Let us see some of the common hygiene problems afflicting teens:
- Bad Breath: Bad breath can be very unpleasant and annoying. There are many causes for bad breath, it could be gingivitis, cavities, abscesses, smoking, dentures, imbibing certain beverages or even certain foods or it could be because of poor oral hygiene. Though mouthwash is good for good oral health, it does not do much for bad breath. Brushing teeth twice a day and flossing is vital. Also, get your child into the habit of mouth gargling after eating or drinking anything. Practices such as smoking, using illegal substances, and imbibing alcohol have to be strictly discouraged. In case bad breath persists despite all these measures, then it is advisable to contact your dentist for further advice.
- Acne: When the pores of the skin become clogged with excess oil and grime, it is just a next step away from your teen developing acne. While acne can affect anyone, adolescents are more prone to the same owing to the hormonal changes occurring in their body. Washing the face twice a day with a mild cleanser is recommended for acne, also if your teen has oily hair, it is recommended to wash the hair on a daily basis. Discourage picking at the pimples as this can lead to scar formation.
- Oily Hair: As with acne, during puberty, excessive production of oil by the sebaceous gland can leave your hair very oily. Your teen needs to wash his/hair every day with a mild shampoo followed by a conditioner in warm water. Keep close attention to the kind of products, which your teen uses as some gels or lotions used might leave the hair oilier.
- Sweat and Body Odour: While sweating is entirely normal, when combined with bacteria on the skin, it gives rise to body odour. Bathing every day and wearing clean and neat clothes is not only essential but will help with body odour to a large extent. Deodorants and antiperspirants can also be a solution to fight body odour.
- Body Hair: Body hair is another change, which comes with puberty, thanks to the hormonal changes. Your teen will see a growth in body hair in hands, legs, genital areas, under armpits and in case of boys on the face in the form of beard or moustache. You can introduce your teen to the razor as a way of getting rid of body hair, but it is entirely up to your teen what they are comfortable. Ensure you are guiding them during their first few tries to avoid any nicks or cuts and also ensure they are using new razors. It is best advised not to use a razor to get rid of pubic hair, as they are sensitive areas. In case of excessive hair growth in girls, you can always consult a dermatologist for other options.
- Smelly Feet: Smelly feet medically known as bromodosis again are another by-product of hormonal changes in teens. The sweat produced by the sweat glands in the feet react with the bacteria and hence the smelly feet. Ensure your teen is changing his/her socks every day, also that shoes are not worn more than twice without washing, ensure that the feet are kept clean by washing and drying often, and even the toenails are always clipped and clean. In case your teen has excessive sweaty feet, you can dab cotton dipped in surgical spirit between the toes after a bath as it helps dry out faster, use open-toed sandals, and also use deodorant on their feet.
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