As you’re transitioning from childhood to adulthood, your body goes through several changes in order to prepare you for life ahead. This life stage involves many psychological and physical changes, which result from shifts in hormone levels.
It can be a challenging and confusing time for most people, so knowing what to expect can help you feel more in control as you go through it.
In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the body changes that you go through during puberty as a girl.
What Is Puberty?
Puberty is the stage when all your major organs and body systems mature. It begins with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which comes from a part of your brain (hypothalamus) and kicks off a hormonal chain reaction.
The gonadotropin-releasing hormone stimulates your pituitary gland to release follicle-stimulating and luteinising hormones. These hormones tell your ovaries to produce sex hormones (mainly estradiol) from your ovaries. In men, the follicle-stimulating and luteinising hormones stimulate the testes to produce testosterone.
But as everyone is different, you may begin puberty earlier or later. Girls typically start puberty well before boys. On average, puberty lasts in girls from about the age of 9 to 15. On the other hand, puberty in boys lasts a bit longer, usually from the age of 10 to 17.
As puberty advances, both boys and girls encounter many emotional changes. For many, it is time to choose different ways of engaging with family and friends.
What Are The Signs Of Puberty In Girls?
You will begin to observe some changes in your body as you approach a double-figure age. These puberty symptoms are pretty similar in all teenagers, but not all follow the same pattern.
Here’s an overview of the significant body changes you can expect as you go through puberty:
1. Pubic And Axillary Hair
Female puberty usually begins with the growth of pubic hair, a.k.a. pubarche.
Pubic hair is usually curly hair that grows in the area between your hipline and vulva, also known as the pubic area. At first, it is soft and sparse, but as you go through puberty, it will grow longer and get curly and coarse.
In two or three years, it will cover your entire pubic area and may also grow on your inner thighs and toward your belly button. You will also observe hair growing under your armpits (axillary hair), around your nipples, and even a little on your upper lip (depending on your genes).
2. Breast Development
For the majority, the first sign of puberty in girls is the development of breasts.
Initially, you might feel little breast buds or swell under your nipples. After that, your breasts will gradually grow bigger and look fuller. They might also feel tender; it results from the new breast tissue growth and establishing itself.
The breasts will finish growing around age 15, although this happens at different times for different girls. You might want to wear a brassiere (bra) for support at a certain point, especially if you exercise or play sports – or just feel more comfortable with one.
3. Vaginal Discharge
Weird stains in your underwear? Don’t panic – that’s just vaginal discharge.
Discharge is a clear or non-translucent fluid that your body produces to moisten and cleanse the vagina. Usually, it shows up right after puberty starts, and you will probably see white or yellow stains inside your underwear (P.S: That’s perfectly normal).
However, your vaginal discharge may also become white, clumpy, or it might smell strange or cause itchiness. In this case, you might have a vaginal yeast infection. If you observe that, consult with your doctor as soon as possible to get to the bottom of it.
Almost two years after the start of your puberty, you might observe some blood in your underwear. This could very well be menarche – your first period.
During this stage, the follicle-stimulating and luteinising hormones are having a regular effect on your ovaries. When your ovary releases an egg, you can ovulate. And if there is no sperm to fertilise the egg, you get your period (menstruation).
Abdominal cramping or pain during periods is also common. For many people, ibuprofen or naproxen are the best medicines to help with period cramps. However, if menstrual cramps are severe, talk to your paediatrician about other options.
Getting your first period can be challenging if you don’t know what to expect. Talk to your mum or another adult you trust about what to do before and after your first period.
5. Weight Gain And Body Growth
One of the significant signs of puberty is that you are growing at a way faster rate than you did during childhood. What happens when you go through puberty is mainly centred on the growth of your sexual self. However, your entire body goes through major changes, especially your weight and height.
You might look curvier than before as the fat in your body shifts to new places. Usually, a lot of it will be deposited around your breasts, thighs, and hips. It might feel kind of awkward to be in this new, stretched-out body, but it will eventually be more proportional, and you will go back to feeling like yourself again.
6. Skin And Hair Changes
Possibly, the worst part of puberty is breakouts!
During puberty, hormones make your sweat and sebaceous glands more active. And as your pores become clogged with excess oil (sebum), your skin might break out.
The most common places for acne to appear are on your:
and sometimes, chest
Establish a good skincare routine and use an acne-fighting treatment if you happen to get breakouts. Look for ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, both of which are OGs for fighting acne.
For girls, puberty usually ends around 15, when all the secondary sex characteristics have developed. However, every person develops differently and at their own pace, so don’t get freaked out!
