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When Should Kids Start Using Deodorant?

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

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