“I’m getting hair in places I’ve never had hair before … My voice is
changing … I think I’ve grown another inch overnight.” This happens
to every guy (and girl – but differently). It’s the time when you physically
stop being a boy and begin to transform into a man. It’s when hormones in your
body take over and cause things to change, grow, and develop. It’s called
puberty. Technically speaking, puberty is your body’s way of
transforming you into an adult, all for the sake of reproduction.
Starting at around age 13 or 14, you undergo a number of
changes. Your ears, hands, and feet grow larger. You get taller and bulkier.
Your shoulders broaden and your muscles get stronger. Your penis and testicles
(balls) increase in size, as do your breasts (just temporarily, so chill!).
Also, during this time, the testes will begin to produce a hormone called
A. Your face is now in constant change – and yes, the androgens are
once again hard at work – adding their hormonal content to your facial hair.
One of the first places guys begin to grow hair is under the arms and above the
upper lip. Talk to your father or a man you trust to show you how to shave, or
contact your local health professional.
Q. I noticed that I’m beginning to smell. Is it time for me to start
A. Probably so. The androgens in your body react in the blood and
change the levels of your body odor (often referred to as “B.O.”).
Underarm deodorant should help with that. Also, be sure to wash yourself
thoroughly under your arms and in your private area.
Q. I’m beginning to break out and pimples are forming all over. What can
A. Androgens are to blame for the changes in the oil (sebum) content
of your skin. Acne and pimples are common for males going through puberty. If
you want to control acne, there are many options available over the counter or
by prescription. If your acne is troublesome or severe, talk with your doctor
or a dermatologist about prevention and treatment.
Puberty can be both an exciting and awkward time for teens. Emotions are
stirred all around as your body adjusts to each of these changes. Hormones are
now a driving force in your being.
Sexual activity begins to be a factor in your life now, and it is important
that you know all of the facts. Talk with your parents or a health professional
if you have any questions. The more you know about your body, the more control
you have over yourself.