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The Facts about Puberty (for Guys)

“I’m getting hair in places I’ve never had hair before … My voice ischanging … I think I’ve grown another inch overnight.” This happensto every guy (and girl – but differently). It’s the time when you physicallystop being a boy and begin to transform into a man. It’s when hormones in yourbody take over and cause things to change, grow, and develop. It’s calledpuberty. Technically speaking, puberty is your body’s way oftransforming you into an adult, all for the sake of reproduction.

Starting at around age 13 or 14, you undergo a number ofchanges. 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 calledshaving?

A. Your face is now in constant change – and yes, the androgens areonce 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 theupper lip. Talk to your father or a man you trust to show you how to shave, orcontact your local health professional.

Q. I noticed that I’m beginning to smell. Is it time for me to startwearing deodorant?

A. Probably so. The androgens in your body react in the blood andchange the levels of your body odor (often referred to as “B.O.”).Underarm deodorant should help with that. Also, be sure to wash yourselfthoroughly under your arms and in your private area.

Q. I’m beginning to break out and pimples are forming all over. What canI do?

A. Androgens are to blame for the changes in the oil (sebum) contentof your skin. Acne and pimples are common for males going through puberty. Ifyou want to control acne, there are many options available over the counter orby prescription. If your acne is troublesome or severe, talk with your doctoror a dermatologist about prevention and treatment.

Puberty can be both an exciting and awkward time for teens. Emotions arestirred all around as your body adjusts to each of these changes. Hormones arenow a driving force in your being.

Sexual activity begins to be a factor in your life now, and it is importantthat you know all of the facts. Talk with your parents or a health professionalif you have any questions. The more you know about your body, the more controlyou have over yourself.

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