Health

Warning signs: The scent on your skin may be signalling a serious health condition

Warning signs in the body range from pain to numbness, but one many people miss is different smells. Smelly feet and bad breath are just some of the signs to note. But what health conditions could they be signalling?

Body odour

While some body odour is normal, a particularly strong smell could be a sign of skin disease, Doctor Jennifer Stagg.

She continued: "Skin infections can present with a putrid odour from the by-products of bacterial growth. 

"Gangrene, which is dying tissue, has one of the most offensive odours and smells like rotting meat." 

Internal health issues may result in unpleasant body odours, as well, such as liver and kidney disease and hyperthyroidism, which can lead to excessive sweat and increased BO.

Dr Stagg recommends talking with your doctor if you notice a strong smell from your skin. 

Smelly feet

If a person constantly has stinky feet it may be a warning of a fungal infection.

According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, if a person has dry, scaly skin around the toes with blisters, it may be a sign of athlete's foot.

Untreated athletes' feet can lead to bacterial infections such as cellulitis.

Footwear made of unbreathable synthetic materials can inhibit the evaporation of sweat and promote the humid environment bacteria love to live in.

Pungent urine

If a person has noticed a more stronger smelling urine similar to a chemical smell, it could be a sign of a urinary tract infection.

When bacteria such as E. coli enters the urinary tract and urethra it multiplies in the bladder.

This causes an infection and a strong smell to be emanated.

The smell is one of the signs of a high white blood cell count in the urine and is a strong indicator or a urinary tract infection.


Bad breath

If your breath has a metallic smell, you might have bacteria growing under your gum line -- that can lead to inflammation and even infection.

Your dentist might call it periodontitis.

You're more likely to have it if you smoke or don't brush and floss regularly.

Gum disease can also run in families.

Most body odours are normal, but when they are excessive and unusual that could signal an illness.

"Diseases change the balance of chemicals in the body," explains Dr William Hanson, professor of anaesthesiology.

"Those chemicals can trigger small changes in the scent of your breath, urine and other body fluids.

"Generally, our sense of smell isn't sensitive enough to pick all these up but if you are noticing strong smells coming from the body, speak to your doctor about the possible cause."



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