That Pesky Thing Called Puberty

You’re growing up. Lotsa changes going on, huh? Confusing, yeah. But no need to freak out about it. It’s known as puberty, and it’s totally normal. Here’s the lowdown on what to expect so you don’t get caught off guard.

Breast-ology
Are your breasts beginning to bud? Cool! They’ll gradually get bigger and fuller, and they might even become a little sore. One breast could grow more than the other at first, but they’ll eventually even out. (Most women have one that’s slightly larger, but it’s usually not too noticeable.) How big or small your boobs become depends on genetics. So when are they fully developed? It usually takes two to three years!

Hairy Scary?
If you haven’t already, you’ll soon grow hair in the pubic area -- that part of your bod that extends from your lower tummy to between your legs. Initially, the hair is soft and there isn’t much of it. Later, it gets a little longer and usually becomes kinky and curly. Right around the time you get pubic hair, you’ll also sprout some under your armpits.

Ugh, Zits!
The pores in your skin produce more oil during puberty, especially on your face. This can cause pimples to pop up. If you have a problem with acne, gently wash your face with antibacterial soap several times a day. Hopefully, getting rid of the excess oil will zap your zits. If it’s severe and won’t clear up, see a dermatologist.

Periods. Period.
Before you start your period, you’ll probably notice yellow or white stains inside your underwear. This is natural moisture from the vagina. It’s perfectly normal and is a sign that menstruation will probably start in about six to 18 months. Although most girls get their first period between 11 and 14 years old, it can come as early as 8 or as late as 17. Since it’s pretty unpredictable, it’s a good idea to have some pads stashed away for when it does catch you by surprise.

Oh, No … B.O.
Your sweat glands become larger and more active as you get older, so you sweat more. And it doesn’t exactly smell so fresh. That means it’s time to pay particular attention to your hygiene. Be sure to wash under your arms when you shower, and by all means, get yourself a stick of deodorant or antiperspirant.