When Should Kids Start Using Deodorant?

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Parents

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.
– Shauna

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: February 2010



Related Resources

OrganizationAmerican 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.
Web SiteSociety 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.


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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.
How Can I Encourage Good Hygiene Habits? Find out what the experts say.
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.




Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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