My discharge changes throughout my cycle and I'm worried there's something wrong with me—it's not like I can compare notes with my friends. Is this normal?
It's totally normal. Your glands produce discharge (a clear mucus) to keep your lady bits clean and lubricated, and when this secretion comes in contact with air, it turns a milky white or yellow. The amount of discharge may vary in color and consistency depending on where you are in your cycle, your diet, hormone levels, stress, and many other factors. To feel fresh and clean every day, use a feminine wash that contains lactic acid and lactoserum—two natural cleansing ingredients extracted from milk.
What can be a cause for alarm though is a foul odor, a cottage cheese-like consistency, itching, or a burning sensation that comes with your discharge. When these signs crop up, you might have an infection (which is actually common). As soon as you feel like something’s wrong, it’s best to head straight to a gynecologist. While you can use the Internet to self-medicate, only a medical professional can really help you figure out the problem and give you the proper meds to deal with it the right way.
How do I chase bad breath away?
Take better care of your teeth—the stench is probably coming from food particles that are starting to rot. Floss daily, brush your teeth at least twice a day, and avoid strong and spicy dishes. If your bad breath remains despite the fact that you’re taking care of your teeth, you could be suffering from something more serious. If you’ve got conditions that point to gum disease or cavities, go straight to your dentist for a thorough examination. Mouthwash may seem like a cure, but it will only mask the foul odor and not take it away.
My underarms are constantly sweaty! What is going on?
Puberty, that's what. One major change that happens in your body once you transition from tween to teen is a change in body odor—nothing that deodorant can't fix. The same goes with sweat—when you're in puberty, your body goes into hyperdrive, experiencing a whole slew of chemical changes. Your body's way of dealing with it? Sweat—nothing that an anti-perspirant can’t fix. Hit two birds with one stone and find a product that doesn’t just fix odor but can also keep you from sweating up a storm.
My scalp is constantly itchy and seems to flake a lot. What’s wrong with me?
You may be suffering from a skin condition. Visit your dermatologist for a consultation to find out exactly what type of shampoo you should use (you may have to cleanse your tresses with something more medical and soothing), how often you should wash your hair, and what kind of scalp massage you should give yourself in the shower to stimulate your oil glands.
How do I get rid of stinky feet?
Teenagers experience this because puberty makes you perspire more often and your feet have a lot more sweat glands than other parts of the body. Stress and infections can also be triggers, as well as wearing shoes that get damp from your sweat and become a breeding ground for bacteria. Here’s a quick solution: never wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. Give your shoes time to air out, wash and dry your feet (use anti-bacterial soap!), and change your socks at least once a day.
This article originally appeared in the October 2012 issue of Candy. You can subscribe to the digital edition on Apple Newsstand, Buqo, and Zinio.