Puberty happens to everyone – it’s a part of growing up.
Here are some changes that everyone, boys and girls, will experience.
1. Start to grow taller
This may happen slowly and steadily – or in growth spurts; it might feel like you are literally growing out of your clothes and shoes overnight.
2. Start to grow hair in different places
It can feel like hair is suddenly sprouting everywhere! – under your arms, on your genitals and, if you are male, on your face and chest.
Some people choose to shape or remove this hair by shaving, waxing or threading, while others prefer to just go natural. It’s your body and your choice.
3. Start to sweat more
Sweating can lead to body odour (B.O.), and no one wants to smell bad! You might find you need to wash more often than before, and should be having a shower or bath every day.
You can also start to use deodorant; it might take a few trials to find a product that works for your body and that smells good.
4. Have greasier skin
You might even start to get a few spots (check out Spots: Just the facts)- resist the temptation to squeeze them as it’ll only make them worse.
There are lots of products available to help you manage greasy skin. These include over-the-counter gels or creams (topical treatments) that contain benzoyl peroxide – again you might need to try a few before you find the one that suits you. The best way to help is to keep your face clean.
If things are more serious, see your doctor as they may be able to prescribe more medicated products.
5. Get greasier hair
You might find you need to start to wash your hair more often if it is becoming greasier.
6. Have an interest in exploring relationships and sexuality
This is a natural part of growing up, but it can be bewildering.
Take a look at our Relationships area for more on this.
7. Experience the 'Puberty Brain'
Mixed up feelings and mood swings are all part of puberty.
It’s normal to go through a rollercoaster of emotions- happy, sad, grumpy, tearful, angry, fed up, confused and excited- all within a short space of time!
The teenage brain is a work in progress, as the part called the ‘prefrontal cortex’ grows and develops. This area of the brain is involved with controlling, planning, working memory, organisation and regulating mood.
how to get help
If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your public health nurse.
Find help in your local area
Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.