Teens & Young People

Acne

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).

Contraception (Birth Control)

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.

Bullying

Bullying can happen anywhere, anytime to anyone. It’s not just a school or teenage problem. You can be bullied at home, in your neighbourhood, at work, on the internet and lots of other places. Even adults get bullied. So it’s really important to learn how to combat bullying. There are steps you can take to stop bullying but it is important to remember that all bullies are different and many are very unpredictable.
First, don’t let yourself become a victim. Fighting back against a bully will only escalate the situation and most of the time that is exactly what they want you to do. If the bullying is physical, try to avoid any situation where you will be alone with that person. 

Some situations are more serious, and will require intervention by other people. In a serious situation, you need to tell someone else about it. Go to an older person you can trust, your parent or a friend’s parent, the school teacher or the school nurse. It may be hard to believe, but the bully needs help just as much as you do, to keep the bullying from becoming a lifelong habit.

Finally, remember that you don’t deserve to be bullied. No one does. Don’t live with it thinking that is something you are doing wrong. See the bully “profile” below:

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. Unfortunately, there are millions of children across the UK who are not eating and exercising properly. They eat junk food when they should be eating vegetables. They spend hours playing video games when they should be playing sports, dancing or walking the dog. If you don't eat and exercise properly now, your body could pay for it later. One or two minor changes can make a significant impact on your wellbeing.

Remember!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Never skip breakfast!
Eat as much fruit as you can. Take an apple, orange or banana in your lunch box.
Try and eat some vegetables. One or two each day is better than none.
Try and cut down on the amount of chocolate and sweets you eat.
Drink plenty of water each day. Try and cut down on the amount of fizzy drinks you have as they can damage your teeth.
Try walking or cycling to school.

Immunisation

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.

It is important to note that teenagers have the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases of any age group. You can catch one, so please USE A CONDOM.

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!

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.

What is Testicular Self Examination?

The TSE is a method for males to check their testicles to make sure there are no unusual bumps or lumps, which may be the first sign of testicular cancer. Sometimes cancer of the testicles will spread, so it’s very important to detect it early so that the cancer does not become more serious.