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I smell and co-workers are being so insensitive.

(60 Posts)
MummikinsOopNorth Thu 18-Nov-10 18:17:54

Since I was a teenager I have had issues with body odour. I am so embarassed to go to a doctor but things have come to a head.

I came on my period at age 8 and was a C-cup in bra's by 9 so I don't know if this has anything to do with it.

I was viciously bullied because of it through secondary school, and at 17 when I started working at a nursery, the staff used to talk about me being my back. I eventually left.

Now, at my current job, my collagues are constantly making jokes about body odour and sometime hinting that it's them but I know it must be me. No one at this job has ever confronted me, but I wish they were because when 3 of them were joking about it today, I wanted to sit there and cry. I just put my head down and did my work and ignored the co-workers in question and was abrupt to them the rest of the day.

i DON'T know what to do. I shower every day, change my clothes daily and wear expensive deodrant. I can't actually smell any odour on me myself when they have been mean (I can smell my own odour after exercising or not showering sometimes). I am so depressed through it but don't know what to do. I am also an aspie (aspergers - type of autism) so find it difficult in any group situation as it is, let alone when I know people are laugjing behind my back.

Wordsonascreen Thu 18-Nov-10 18:20:23

go to your gp

theres stuff you can do

prescription deodrants

TBH I used to a work with someone who absolutely reeked and it was not pleasant, and it was really awkward..he left before anyone dared say anything.

BusyMissIzzy Thu 18-Nov-10 18:22:00

I think you need to see a GP if you can. But I'm sorry that your co-workers are being so immature and insensitive about it.

GPs deal with a host of 'embarrassing' problems. They won't bat an eyelid, honestly.

Longtalljosie Thu 18-Nov-10 18:22:27

Have you spoken to your doctor about this at all? I feel for you, I really do. I worked with someone who had the same problem. Every morning he came in smelling strongly of aftershave but by 3pm the smell of BO was very strong sad

Do you have showers at work? Some do for cyclists? You could buy two of each of your work tops and wash then change at lunchtime?

YoginiBikini Thu 18-Nov-10 18:22:38

Oh poor you!

You've obviously put up with this for a long time. I really do think that a visit to the GP could be the best possible move for you to make. They will be very understanding, not shocked in any way and could have a simple solution for you, or at least support and help you in working out how best to tackle it.

Best of luck. You're not alone

pinkthechaffinch Thu 18-Nov-10 18:22:54

Please just go to your GP.It can't be any more embarrassing than the situation you are currently in.

One of my old teachers suffered from chronic BO and I could never understand why the problem persisted for so many years.

Mowiol Thu 18-Nov-10 18:24:20

Go to your GP - they have seen/heard pretty much everything and may be able to help.

People, unfortunately, can be horrible and it would be hard to know how to deal with that. You would obviously be too upset to confront them and I don't know if that would work anyway.

Sorry I can't suggest any helpful strategies to deal with these people sad

TheFeministParent Thu 18-Nov-10 18:24:39

Go to see your GP asap.

CarGirl Thu 18-Nov-10 18:25:25

Please please go to your gp, don't suffer with this anymore <<hugs>>

MummikinsOopNorth Thu 18-Nov-10 18:26:51

I'm afraid my GP will just say it's because i'm fat and I really cant wait til I lose weight. Besides, when I was at school and when I was working at 17, I was skinny and still smelt. I'm so tired of this

JamieLeeCurtis Thu 18-Nov-10 18:30:15

Another : Please go to your GP. However embarrassing, they will have seen it all before.

If you sweat a lot - something I use is an antiperspirant that you put on before bed, then don't rinse off. Over the course of a week or two, the sweating stops almost completely. Now I just use it occasionally to "top up". It's called Perspirex and is available in Boots. There's another similar one whose name escapes me.

But I don't know if this is your problem, so maybe try and then if it doesn't work, go to the GP

JamieLeeCurtis Thu 18-Nov-10 18:32:12

Because you were badly bullied, maybe you feel you don't deserve help? You do deserve it!!!

theevildead2 Thu 18-Nov-10 18:33:01

Is it a fishy smell? (not implying its a down below problem btw) just I remeber watching a documentary about people who had severe bo, women and men and apparentlty it was a really rank fish smell. In the end it was almost entirely dealt with by a change of diet. Certain foods (including but not limited to fish I believe)created the smell and when the people cut them from their diet they were fine. There bodies couldn't digest certain foods. Try and google it. I will have a look for you if I can.

