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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.

4. Facial and Body Hair continued...

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.

5. Acne

Boys tend to get worse acne than girls, because their skin makes more oil, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be spared. Almost everyone gets acne at some point during their teen years.

With acne, as with sweat, it’s bacteria that are causing the problem. So for most mild to moderate cases of acne, you can keep it under control by:

  • Washing gently twice a day with a cleanser that’s specifically for the face. Scrubbing your face can worsen acne and irritate the skin.
  • Using a topical (applied to the skin) over-the-counter acne treatment containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid
  • Using makeup with the label “non-comedogenic.” That means it doesn’t clog the pores, which can aggravate acne
  • Not avoiding sunscreen. It’s a myth that baking in the sun will dry out your acne (it’ll just put you at risk for skin cancer), and there are plenty of non-comedogenic sunscreens that don’t clog your pores.

Talk About It

Through all of these changes, what you really need is someone to talk to. Yeah, bringing up your period to mom might seem like as much fun as walking through school with a giant zit on your nose, but you might be surprised how much she’ll understand.

“To get past the embarrassment factor, one thing you can do is bring it up in the car,” Madaras says. “It’s much easier because you don’t have to look at each other. And try introducing the subject by asking about their experiences first, rather than plunging into yours: ‘When you were my age, were you nervous about getting your period? Did Grandma ever talk to you about using deodorant?'"

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