Remember, there is no wrong way to go through puberty. So, however it happens, you are all good and on your way to becoming an adult. 🙂
While all sorts of pimples are no fun, blackheads can be the most annoying to deal with. They are abundant, challenging to hide, and just keep coming back. Though blackheads are more likely to appear on people with oily or acne-prone skin, they may appear in any person, no matter what type of skin they have.
Read on to find out more about blackheads and some of the most effective ways to get rid of them.
What Exactly Are Blackheads?
Blackheads, medically known as open comedones, are tiny bumps that form on your skin due to clogged hair follicles. These small bumps or pores are filled with oil or sebum, debris, and dead skin cells. The reason they are called “blackheads” is because of their dark or black appearance.
Although blackheads are a mild type of acne that usually appear on the face, they can also form on the following body parts:
P.S: Blackheads on the nose are especially common.
What Causes Blackheads?
Blackheads form when a hair follicle (or pore) becomes clogged or plugged with dead skin cells and sebum. Generally, sebum helps protect your skin and keeps it soft and supple. But if the excess amount of oil and dead skin cells accumulate in a pore, it can form a bump.
If the skin above the bump opens, the air exposure causes the clog to look black, thus forming a blackhead. However, when the skin over the bump remains closed, it produces a whitehead.
There are a few but significant factors that may make you more prone to develop blackheads and acne, including:
Excessive production of an oily substance called sebum
Accumulation of the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes and dead skin cells on your skin
Hormonal changes, which may cause the excessive production of oil within the skin, such as during puberty, menstruation (period acne), and when taking oral contraceptives.
Proven And Effective Practices To Remove Blackheads
When you detect a blackhead on your skin, you may find it tempting to push or pinch the black clog or plug it out. However, this may damage the skin and leave a scar.
Following are some of the proven practices to get rid of blackheads.
1. Reconsider Your Face Washing Routine
Cleansing your face may seem like a bit of basic advice, but it can go a long way to help prevent dirt and excess oil from accumulating in your pores.
Washing your face is one of the essential steps in your skin-care routine for a good reason. Cleansing your skin regularly will help remove any excess oil, dead skin cells, dirt, bacteria, or makeup that’s dwelling on your face.
For many people, washing their face twice a day is suitable. But for some people, especially dry or sensitive skin, washing their face with a cleanser once a day is the right move.
Another important thing is to ensure that the cleanser you use is non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog your pores. Also, try not to over-cleanse – it may strip the oil from your skin, causing the skin to secrete more oil.
Excess sweat can also combine with bacteria, dirt, and dead skin cells to plug your pores, possibly resulting in blackheads. So it’s crucial to wash your face after a workout or any activity that causes excessive sweating.
2. Exfoliate Your Face
If cleansing regularly is not enough to remove all the dead skin cells and dirt that can clog your pores, you may need to incorporate some exfoliation into your routine. And the good news? There are many options to choose from!
Regular exfoliation may help remove excess dead skin cells, dirt, and sebum that can cause clogged pores. It can also help in mildly removing existing blackheads.
However, instead of using harsh scrubs, you must choose exfoliants that contain alpha and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs and AHAs and BHAs). These acids help gently remove dead skin cells and allow the penetration of other products into the skin in a more effective way.
For most people, exfoliating their face just once or twice a week is plenty. If your skin is oily or not too sensitive, a physical exfoliant may be an excellent option for you.
3. Try An Over-The-Counter Retinoid Product
Retinoids also help improve blackheads and severe acne cases by unclogging pores. It may also enhance the effectiveness of other over-the-counter products by allowing them to enter into the pores.
Search for over-the-counter products containing salicylic acid to get rid of blackheads. Salicylic acid helps remove blackheads by breaking down excess oil and dead skin cells. Choose your daily cleanser that contains salicylic acid. You may want to use it once a day, but when you feel like your skin has adjusted to it, you can start using it twice a day.
Note: Some people develop an allergic reaction when using non-prescription acne products. So if you plan to use a non-prescription acne product for the first time and are worried about having a possible allergic reaction, it is recommended to see a dermatologist.
4. Use A Clay Or Charcoal Mask Occasionally
Clay masks help eliminate excess dirt and oil from the skin, as well as loosening and unblocking clogged pores. Sulfur is also present in some clay masks, which helps clear up blackheads by breaking down dead skin cells.
Just like a clay mask, a charcoal mask also helps remove dead skin cells, oil, and other kinds of impurities from the pores.
However, make sure to use these products with care (i.e. use them just once a week) and apply moisturiser after using them because they can dry the skin out.
5. Use Pore Strips
Pore strips are like a Band-Aid, used to rip away dead skin cells and dirt. They temporarily remove the external skin layer along with the dirt and oil that form blackheads.