JamieLeeCurtis Thu 18-Nov-10 18:33:49

Also - aren't their endocrine disorders that cause weight gain and BO? Will also google

JamieLeeCurtis Thu 18-Nov-10 18:33:58


taintedpaint Thu 18-Nov-10 18:35:22

I'm going to play devil's advocate here, and wonder whether your colleagues are joking how they are because they don't want to embarrass you by singling you out and making a point of it being you, at the same time as wanting to let you know there is a problem. I realise this might not be a comfort to you, but it's possible they are not being vindictive.

Also, and this is going to sound awful and I apologise for it in advance, but it really isn't fun sitting in an office with someone who has body odour. I know you are aware of the problem and you want to do something about it, but to your colleagues, you may just be someone who smells and ignores the problem. They seem heartless to you (and I happen to think you're right, because they're not thinking through the consequences of how they are going about their 'jokes'), but they might not be intending to come off that way. Sorry, I don't think I've explained that well.

I really do feel for you, you are in a horrible position and I back up what everyone else is suggesting, go visit your GP. They will have dealt with this before and are in the best position to help you.

Good luck.

theevildead2 Thu 18-Nov-10 18:35:24

Ooh found it! and it isn't just fish smells, worth looking in to it

Lizzabadger Thu 18-Nov-10 18:35:24

I do sympathise. I have had this problem too and it's awful. I keep extra strength deodorant, changes of tops, tights, shoes and underwear, wet wipes and perfume in the office and wash/change as necessary. I also try to keep my office well ventilated. If it makes you feel any better I also have problems with bad breath (so I avoid onions, garlic and curry as much as possible & keep gum, mouthwash & toothbrush at the office) and also had a delightful spell of uncontrollable farting (now stopped, thankfully). It is truly hideous for you, I know, and unpleasant for your coworkers. I just wanted to let you know you are not alone. I don't know how helpful the GP can be in this situation but surely it's worth a shot.

thelittlebluepills Thu 18-Nov-10 18:35:36

there are also fungal infections that can make people smell - definitely get to the GP again - make sure you tell him that it's been like this for ages - even when you were thinner

mamas12 Thu 18-Nov-10 18:36:16

That fish odour syndrome is what my dd suffered from it realy stank love her but it was sorted out by change of diet. Now she is aware of what not to eat it's normal sweatiness now.

KTDace Thu 18-Nov-10 18:36:37

Also make sure you only wear natural fibres as these tend not to keep the smell like some man made ones.

theevildead2 Thu 18-Nov-10 18:37:23


* Avoiding foods such as eggs, legumes, certain meats, fish, and other foods that contain choline, carnitine, nitrogen, and sulfur
* Taking low doses of antibiotics such as neomycin and metronidazole[6] in order to reduce the amount of bacteria in the gut
* Using slightly acidic detergent with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5

SoChangingMyNameForThis Thu 18-Nov-10 18:39:42

Chronic body odour can be treated (e.g. clorophyl tablets, botox, removal of sweat glands, natural remedies...) so yes, please go see your GP. I am afraid losing weight will also help, but I think you already know that.

I am sorry for what you're going through at work. The problem is that most people don't realise that this is an actual condition and they probably think you just don't wash. I would tell them...

JamieLeeCurtis Thu 18-Nov-10 18:41:00

have a look

Remembered the name of that other deodorant - Driclor

Lizza - you go to the GP too...

The Embarrassing Bodies website is really good too. Couldn't find (at quick glance) anything on B.O., but well worth a look

softgirl Thu 18-Nov-10 18:43:07

PLEASE go and see your GP like others have said. I saw a lady on the Embarassing Bodies TV programme with a very similar problem - they diagnosd Fish Odour Syndrome, which can be treated I think with drugs as well as diet. DON'T be embarrassed, this is more common than you think, and if you don't get satisfactory help from your own GP, go for a second opinion until you get the help you need. Good luck x

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