Alongside daily hygiene habits such as washing your hands, brushing your teeth and generally keeping clean to reduce spreading germs and infection, there is also a social aspect to personal hygiene. This is around body odour and dental hygiene.
As a young person, your body might already be going through a number of changes, or it soon will, so maintaining good personal hygiene and establishing daily routines are important, especially as some of these changes can be a source of anxiety for some people.
Here are some hygiene basics to help you stay healthy and clean, so that you don’t have to worry about smelly underarms or feet.
Your skin and spots
- During puberty your skin changes and tends to produce more oil that can lead to spots. You should work out the type of skin you have and buy products to fit this. For example, your skin type might be combination/normal, dry or oily
- Make sure you thoroughly cleanse your face in the morning and evening
- If you wear any make-up, make sure to remove this before bed
- Hydrate and moisturise your skin
- Drink plenty of water and eat a healthy, balanced diet
- Some teenagers develop acne and get a large number of spots that can become infected. This needs treatment and you should speak to your GP for advice on how to manage this. You may need specialist treatment and / or products
During puberty, your sweat glands start to develop. Body odour occurs as a result of bacteria feeding on and breaking down the sweat on the body.
To manage body odour, you can:
- Shower daily and make sure you are wearing clean clothing to avoid bacterial build up, particularly after any physical activity
- Regularly shave and wash your underarms thoroughly
- Start using deodorant, roll on or spray. Some deodorants are also antiperspirants, which could cause you to sweat less.
If you are concerned by the amount you are sweating, or your body odour has worsened or changed, then you can visit your GP for advice or speak to one of our school nurses.
Making sure you maintain good dental hygiene is key to avoiding bad breath and other issues such as gum disease.
Make sure you:
- Brush your teeth twice day
- Visit the dentist regularly.
Young people can be prone to smelly feet, even if they are not doing lots of sports.
To avoid or manage this:
- Make sure you wash your feet properly when you’re in the shower
- Make sure your feet are completely dry before putting on your socks and shoes
- Visit your GP if you feel it is getting worse or not getting any better.
If you need further help or support, your school nurse is available to discuss any issues or questions you may have in relation to puberty and body changes confidentially.