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The Top 5 Causes of Smelly Balls -- and How to Prevent Them

causes of smelly balls

Okay, guys, huddle up. We need to talk. No, not about work. Not about how many burpees you did at CrossFit yesterday, and not about where we’re going to watch the game tonight. Well sure, we can talk about those things. They’re important, after all. But there’s something a little more pressing that we need to talk about first: Smelly balls. And it’s important that we’re all on the same team.

See, we’re all in this huddle now. There’s a bunch of us here, all in a circle, ready to have this important chat. Do any of you notice anything about this huddle’s….uh...dynamics? Anything kind of leap out at you? No? Well, is anything maybe wafting up to you?

That’s right, guys. There is some serious stink in this room. And it’s coming from your sweaty, smelly balls.

So gentlemen, where does this leave us? With the need to address your odor issues. Don’t worry though, we’re going to break it down for you. Let’s talk about the top five reasons you may be experiencing some serious stink and what we can do about it. And while we talk, could we maybe, uh...spread this huddle out a little bit? Whew. Great. Alright, let’s get started.

1. What’s that you’re eating?

Whats That you're eating

Whoa, hey now, it’s not lunch hour yet. We’ve still got serious business to discuss. And--hey, wait, what’re you eating? Processed foods? Trans fats? I thought you were a health nut?

Believe it or not, your diet can have a pretty serious impact on your body odor. So, if you’re dealing with some otherworldly smells wafting up from down below, there are a few things you might consider eliminating from your diet.

Something smells fishy

Fish doesn’t necessarily produce a strong odor in everyone who eats it. Some people though, might excrete choline for days after eating it. Choline is the B-complex vitamin found in large quantities in most fish, especially larger fish like tuna. When you excrete it, guess what you smell like? A big tuna fish.

Fortunately, most people don’t experience much of a change in their smell after eating fish. If you do you’ll know it, and you may even have something called trimethylaminuria, a condition that causes you to...well...smell fishy. If you’re one of the very small number of people who suffer from this condition, it’s treatable with a change in diet and the prescription of antibiotics.  So you may want to consider asking your doctor about that.

Eat your broccoli! Right?

Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and a handful of less common vegetables are considered to be “cruciferous” vegetables. So, what’s wrong with that, you ask? Well, they contain sulfur. Garlic and onions fall into this category, too: they’ve got a serious amount of sulfur in them. And what happens to that sulfur? It’s excreted through your sweat, giving you a nice, cabbagey, oniony, garlicky body odor. Yum… Not!

To be clear, we’re not recommending you eat fewer vegetables, far from it. Instead, if you notice that your B.O. gets worse after eating these foods, consider cooking them rather than eating them raw. The cooking process dramatically decreases the amount of sulfur present in them which means less stink coming out through your sweat later. In fact, sulfurous vegetables aside, women actually dig the smell of men who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. So, if you’re struggling with serious stink, there’s hope for you yet.

Kick the Junk Food

Alright, here’s where you knew we were going. Sorry to say, guys, but processed junk food really cranks up the stink dial, like to an 11.  A diet heavy in processed foods is basically a ticket to stench land.

Here’s the funny part though, we know for sure that choline causes a fishy odor, and we’ve determined scientifically how sulfur contributes to smelly sweat. But junk food? Scientists still aren’t 100% sure what the causal link is. Their thinking best guess though is pretty simple: it comes down to all that refined sugar. In some people, having extra sugar in their bloodstream starts to actually change the composition of their sweat. When that sweet, sugary sweat (gross, right?) mixes with the bacteria on skin, they basically throw a big putrid party and start stinking up the place. Okay, that last part isn’t necessarily how a scientist would characterize it, but we’re taking some creative liberties here.

On top of this, processed foods are completely lacking in important “deodorizer” compounds, such as chlorophyll, which help to eliminate body odor. And do you know where you can get lots of chlorophyll? Vegetables. So, our advice to you is simple: cook those cruciferous vegetables, and cut out the junk food. Easy, right? Or, well, easier said than done, maybe. But we believe in you.

2. It’s getting hot in here

its getting hot in here

You might be reading this in the dead of winter. In that case, you’re probably in the clear. The worst you have to worry about is the potential that you’ve put on one too many layers, and someone’s cranked up the heat at work, and now you’re sweating up a stinky nasty storm downstairs. Okay, actually, you’re not in the clear, because that happens a lot more often than we’d probably like to admit.

But maybe it’s the dog days of Summer, or maybe you live in some “tropical paradise,” where sweating your balls off (figuratively, we hope) is a normal part of the daily experience. Whether it’s a hot time of year, or Steve in accounting just can’t stop cranking up the dial on the thermostat (seriously, Steve, just buy a sweater--we’re tired of working in a sauna on your account), heat is not your friend when it comes to ball odor.

Why, you ask? Well, when it starts to get hot, you start to sweat. Have you ever wondered why this happens? As it turns out, the act of sweating actually cools the body, and some amount of sweat is healthy and necessary.

Of course, there’s a catch here. The thing is, the cooling effect only happens when the sweat evaporates. So, if your sweat just accumulates all over your sack and gives you a soggy crotch, you’re not exactly “cooling off your balls,” are you?

See, when your hypothalamus detects a rise in body temperature, it directs a larger proportion of your blood flow towards your skin, and tells your sweat glands to get to work. As the sweat on the surface of your skin evaporates, it actually transfers heat from your skin surface into the air around you: the act of evaporation serves to effectively lower your body temperature.

