Puberty is when a child matures into an adult capable of sexual reproduction. Your body goes through lots of changes that happen slowly over time.
All these changes don’t happen all at once but over the course of several months to several years. Most young males will begin to experience these changes between the ages of 9-14.
Puberty begins when your brain starts sending signals to the gonads: the ovaries in a girl, the testes in a boy.
In response to the signals, the gonads produce hormones that stimulate libido and the growth, function, and transformation of the brain, bones, muscle, blood, skin, hair, breasts, and sex organs.
The first body change is the growth of your testicles. You may not even notice this growth, but it is the first sign that your body is starting puberty.
Hormones from a special part of the brain cause the testicles to grow bigger. The skin of the scrotum becomes thinner and the testicles hang lower. Later, pubic hair develops around the base of the penis and scrotum. The penis also begins to get bigger.
Meanwhile, the rest of your body goes through its own changes. Hair begins to grow under your arms. Later, hair may grow on your face, arms, legs, and chest. Your body grows taller and more muscular. You may experience some pains in your arms and legs as your muscles stretch to keep up with your growing bones. Your voice will begin to get deeper. As this happens, you may notice your voice crack, but this problem will not last long.
You might also notice swelling and tenderness underneath your nipples. Some guys worry that they will start growing breasts or that something is wrong with them.
The swelling is caused by hormones that are released during puberty. The swelling goes away with time. If the swelling doesn’t go away within a year or you are worried, you should see your healthcare provider.
Most guys have a lot of emotional ups and downs during puberty. You may find that you feel sad or angry and don’t know why. You may feel bad one moment and happy one minute later.
You might feel worried about what other kids think about you. And you may feel like you don’t want to be as close to your parents as you used to be.
These feelings are all a normal part of puberty and come and go in your early teen years.
If you feel sad, angry or depressed for more than 2 weeks or have trouble doing everyday things like going to school, you should talk to an adult about how you are feeling. Some good choices are your parents, a teacher you trust or a doctor.
Acne (pimples) is common during puberty. Acne is caused by increased skin oil and a particular kind of bacteria that grows inside the pores of your skin.
Acne can be controlled with good hygiene and medications. Scrubbing your face may actually make the acne worse.
During puberty, your hormones make the sebaceous and apocrine glands grow bigger and increase the production of sebum. This is the reason that your body has started to smell different or smell more, especially after sports or at the end of the day.
This is one of the common features of puberty and is normal. Around this time you may have to start taking a shower every day and also using deodorant or antiperspirant.