The biological process of puberty makes a quiet entrance into a child’s life in many ways, except for changes in how they SMELL!
Interestingly, the hormone that has a big effect on the skin, in both boys and girls, is a form of testosterone. There is one particular skin gland only found in the armpits and genital area, the apocrine gland, that starts working in early puberty because of this hormone. Bacteria that normally live on the skin at these locations ingest the sweat made by this skin gland and produce a gas. That gas is our body odor.
Because testosterone starts triggering apocrine glands early in puberty, body odor is an especially noticeable indicator of our children entering this phase of development. This is when we parents realize it’s time to introduce our kids to methods to start controlling the smell. Frequent showering and an antiperspirant or deodorant can make a big impact in these areas.
Wondering what the difference is between a deodorant and an antiperspirant?
I found this 2-minute video with Dr. Cara Natterson and Kids In The House with a great explanation!