Puberty and hormones result in new challenges for teenagers. Not only do teens experience acne, growth spurts, menstruation for girls and voice changes for boys, they also begin to notice changes that affect the way they smell and feel. These changes require teens to take special care to ensure good hygiene.
Showering and Bathing
It is important for teenagers to bathe at least every other day. Changes in a teenager’s sweat and oil glands mean going for long periods without bathing results in oily skin and body odor. Teenagers also sweat more profusely than adolescents, which results in body odor. Accordingly, make sure your teen bathes daily or every other day using a mild soap. Instruct him to take particular care to wash and dry the feet, face, hands, armpits, buttocks and genitals. Tell him to brush and floss his teeth and gently wash his face at least twice a day as well.
Your teen may have become accustomed to wearing the same clothing for several days without washing. It is important for your child to shed this habit once puberty arrives. Instruct your child to wear clean, fresh clothing daily. This includes fresh socks and underwear. Tell her to immediately place dirty clothing in the wash and allow sweaty shoes to air out overnight. Purchase cotton clothing for your teen as cotton absorbs sweat.
Deodorant and Antiperspirants
As your child enters his teens, deodorant or antiperspirants also become a necessity. Increased sweat production and hormonal changes mean teenagers are more prone to body odor than adolescents. Antiperspirants combat this effect of puberty by preventing sweat, whereas deodorants work to mask body odor. Purchase a combination deodorant and antiperspirant for your teen in order to reap both benefits. Instruct your teenager to use the product daily or as often as needed. Remind him, however, that deodorant is not a substitute for a bath.
Increased oil production also results in oily hair and scalp. Advise your teenager to wash her hair as often as needed to combat this effect. The required frequency varies depending on the individual’s hair type. Some teenagers need daily hair washing, while others only need to wash once a week. Help your teenager select a shampoo and conditioner that works for her hair type, and a hair washing schedule that suits her needs.
Your teenager may also need to take steps to groom body hair. Hair in the armpit and pubic areas becomes sweaty and increases body odor. Discuss the pros and cons of shaving body hair with your teenager in order to figure out what is best. Help your teen find a shaving cream and razor that suits his skin type if he elects to begin shaving. Show your child how to properly use the products.