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Self-care (Hygiene)

As children start to get older and become teenagers, their body will grow and change, this is known as puberty.  It’s really important that you keep your body clean and healthy, especially during puberty. This is because your body will begin to sweat more, your skin and hair may become greasier, plus hair will start to grow in new places. There’s no need to be overwhelmed though, here’s a checklist for keeping on top of your personal hygiene:

Personal Hygiene Checklist 

  1. Cleaning your teeth – once in the morning and once night before bed. We don’t just brush our teeth to have fresh breath, it also helps prevent plaque from building up on our teeth and results in a healthy smile.  
  1. Cleaning genitals (where you wee and poo from). Make cleaning your genitals a habit.

For boys: If you have a foreskin then gently clean underneath the foreskin everyday when you’re washing the rest of your body.  

For girls: Gently clean your vagina with plain products when you’re washing. Avoid using fragranced products to clean your vagina as this can cause irritation.  During puberty you may notice discharge from this area, which is normal, but if it begins to change colour, smell or itch then speak to your GP or a trusted adult as this may be sign of an infection.  

  1. Take a shower or bath once a day. Washing everyday gets rid of body odour (BO) and will make you smell nice. Wash your whole body, you can deal with any breakouts of spots with mild face wash.  
  1. When washing your hair – be sure to massage the shampoo into your scalp and if you are using conditioner then apply it to the ends of your hair. Too much conditioner can leave your hair still looking dirty or wet. Once you’ve applied shampoo and conditioner rinse it off thoroughly, if you don’t rinse your hair thoroughly the hair products can build up on your hair or scalp which can leave you with dandruff and itchiness. 
  1. Shaving your face. Use a gel or foam if it helps to prevent ‘shavers rash’ and skin irritation. Replace your razors blade every 7 days as this will prevent any skin infections or skin irritation. Remember to ask for help if you need it. You may need supervision from a parent or carer at first for some support! 
  1. Applying deodorant or antiperspirant under your armpits once a day and after any exercise. This will help to reduce bad body odour. 
  1. Diet. A balanced diet is important for boosting your mood, providing your body with vitamins and nutrients, and healthy skin. 
  1. Exercise. Exercise can make you sweat which is good for your body. Exercise boosts your immune system too, just make sure you wash your body and apply deodorant after any intense exercise as dry sweat can lead to body odour. 
  1. Maintaining healthy nails. Keep your finger and toenails at a manageable length and clipping and cleaning them when they look long or dirty.  

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Looking after your body

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NHS

Information on personal hygiene

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