Puberty is a phase in your life when you transition from childhood to adulthood. During this phase, you’ll experience different changes to your body as it matures. This includes physical, emotional, social and cognitive changes.
Change can be an exciting but also a confusing time, which is why it is important to know the changes that you’ll experience during puberty, before it happens!
To read more about puberty, click here.
Puberty for Boys
Puberty for boys usually starts at around the ages of 9 and 16 and it doesn’t happen overnight. Puberty follows through different stages and it can last up to 4–8 years.
You will generally notice these following physiological changes during puberty:
- Changes in body shape
During puberty, you may also go through a growth spurt. Your growth spurt may start after the girl’s growth spurt and you may catch up or even grow taller than girls. Accompanying this growth, you may also gain weight. Gaining weight is a normal part of puberty and a sufficient and healthy diet is essential to support the growth which is happening in your body.
- Develop a deeper voice
Boys may also develop to having a deeper voice and your laryngeal prominence may also become more prominent (also known as the Adam’s apple).
- Penis and testes gets larger
You may realise that your penis and testes may have grown during puberty. Your testicles will also begin producing sperm.
- Growing hair
Another change you will probably notice early in puberty is hair growing in new places in your body. These can be under your arms, in pubic area, the upper lip, chin, cheeks, and even on your chest and back.
Hormonal changes during puberty may trigger acne, which refers to whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. Increased hormone production stimulates production of sebum which may cause greasy skin, blocked pores, and acne. It is important to wash your face regularly to prevent buildup of blocked pores which causes acne. Using facial products which contain salicylic acid and makeup with non-comedogenic labels may also help to prevent acne formation.
During puberty, the sweat gland in armpits, groin, and feet become more active. Hence, you will naturally sweat more. When sweat mixes with the bacteria on our skin, it may cause body odor or foot odor. To minimize body odor, it is a good habit to wash your body with soap and change your clothes regularly, especially after physical activity. Changing underwear and any clothes worn right next to the skin is important. This is to prevent build-up of bacteria as these clothes collect dead skin cells, sweat, and body fluids – all of which is loved by bacteria. To minimize foot odour, your feet should be washed thoroughly and regularly in the shower. It also helps to change your socks regularly and air your shoes every now and then. If this is not enough, you can use foot scrubber to clear off dead skin cells regularly.
- Experience erections
You may experience erections when nervous or excited. An erection is when your penis is bigger and standouts as it hardens due to it being filled up with blood. You may also experience erection when you are sleeping and might wake up to have your underwear or bed wet; this is called wet dreams. Wet dreams occur when you start making more testosterone. Although you might feel embarrassed, it is important to note that sometimes you can’t help it and it is normal to experience this!
Personal and Genital Hygiene
Personal and genital hygiene is an important part of staying healthy and can help children with their confidence.
When reaching puberty, sweat glands and hair grows in armpits and genital areas that can lead to body odour. Remember to shower and wash your body with soap. You can start using deodorant to help with the odour as well. Remember to also change your underwear and other clothes regularly to avoid sweat, other bodily fluids and bacteria from building up.