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Dealing With Embarrassing Body Changes

What teen guys should know about body odor, sweat, acne, and other body changes.

Acne continued...

Not all boys get that message. “When it’s mild, they tend to ignore it,” Lucas says. “But if it gets severe, it can cause scarring. And scars will be permanent.”

Lucas recommends getting an over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide-based wash and using it once or twice a day. That will help keep your pores from getting clogged, which causes acne. Cleaning up after sweating is especially important, so wash yourself and any equipment you wear after game time.

Even if you are really careful, your acne might still go beyond mild and into severe territory. “It’s not because they are not taking care of it,” Lucas says. “It’s just bad luck.”

If that happens to you, don’t panic. Make an appointment with a dermatologist. They have lots of options to help keep your pimples under control.

Slow-to-Grow Muscles

A lot of guys are eager to get ripped – or at least develop some muscle definition – and are embarrassed when they can’t.

The most important message for you to hear is ‘be patient.’ Muscles need to be ready to grow. That doesn’t happen until later in puberty, when the body starts to produce sufficient amounts of the hormone testosterone.

In the meantime, lifting weights will help you build strength; it just won’t help you build muscle before your body is ready.

“You may get stronger but not any more defined if you are not at the point at which you will develop,” D’Angelo says.

If you do work out with weights, be careful and focus on doing lots of repetitions of lighter weights rather than trying to lift the heaviest amount possible, D’Angelo says. Otherwise, you risk overlifting, which can damage your growth plates.

Growth plates are areas of tissue at the end of your long bones – which include your leg and arm bones – that determine the final length and shape of your bones. They are the weakest part of your growing skeleton, and injuries to them can sometimes have a permanent – and bad – impact on your growth.

Get some guidance from a trainer or coach to make sure your technique is correct. No sense doing all that lifting the wrong way.

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