Sexual Health Through Education
During puberty, your skin might get pretty oily. All that extra oil can block your pores (tiny holes in your skin) and cause pimples or blackheads (zits). Most young people get pimples at some time during puberty. Some people get a severe case of pimples and blackheads which is called acne. Acne usually clears up after puberty.
To reduce the onset of pimples:
Brush your teeth at least twice a day; morning and evening are best, using toothpaste (with fluoride). Floss once a day to remove plaque between your teeth. Remember to brush your tongue. It picks up odours from foods and drinks causing bad breath. It is a good idea to have a check-up with a dentist at least once a year.
Just like your skin, your hair might be oilier than it used to be. Wash it regularly to keep it clean.
Both boys and girls will start growing hair in new places: their legs, under their arms, in the genital area (parts between your legs) and on their face. The amount of new body hair that grows and when it starts is different for every person.
Not everyone shaves. For some it is a personal choice. For others it is cultural. When to shave, how to shave and how often to shave are things you can talk about with an older sibling, a parent/guardian or another adult you trust.
Both boys and girls start to sweat (perspire) more during puberty especially when active. The changes to your hormones will give your sweat a stronger smell. This is especially true for your underarms and feet. Some things you can do are:
It is important to keep your genital area (parts between your legs) clean. This helps to prevent rashes or infections and to reduce odours.
Both girls and boys should wear cotton underwear. Cotton is a natural fibre that allows the skin to breathe and prevents the trapping of moisture that can lead to infections. If you choose underwear that is made of something else, make sure it at least has a cotton crotch.
The information contained in this section of the site is from the booklet Growing Up Okay!
Reprinted with permission from Healthy Child Manitoba Office, 2013.