take over one’s life, leading to many other problems. Therapy is usually necessary to treat OCD.

Symptoms And Treatment

Panic, nausea, and repulsion may be the body’s response to Bromidrosiphobia. Headaches from bad smells are also a common physical symptom. A feeling of agitation when trapped with someone who smells bad, perhaps on public transportation or in a public building, will lead to feelings of powerlessness and disgust. Some people with this phobia will make sure they can “escape” from any unpleasant odors before they go to a certain place.

At home, people with Bromidrosiphobia will control their environment, limiting their exposure to bad-smelling people. They will maintain their own cleanliness, sometimes obsessively. Treating this phobia may require therapy or cognitive re-mapping.

The fear of body smells is also referred to as:

  • body smell fear
  • body smell phobia
  • fear of body odor
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