The smell phenomenon: Do you know what a stinky nose is?

Updated: 06/02/2022 – 20:26

Phenomenon of medicinal smell
Do you know what a stinky nose is?

Photo: Getty Images/Deagreez

Some body odors can be unpleasant. However, in some cases, those affected cannot help it. A stinky nose is an example of this.

The world is full of smells – some are deceptive, some are hateful. Of course, this also includes body odors. While some you can actively do something about, others are signs of an illness that sufferers cannot control. Stinky nose, fish and nail polish – we present some medical phenomena related to smell.

How we find a lovable person is not so dependent on their scent. It’s not for nothing that they say that you can smell someone or you can’t. While the smell of sweat and cheese feet can be avoided or at least reduced through hygiene and deodorant measures, other symptoms are symptoms of disease. These include, for example, the smell of fish, vinegar or nail polish and a runny nose, which is very unpleasant for sufferers. 5 phenomena of medicinal smell in a short picture.

Bad nose odor, bad breath and mates: when smells are satisfying

stinky nose

Anyone with a stuffy or nosebleed nose has a bad smell from their nose. The common thing is that sufferers do not perceive the smell themselves. For reasons that are still unknown, the nasal mucosa retracts, as do the vessels, glands and even the bony parts of the corneas in the nasal cavity. This form of a fetid nose mainly affects women and young adults. In another form, the nasal cavity widens due to other diseases and procedures, such as the surgical removal of a tumor in the nose. Prolonged use of the nasal spray can also lead to a decrease in the nasal mucosa. The lost nasal mucosa results in cavities in which bark, scales, and bacteria can thrive. Hence this foul odor causes nose odor.

urine smell

Even if the kidneys are not working properly, foul odor can develop from the body. This odor usually occurs when the kidneys are unable to properly process various metabolic products. The fumes exit through the skin and then smell like urine and ammonia. Anyone who notices that their skin smells like urine and ammonia should seek medical advice and also have their kidney function checked.

Vinegar smell

If the thyroid gland is underactive, the metabolism is on the back burner and the body sweats out excess acids. This excess is usually manifested in the sour smell of vinegar, which reaches the surface of the body with sweat. Other symptoms often appear besides sour body odor, such as weight gain, fatigue, and hair loss.

fish smell

Fish-like body odor can occur in people who lack a certain enzyme: trimethylamine oxidase. This enzyme is necessary for nutrient metabolism. If it is missing, odorous trimethylamine is increasingly excreted via urine, sweat and breathable air. The strength of the smell varies. Sometimes it’s less reminiscent of old fish and more with bad breath, a strong odor of sweat or even the smell of feces. Those affected should avoid eggs, offal and legumes.

Another reason for the smell of fish can be bacterial vaginosis, which many women are familiar with. It occurs when pathogenic germs crowd out the lactic acid bacteria in the vagina. In addition to the fishy smell, itching, burning and milky secretions appear.

nail polish smell

People with diabetes have a slow metabolism of glucose due to the insufficient amount of insulin being available in the body. It is quite possible for a metabolic disease to go unnoticed for a certain period of time. However, over time, typical symptoms appear. This includes the person with the “sugar” smell breathing in a bit of acetone-containing varnish remover.

Not every foul odor is a sign of illness – many things are perfectly normal. However, if you notice any unusual or sudden odors, you should always be on the alert and get them checked out by a doctor.



There are many medical phenomena. Read more here:



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