My son hasn't gone through puberty yet, but sometimes he gets body odor. I wonder if it's time for him to start using deodorant, but I worry that it might be too early.
As kids enter puberty, a lot of them start to develop body odor. Different kids start puberty at different times, but boys generally begin between ages 9 and 14.
Deodorants get rid of the odor of sweat by covering it up, and antiperspirants actually stop or dry up perspiration. There's no specific age at which kids can start using it, but they should read the directions. Some work better if they're used at night, whereas others recommend application in the morning.
And it wouldn't hurt to remind your son about some hygiene basics. Encourage him to get into the habit of showering every day. Additionally, he also may want to shower after activities where he's worked up a sweat. Encourage him to wear clean clothes, socks, and underwear each day.
If your son is feeling self-conscious about sweating and body odor, talk with his doctor.
Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: July 2013
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
|Society for Adolescent Medicine The Society for Adolescent Medicine is committed to advancing the health and well-being of adolescents. Their site also offers a locator for adolescent health professionals.|
|Sexual Development Changes become more dramatic and complex with the onset of puberty, and kids are likely to have lots of questions. These articles can help you become a trusted source of information, comfort, and support for your kids.|
|Male Reproductive System The male reproductive system is essential to the perpetuation of life. Understanding it, what it does, and problems that can affect it can help you better understand your son's reproductive health.|
|Growth and Your 6- to 12-Year-Old As kids grow from grade-schoolers to preteens, there continues to be a wide range of "normal" as far as height, weight, and shape.|
|How Can I Encourage Good Hygiene Habits? Find out what the experts say.|
|Everything You Wanted to Know About Puberty Voice cracking? Clothes don't fit? Puberty can be a confusing time, but learning about it doesn't have to be. Read all about it.|
|Talking to Your Child About Puberty Talking to kids about puberty is an important job for parents, especially because kids often hear about sex and relationships from unreliable sources. Here are some tips.|
|When Can I Wear Deodorant? Sniff, sniff. Read this article if you're wondering when to start wearing deodorant.|
|Your Child's Changing Voice Yesterday, your son sounded like he's always sounded - like a boy. But today, you heard that first crack in his voice. It's the larynx (or voice box) that's causing all that noise.|
|What Can I Do About Sweating? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Hygiene Basics Puberty causes all kinds of changes in your body - and some may not make you feel very desirable. Read this article for information on dealing with greasy hair, perspiration, and body hair.|
|Understanding Puberty Puberty was awkward enough when you were the one going through it. So how can you help your kids through all the changes?|
|Boys and Puberty On the way to becoming a man, a boy's body will go through a lot of changes, including your body growing bigger, your voice changing, and hair sprouting everywhere. Find out more.|
What to expect when coming to Akron Children's
For healthcare providers and nurses
Residency & Fellowships, Medical Students, Nursing and Allied Health
For prospective employees and career-seekers
Our online community that provides inspirational stories and helpful information.