Of body odor, UGGs and arm pits- your stinky tween

Your nine-year-old sweetie pie still has baby fat on her cheeks and the changes of puberty have barely started, yet you find yourself in the aisles of a pharmacy scratching your head over the best starter deodorant. Yes, the dreaded body odor has started. Much to the consternation of parents in my office, adult-like body odor appears before periods and voice changes.

What to do about stinky armpits in tweens? Antiperspirants can be very irritating to skin. For a first deodorant, chose something like Tom’s of Maine- natural care, which does not contain antiperspirants. For some kids, a cornstarch powder works well. 

For stinky feet, make sure the kids wash with soap daily-this can be tough for a kid who is just learning how to balance in the shower.

The bacteria which causes athlete’s feet can lead to an unpleasant odor. Add a half-cup of vinegar to a basin of water and soak the feet once a day to kill the bacteria.

Keep their feet well moisturized with lotion. Contrary to popular belief, the more dry and flaky the feet, the more pungent they are.

Yes, those UGGs are fashionable, and the UGG care kit comes with an anti-stink spray; however, sheepskin and warm feet in an enclosed boot leads to stinky feet.  I know it’s counter UGG culture, but remind your kids to wear socks with their shoes.  In general change socks often. Kids tend to go from school to a sporting event and into bed with the same socks.

Even with these hints, if your child’s body odor remains strong, reassure your child that nobody, especially the kid he has a crush on, really notices. Besides, if you have a stinky kid, at least you’ll never lose him in the dark.

Naline Lai, MD
© 2010 Two Peds in a Pod

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