You're standing in line. You sniff out of boredom. Do you smell something funky? It's subtle, so you aren't sure, but the more you think about it, the more you're convinced that there's a foul smell in the air. You're trying to deny it, but you know your own brand, and it's definitely you. Is it your feet? Are you wearing deodorant? No, it's a little too sharp for any of that. It's your balls. They're so smelly that the aroma is seeping through two layers of clothing. Yikes.
Any guy who says he's never been in that situation is either lying or has amnesia. The good news is that science has answers, so if you keep reading, you'll learn about smelly balls and how to handle them. So, let's start by answering the titular question: "Can I put deodorant on my balls?"
Sorry, guys. You wanted better news, but there's an excellent chance that your boxers are part of the problem. It should come as no surprise, but there are two ways that boxers impact your junk to make it smell worse: temperature and moisture.
Have you ever asked, "Why do I stink when I sweat?" Sweat contributes to smelly balls syndrome (no, it's not a real syndrome). For starters, your sweat has hormones and chemicals mixed into it. Left entirely alone, they'll usually stink, but that's not the whole story. Your sweat also puts water on your skin. As harmless as it sounds, that water is essential to the survival of bacteria and microbes that are also on your skin. If the water sticks around for a significant amount of time, the bacteria will multiply, and that comes with additional contributions to your funk.
If that wasn't enough, some of those chemicals in your sweat are ideal food for microbes. So, as you pour sweat into your boxers, they trap those goodies and create an array for all of the grossest things you don't want to think about. To summarize, it makes your cheese extra stinky.
The solution to this half of the problem is easy. You want boxers with good moisture wicking. Here's the thing. Cotton is by far the most common material for underwear, and it just plain sucks at moisture-wicking. If you want something natural, wool is not bad, but it's going to tickle your giblets in the worst way. Your best bet is to go with a synthetic blend. These days, there are plenty of microfibers that can do wonders for your boys. Good boxers won't just help with the smell. They'll also keep you cool and feel better.
Consider The Fit
Lastly, you need to consider the fit of your boxers. Tight waistbands and legs also trap moisture, even if you have a good microfiber material. Tightness anywhere is bad. It might not help you show your bulge, but that's probably for the best anyways; this also doesn't mean that you need the baggiest boxers in the world. You don't want to look like an idiot. As long as your boxers don't leave impression marks anywhere, you're good on tightness.
While moisture control and temperature are inextricably related, there are some differences to emphasize. Have hot balls isn't just bad because it makes them sweatier. The higher temperature also helps the microbes thrive; this is why we put food in refrigerators. Lower temperatures slow microbial reproduction, and that's what we want on our balls too.
That doesn't mean you need to go out and invent refrigerated underwear. You want cool balls, not frozen peas, which brings us back to your boxers' material. Several good moisture-wicking materials are used for underwear. Plenty of them trap heat. You've already read about the material that's the best of both worlds: microfibers. A microfiber blend will keep you both cool and dry.
The Fitting Rules Apply
Also, fitting rules apply just as easily to temperature as to moisture. Too tight is hot. Too loose is weird. If it doesn't feel relieving to remove your trunks, then you're ok.
So, do boxers cause your junk to reek? A better and more honest answer is to say that they can. All of the things you just read can certainly contribute to man stench, but it's far from the whole story. Some problems will stink through the best boxers. Some treatment options can keep you fresh without requiring a wardrobe change. It still largely boils down to moisture control, but there are many things other than clothing that can impact skin health.
Take a Shower
Ok, ok, ok. If you're worried about foul balls and you haven't discovered the basic premise of showering, there's no helping you. That said, there's a good chance you aren't showering optimally. Running water and soap is good enough to rinse away a current fetor layer, but they won't prevent a recurrence. For that, you need to understand more about how soap and showering work.
The basic premise of washing your body — whether it's your hands in the sink or your junk in the shower — is that you are dissolving bad substances. The running water dissolves most things and runs them into the drain. The soap, generally speaking, is just there to dissolve organic substances that aren't caught by the water. Skipping a long-winded chemistry lesson, when you apply soap, water, and a little scrubbing, usually the only thing left behind is you. It's enough to safely eat finger foods after a dump, and it's enough to mostly keep you clean.
Soap And Water Aren't Good Enough
Here's why soap and water aren't good enough to keep your nether regions from smelling like, well, nether regions. No amount of soap and water will get rid of all of the bacteria. Some of it can stick in your pores. There's also a little bit in the water you use to wash. It can also cling to your clothes or just hang out in the air. No matter what you do, bacteria is back on your skin before you finish drying.
For that reason, you need an additional defense that lasts through the day. Nature already thought of this, and it's why your skin naturally produces a barrier known as the acid mantle. Basically, you secrete a small amount of acid that clings to your skin and mitigates microbes' viability on your skin. It's not an ultimate defense, but it's pretty much the key to avoiding new odors once you're clean.
Here's where things get tricky. The soap and water you just used also dissolve some of the acid mantle and make it thinner. If you don't help, your showers make you more vulnerable to body odor. If you ever do any body shaving, then you're just at tons of risk.
You can't abandon showering. It's still important. Instead, you want to do a few things that help with the acid mantle and general skin health. The first thing you can do is work on your technique. You do need to scrub, but excessive vigor only peels away more of that protective barrier. Gentle exfoliation is the best, so it's time to stop worrying about gender stereotypes and get a loofah. You'll also need to learn how to clean it.
By that same token, you want to take care of how you dry yourself after a shower. Most guys seem to think that towels work by heating the water through friction and causing it to evaporate. Ok, maybe that's a little extreme, but you get the point. A gentle pat dry is superior to the towel scrub.
More important than technique is chemical application. Not all soaps are created equal. As it turns out, the ones that brag about pH balance aren't just using a dirty sales tactic. You can supplement your Acid Mantle by utilizing a soap that replaces the acid it removes. It's pretty much the most important thing to look at in soaps.
Anything that keeps your skin from getting dry or cracked is also good. Those conditions weaken the acid mantle. They also provide places for bacteria and other things to hide. So, if your soap moisturizes and has a pH balance, you're off to a good start.
Use Ball Deodorant
That's not the end of the story. You can also supplement your soap. Ball deodorant is a real thing, and when it's designed correctly, it's an enjoyable experience. Such deodorants can gently help you with moisture control and pH balance. You want something that is talcum-like.
Lastly, some spritzes and refreshers are deliberately engineered to help control the bacteria that make your balls stink. You can look for pH levels here, but anything antimicrobial is probably going to help. The refreshers are also typically scented, so get something you like. Even better, get something your significant other likes.
If this advice doesn't help you, consider talking to your doctor. There are health issues that can be tied to body odor, and you don't want to take any chances.
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