Mr. Zheng, a reader from Henan Province, asked: over the past few years, I have become more and more old-fashioned and smelly. My family is afraid of hurting my self-esteem and has never mentioned this. But recently, I feel that my grandson doesn’t want to be next to me. Why do I smell bad? Is there any way to eliminate it?
Zhang Jianglin, chief physician of Dermatology Department of Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, answered: the smell of the elderly mainly refers to the smell that may appear in the middle-aged and elderly people over 50 years old, similar to the special body smell. As a matter of fact, there are also young people who appreciate it. Only when there are more middle-aged and old people, it is collectively referred to as “old people’s taste”. The source of old people’s taste is related to metabolic changes. When people get older, their activity ability decreases, and the metabolized keratin wastes gradually accumulate. When bacteria decompose, they will produce nonanal compounds. Among them, the smell of 2-nonanal with higher concentration is the source of bad smell for the elderly. There are also some chronic diseases in the elderly, such as oral chewing function, digestive function is weakened, the mouth will send out odor; the elderly with asthma, emphysema and other respiratory diseases may have sputum odor. To improve the taste of the elderly, it is suggested to do three more things.
How clean. The peculiar smell mostly comes from the places where the body is easy to accumulate grease, such as around the face, behind the ears, neck, back, armpit and crotch, etc. Therefore, the body odor with strong grease secretion is heavier. From the daily start, strengthen the cleaning of the above parts, or appropriately increase the number of baths. After cleaning, apply moisturizer to help skin adjust water and oil secretion. Daily clothes, towels and bedding should be cleaned and replaced frequently; indoor ventilation should be carried out frequently to avoid smell remaining in the space.
How light. Daily diet should be less garlic, onions, leeks, spices and other stimulating food, control meat intake. Too much spicy, high fat food is easy to increase the body fat secretion, resulting in body odor. It is suggested that the daily diet should be light, and the fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C and vitamin E, such as sweet pepper, kale, amaranth, tomato, almond and other nuts, can be supplemented, which is conducive to the metabolism and antioxidation of the body.
Exercise more. Moderate outdoor exercise, such as walking, jogging, cycling, Taijiquan and so on, can help to improve the metabolism of the body, also help the body excrete toxins, and help to improve the odor problem of the elderly. ▲