But, that evaporation can only take place in an environment where the ambient humidity is lower than that of your skin’s surface. This is why we feel so much sweatier on a humid day. More importantly for your balls, though, this is also why you might notice so much sweat accumulating down there: your skin’s not able to breathe, because your clothes are creating a kind of moisture barrier around your sack.

3. ...So wear the right clothes

so Wear the right clothes

This is why the right clothes are so important. Obviously, over-dressing is something that should be avoided like the plague. If you know that it’s going to be hot at work (thanks, Steve), you should wear layers so that you can strip down to something cooler once you’re at the office (whoa, whoa, easy buddy: you still have to leave something on).

In general, though, you want to wear clothes that breathe. If your clothing can’t breathe, then there won’t be any transpiration from inside your clothes (i.e. the sweat on your skin) into the air around you. That means no cooling effect, but it also means the accumulation of moisture where the sun doesn’t shine. And that moisture breeds bacteria, which as we’ll see below, is really the culprit here. So, consider wearing fibers that wick moisture away from the body, particularly when it comes to underwear.

4. Your (daily?) grooming habits

daily grooming habits

Have you showered today? We didn’t think so. How about this week?

Look, we’re not one to judge. You’ve got a busy schedule, a long commute, and all sorts of...er…leisure activities that you pursue.

Seriously, though, your grooming habits are going to have a large impact on your body odor. If you’re not showering regularly, or if you’re not washing the right bits with the right kind of soap, you’re going to reek by the end of a long, sweaty day.

Here’s the thing: the bacteria on your skin are what cause the odor you’re trying to avoid. So, it’s not just the sweat itself. Your sweat on its own would have a pretty mild scent. We’re not suggesting you try to market your perspiration as a perfume: we’re just saying it’s not super offensive when it first leaves your pores. What happens next, rather, is the culprit: bacteria on the surface of your skin actually digest sweat and break it down into thioalcohols, the compounds responsible for your tremendously stinky testicles.

Bacteria prefer a damp, warm, dark environment. Under these kinds of conditions, bacteria will multiply like nobody’s business. Over the course of a long day, the bacterial count on your ball sack can skyrocket. We’re talking exponential growth here. By the end of the day, even if you were to dry the area off, the bacteria have taken up residence. And they really stink.

So, what can you do? Washing with the right kind of cleanser is a great way to knock down the bacteria count on your sack, thus reducing the odor you’ll be producing that day. This is why a morning shower is so helpful: you’re essentially pressing the bacterial reset before you begin your day and put your balls through the sudoriferous ringer yet again (ouch!).

But just rinsing off your nuts isn’t going to do it for you. Seriously, did you think a little stream of water was going to fix this problem? You need to take matters into your own hands here. Chassis® has developed a Shower Primer designed specifically for this purpose. Our Shower Primer gives your balls a deep clean, knocks out odor altogether, moisturizes the area rather than drying it out completely, and even softens your body hair. Why soften body hair? Because it reduces chafing throughout the day. Ahh, the joys of chafing… Not!

5. It all comes down to sweat

it all comes down to sweat

So, what have we ultimately learned here? Food, clothing, environment, grooming habits: all of them contribute to your super stank body odor. But ultimately, all of this comes down to one simple element. Sweat.

That’s right. If you’re not producing massive amounts of sweat, or if that sweat isn't hanging around making your ball sack into a nice, dark, damp, bacterial feeding chamber (gross, right?), then you’re not going to have crazy amounts of ball stink to deal with.

You might be thinking: okay, great. I’ve come to terms with my man stink. What do I do? Is there something in the realm of man care that can solve this problem for me? Why, yes. Yes there is.

Kiss those sweaty balls goodbye

Kiss those sweaty balls goodbye

Not literally! Geez. It’s a figure of speech.

Chassis has developed a state of the art Premium Body Powder that will reduce sweat, deodorize, and leave your sack smelling like a bed of roses. Well, okay, maybe not a bed of roses. But at least we’ll all be able to stand in this huddle without keeling over. And that’s something to be proud of.

Our Premium Body Powder is made with the finest ingredients and bestows a light, fresh scent to your nether regions. But you know what it’s not? It’s not an antiperspirant.

Wait a second, you say: I thought sweat was the culprit. Don’t I want to use an antiperspirant? No, you don’t. Here’s why: antiperspirants contain aluminum. That aluminum is included for one sole purpose: to block your sweat glands from producing sweat. If you think that sounds like a good idea, think again. Blocked sweat glands become swollen, irritated, and--you guess it!--super itchy. So much for reducing the desire to scratch your balls.

Chassis Premium Powder contains no aluminum, talc, or other irritants. It’s a gentle, natural, powdered crotch odor eliminator that delivers results without causing irritation.

So, maybe you’ve changed your diet a little. You’re dressing smarter. You’re using the Chassis Shower Primer, and following up with a dash of Chassis Premium Body Powder. Let’s revisit those scenarios we considered at the beginning of this article.

You’re still reeling from the weekend on Monday morning, getting ready to give this presentation at work. And it’s a little warm in there, sure. And maybe you sweat a little. But you get up and deliver that presentation with confidence. Why? Because your balls don’t feel like they’re in a dunk tank full of itch-inducing piranhas, that’s why!

That night, you’re on that date. You’re a little nervous, and you know you’re probably doing a bit of sweating down around your sack. But you’re not worried about it. When you get back to her place and your pants come off, you can almost hear a choir singing in the background in celebration of how fresh and squeaky clean your balls smell. Seriously. Our Premium Body Powder is that good. (Choral “ahhs” not included.)

Congratulations, gentlemen. You now know how to combat the smelly ball odor that has followed you for years and plagued our kind for generations. Now, go out there and conquer the world: not with your stink, but with your newfound confidence.