6. Say No To Popping Blackheads!
Want to learn the truth?
Picking or popping blackheads does not necessarily make them go away. In fact, popping them can make things worse, as they can spread bacteria all around the skin. Also, popping acne or blackheads too often can cause long-term scarring.
As mentioned above, there are plenty of ways to eliminate blackheads. You may also prevent the emergence of blackheads by removing makeup before sleeping, using oil-free cosmetic products, and using a limited number of products on your face at a time.
If you still observe pre-existing or new blackheads after 6-12 weeks, visit a dermatologist- they can extract blackheads using professional tools.
You have been preparing for a long-awaited special event like your own wedding, or suppose you’re going to a professional event as a speaker, and you really have to put a great impression on others. Plus, that event would have a photoshoot too!
And right on the event day, when you are just a few hours away from the main show. You sit in front of the mirror to prepare yourself for it, but before you could even start anything, you see acne on your face. Horrible, isn’t it?
The pesky and unpleasant acne not only destroys your appearance but also takes away your confidence to represent yourself in public. Most importantly, it is connected to your health. So, it is highly recommended to take care of it as soon as possible.
Luckily, we got helpful information about hormonal acne, its types, causes, and effective ways to control them just right here in this article!
So let’s look into details:
What Is Hormonal Acne?
Hormonal acne refers to breakouts due to hormone fluctuations, particularly a rise in androgens such as testosterone.
Although it usually affects teenagers during puberty, hormonal acne may happen at any stage of an adult’s life. Besides that, hormonal imbalances may lead to acne in adults who have underlying medical conditions.
Does Hormonal Acne Have Something To Do With Hormones?
There are two types of hormones that play an essential role in either clearing your skin or messing it up with acne on your skin. They are:
While other factors like the use of drugs, poor diet, tobacco, stress, and diseases in the endocrine system of your body can also fluctuate the hormones, leading to hormonal acne.
Measure The Level Of My Hormonal Acne – All By Yourself!
Dermatologists have created an easy-to-use grading system known as the Global Acne Grading System (GAGS). You can use it to assess the severity of your acne’s level easily. At first, you’ll need to calculate the local acne score then go for the global score.
Let’s see the GAGS along with a simple example:
Global Acne Grading System (GAGS)
Formula To Calculate The Local Score = Location Factor × Severe Lesion Grade At Location
Severe Lesion Grade At Location
Nose = 1
Chin = 1
Forehead = 2
Right cheek = 2
Left cheek = 2
Chest and upper back = 3
Comedone = 1
Papule = 2
Pustule = 3
Nodule = 4
Acne Severity Levels
Mild: 1–18; Moderate: 19–30; Severe: 31–38; Very Severe: More than 39
If you have papules on your nose while comedones on the forehead then the global score is: (1 × 2) + (2 × 1) = 4. So, the GAGS grade is Mild level hormonal acne.
How Can I Treat Hormonal Acne?
First, you have to use GAGS to figure out the level of your hormonal acne then you can look into the following treatments.
Under Mild Level Grading (Natural Remedies To Treat Mild Level Hormonal Acne)
Tea Tree Oil – Decreases inflammation on the skin.
Alpha Hydroxy Acid – Remove excess dead skin cells that clog pores.
Green Tea – Decreases inflammation in your body.
Over Mild Level Grading (Must Consult With Expert Health Care Provider)
Retinoids – Topical retinoids to treat mild hormonal acne using derivatives of vitamin A.
However, if your GAGS grades for your acne is over the mild level, then you MUST consult with a professional dermatologist in order to avoid any mishaps with your face skin.
Useful Tips To Avoid Hormonal Acne
These self-care tips may help you clear acne or keep it from getting worse:
Wash your face gently twice a day after heavy sweating.
Use mild cleansers or soaps and lukewarm water.
Use non-comedogenic makeup.
Don’t use harsh scrubs or exfoliating products.
Don’t touch, pick, or scratch your pimples.
Avoid environments that may cause too much sweating.
Avoid excessive watch or scrub as it may worsen your skin’s oil conditions.
Keep in mind that excessive washing and scrubbing can worsen acne, as it may remove too much oil from your skin and cause irritation. In return, your skin may secrete more oil, worsening acne.
Knowing about hormonal acne and controlling them is essential for you to maintain healthy skin. There are various hormonal acne types that you can measure using GAGS and treat accordingly.
Also, based on your acne severity level, there are tons of ways to control hormonal acne – using either medicines or natural remedies. However, you should regulate your hormones and follow the tips to avoid hormonal acne. It’ll help you to keep your face skin healthy and acne-free!