All about Puberty - Part 2
Face Up to Changes
Another thing that may come with puberty is acne (say: ak-nee) — or pimples — caused by all those hormones at work in the body.
Skin gets oilier and pimples sometimes start showing up when puberty begins, and you may get them throughout the teenage years. You might see pimples on your face, your upper back, or your upper chest.
To help control pimples, wash your face twice a day with warm water and a mild soap or cleanser. Don't squeeze, pick, or pop your pimples. Your doctor can also offer suggestions for clearing up acne. The good news is that acne usually gets a lot better as you get older.
Putting the P.U. in Puberty
P.U.! A lot of kids notice that they have a new smell under their arms and in other places when they hit puberty — and it's not a pretty one. That smell is body odor (you may have heard people call it B.O.) and everyone gets it.
As you enter puberty, the puberty hormones stimulate the glands in your skin, including the sweat glands under your arms. When sweat and bacteria on your skin get together, it can smell pretty bad.
So what can you do to feel less stinky? Well, keeping clean can stop you from smelling. You might want to take a shower every day, either in the morning before school or at night before bed. Wearing clean clothes and showering after you've been playing sports or exercising is also a good idea.
Another way to cut down on body odor is to use deodorant. If you use a deodorant with antiperspirant, it will cut down on sweat as well.
Boys and girls will also notice other body changes as they enter puberty. Girls sometimes might see and feel white or clear stuff coming from the vagina. This doesn't mean anything is wrong — it's called vaginal discharge and is just another sign hormones are changing your body.
Boys will begin to get erections (this is when the penis fills with blood and becomes hard). Sometimes erections happen when boys think about sexual things or they can happen for no reason at all. Boys also may experience something called nocturnal emissions (or wet dreams). This is when the penis becomes erect when a boy is sleeping and he ejaculates. When a boy ejaculates, semen — the fluid that contains sperm — comes out of the penis. That's why they're called wet dreams — they happen when you're sleeping and your underwear or the bed might be a little wet when you wake up. Wet dreams occur less often as boys move through puberty and they eventually stop.
Change Can Feel Kind of Strange
Just as those hormones change the way your body looks on the outside, they also create changes on the inside. During puberty, you might feel confused or have strong emotions that you've never had before. You might feel overly sensitive or become upset easily.
Some kids lose their tempers more often and get angry with their friends or families. You also may feel anxious about how your changing body looks.
Sometimes it can be hard to deal with all these new emotions. It's important to know that while your body is adjusting to the new hormones, so is your mind. Try to remember that people usually aren't trying to hurt your feelings or upset you on purpose. It might not be your family or friends — it might be your new "puberty brain" trying to adjust.
You might also have sexual feelings that you've never felt before. And you will probably have lots of questions about these new, confusing feelings about sex.
It's easy to feel embarrassed or nervous when talking about sex. It's important to get your questions answered, but you need to be sure you have all the right information. Some kids can talk to their parents about sex and get all their questions answered.
But if you feel funny talking to your parents about sex, there are many other people you can talk to, like your doctor, a school nurse, a teacher, a school counselor, or some other adult you feel comfortable talking with.
People are all a little different from each other, so it makes sense that they don't all develop in the same way. During puberty, everyone changes at his or her own pace. Maybe some of your friends are getting their period, and you haven't developed breasts yet. Maybe your best friend's voice has changed, and you think you still sound like a kid. Or maybe you're sick of being the tallest girl in your class or the only boy who has to shave.
In a few cases, kids who are developing very early or who are very late in starting have a problem that may need to be checked or treated. If you are concerned about that possibility, talk with your parents and schedule a visit with your doctor. Your doctor knows all about puberty and can help determine if you are developing normally.
But just about everyone catches up eventually, and most differences between you and your friends will even out. Until then, hang in there. Puberty can be quite a wild ride!
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