PBS Kids GO! It's My Life
Puberty: Ready for Sweaty

What smells? If you're going through puberty, it might be you. As you enter puberty, you'll probably start to sweat more than you used to, and more sweat can mean more body odor, or "B.O." You might notice that you're starting to get wetter and smellier when you work out or play sports, or simply when it's warm out.

What's happening?
More sweat, and stinkier sweat, are a normal part of puberty. It happens to all kids as they get older -- boys and girls. It's because of those puberty hormones again. The hormones are affecting your sweat glands, and your sweat glands are making chemicals that sometimes make you smell. There are lots of sweat glands under your arms, so your armpits might be one place you're a bit stinky.

What can you do?
Sweating is normal, especially if you're hot or nervous or anxious. It can actually be good for you, because it will help your body cool down if it needs to. If you're worried that your sweat is stinky, or that people might notice, there are some easy fixes:

  • Take a shower. If you don't shower every day, puberty is probably the time to start. Washing well with soap and hot water can get rid of any smell that's built up on your skin from sweating. You might want to shower after exercising or playing sports, too. You'll smell better, look cleaner, and feel refreshed.

  • Try deodorant. Next time you're at the drug store or supermarket, ask a parent to buy you some deodorant. Deodorant comes in many forms: solid stick, roll-on, gel, spray, and so on. It's kind of like perfume, because it can help to cover up the smell of sweat. You usually apply it under your arms, where you sweat the most. It isn't always necessary for everyone to use deodorant, but it can help you feel confident if you think your sweat is a little smelly.

  • If you think that you sweat A LOT (big wet spots that show up on your shirt, etc.), you can try using antiperspirant. This is a kind of deodorant that has a special ingredient to block some of your sweat. Many products these days have both deodorants and antiperspirants. Don't use too much, or use it too often, though. Remember: sweating is a good thing. It keeps you cool and healthy.

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