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Ah! The smell of adolescence.

There’s nothing quite like the end-of-the-day funk that wafts from a pubescent kid. Some of them (younger ones usually) have no idea they stink or they just don’t care because their friends haven’t noticed. But as kids head into middle school and beyond, body odor is a common cause for teasing, exclusion, and shaming. Besides the usual body odor from sweaty pits and stinky feet, there are also new and strong odors from their morphing private zones. For girls, in particular, those private odors often become an embarrassment and even a source of anxiety, but some reassurance about normal healthy odors and details about basic hygiene may be all they need.

First, let me stress that there’s already...

If you (or someone close to you) has noticed a new not-so-nice smell floating around you, it’s probably puberty - well, it’s body odor caused by puberty. But don’t worry! We can help!

You probably already know that your hormones change pretty quickly as you enter puberty. But don’t let hormones worry you. They are just chemical messengers that help your body parts communicate with each other. 

As you enter puberty, there’s a hormone that makes your skin become more oily and another that causes your sweat glands to make more sweat. When your sweat and oils mix, they create a yummy “soup” that gets slurped up by the bacteria that normally live on your skin. As the bacteria munch on your body soup, they put off stinky smells...

Puberty is inevitable, but every girl has a unique experience and handles it in her own way. You can help make it a positive experience by helping your daughter know what to expect and reassuring her that some of the weirdness is actually normal!

To help her (and you) know what’s coming, here’s a brief overview of “the order of things”

  • Feet and hands grow first.
  • Breast buds are next for about 85% of girls.
  • Remember that one side usually buds first as a hard, sometimes tender, knot under the areola. The other side will bud within a short time usually, but sometimes it takes up to 6 months.
  • Shortly after breasts bud (a sign of circulating estrogen), she will begin to have vaginal discharge (...