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Teen Girls' Health

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5 Embarrassing Body Changes for Teen Girls

Your period, acne, body odor, unwanted hair, and more.

2. Breasts

“During puberty, even the skinniest of girls develop more body fat,” Alderman says. “You go from straight board to hips, breasts, and all that. It can be pretty upsetting, but then it can be even more upsetting if it’s not happening to you when it’s happening to all the others.”

Despite what you may have heard, you can’t make your breasts grow faster, and you can’t slow down your body’s development either. All you can do is remember that everyone evens out in the end.

“If you’re an early developer, soon the others will catch up and wonder what all the fuss is about,” says Lynda Madaras, author of My Body, My Self for Girls. She taught puberty education in California for more than 20 years. “If you’re slow to develop -- well, you don’t see a lot of adults walking around who haven’t been through puberty. We all have our own timetable. It happens when it happens.”

3. Body Odor

It’s not like you’ve never sweated before, but did it always stinkso much? Nope. 

Teenage sweat is different from kids’ sweat. You sweat more, and it smells different, because, with your hormones in overdrive, the glands in your armpits are getting a lot more active. The sweat they put out combines with bacteria to emit a smell that’s not exactly sweet perfume.

  • Bathe or shower everyday using mild soap and warm water. Wear clean clothes each day.
  • Use a deodorant or antiperspirant. What’s the difference? Deodorants cover up yucky smells; antiperspirants block sweating. “There are plenty of cute ones for girls,” says Alderman. “But some girls may need to use a stronger antiperspirant, like one for boys or men. There are also prescription antiperspirants if you really perspire a lot.
  • Wear 100% cotton underwear and clothing -- it “breathes” more and leaves you less drenched.

 

4. Facial and Body Hair

Hair in unwanted places is a common side effect of puberty. “Body odor and excess body hair often tend to go together,” says Alderman. “Girls get hairy arms or hairy upper lips, and it can be embarrassing.”

You can do certain things to help minimize the appearance of your body hair. “If a girl is younger, I’d recommend cosmetic things like waxing, depilatories, or bleaching,” Alderman says.

You can also shave your legs, underarm area, and bikini line, but don’t shave your face -- that’s just for guys.

If you have a lot of unwanted hair, irregular periods, and bad acne, and also struggle with your weight, you might have a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). If these things are happening to you, your doctor may check you for PCOS. If you have it, there are medications that can help with the hair and other symptoms.

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