You wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and what’s the first thing you see? Another pimple! What can you do? Don’t worry. You can stop them. Teenagers all over the world are waking up to the same thing and maybe you will feel better if you understand the causes of your unwanted visitors!
Acne is a general term for pimples and deeper pustules, that are clogged pores. If severe enough acne can leave permanent scars. Scarring is what you want to avoid. Don’t squeeze your spots and read on…
There is no single medicine or acne treatment. Treatment should be designed according to your own personal needs. The only way to know for sure which product will work best for your skin is to try it, and if it works, stick to it!
In some cases, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic. Oral antibiotics can have an antibacterial effect as well as an anti-inflammatory effect. The doctor may refer you to a dermatologist (doctor who specialises in skin conditions).
You should never feel pressured into having a sexual relationship with anyone. It is always best to wait until you are in a steady relationship and are old enough to make a sensible decision about what is right for you. If you are considering having a sexual relationship, PLEASE speak to someone about an appropriate type of birth control.
When you are a young adult, your choices for a birth control method may be different from that of a women who is older or who is married. We think it is important for you to know about birth control methods available today, even if you are not yet sexually active.
These are important questions that are worth taking some time to think about. We hope that many of you can discuss these options with someone. However, you can get a prescription for birth control without parental consent. You can also see a doctor or nurse without anyone else knowing. It is your body and your privacy.
Drugs, Smoking and Alcohol
Almost all recreational drugs are illegal, and you can go to prison if you are caught in possession. This may mean that it is much more difficult to get into University or get a job because you have a police record. To give yourself the best chance to develop a sharp mind and body, don’t do drugs of any kind, not even things you find in your own home. All illegal (and legal) drugs can be dangerous to use. Drugs can numb your memory, impair your judgement, and make it impossible to feel good or function without them. Even drugs like marijuana, can make you emotionally dependent. Once you get used to the ‘feelings’ you get from pot, you may find it harder and harder to cope with normal everyday ups and downs. People who take more than one drug dramatically multiply their chances of having a bad reaction.
Eating and Exercise
Eating and exercising are extremely important parts of a healthy lifestyle - especially for children, whose bones, muscles and other body parts are still growing.
It is likely that your parents will have ensured that you had all your childhood vaccinations. If this is the case, by the age of 12 you will have had four doses of Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio. One more dose will ensure (in most cases) that you have lifelong protection. This dose will be due between 13 and 15 years of age and you will be sent a reminder by the surgery. It is also extremely important that you have the Meningitis C vaccine to protect against this dangerous and life-threatening disease. Please make sure that you attend when called for your immunisation.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
The general term sexually transmitted disease (STD) is applied to any of the group of diseases that can be spread by sexual contact. The group includes conditions that used to be called venereal diseases (VD), named after Venus, the goddess of love.
We are sure you will have heard about sexually transmitted diseases in one way or another – at school, in the news, on TV, in magazines or from friends.
STDs are spread from one person to another through intimate sexual contact such as sexual intercourse, oral-genital contact, or anal sex. You CANNOT get STDs from toilet seats, doorknobs, or from shaking someone’s hand. You cannot tell if a person has a STD from just looking at him or her, even if they are naked!
If you think you have an STD, or if you were with someone sexually who might have an STD, you should see your doctor or nurse right away. Your partner should be tested too. Chlamydia is the number one sexually transmitted disease in the UK, but it can be cured. So make sure that you are tested.
Testicular Self Examination
Cancer of the testicles accounts for only about 1% of all cancers in men. However, it is the most common type of cancer in males aged between 18 and 40, and can occur any time after age 15.
Often only one testicle is affected. The cause of testicular cancer is still unknown. Risk factors, however, have been found. These include:
Uncorrected undescended testicles in infants and young children. (Parents should make sure that their infant boys are checked at birth for undescended testicles.)
A family history of testicular cancer. (If you don’t know, then ask.)
Having an identical twin with testicular cancer.
Injury to the scrotum or to a testicle.
It’s five times more common among white males.