11 Year Old Boy- Smelly. Help

Updated on April 05, 2011
J.K. asks from Mansfield, OH
10 answers

My son is turning 11 in a few weeks and the last few months or so I have noticed he smells. I tried getting him some deodorant but i don't think he remembers to use it and if he does it doesn't seem to help. It is not like a BO smell like what he would get after a hard soccer game or long hot summer day. It is different. He just showered last night and I noticed the smell this afternoon. My husband commented that he doesn't want to wrestle or have phyiscal contact with him because of this odor. Like I said its not normal sweaty stick. Its not horribly offensive like from 4 feet away or anything but up close and personal there is a bad smell.
Any ideas, suggestions? Anyone else experience this? How do i communicate with him without making him feel bad about himself (he is very sensitive to criticism and takes everything negative as a personal attack no matter how gentle it is said). Side note he is also starting to develope some black heads on his nose... should he start using some kind of over the counter acne stuff or exfolient? home remedies? Is this puberty? I thought that was later for boys. Thanks moms for all you help and advise.

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answers from Cincinnati on

My son is only six, but I remember my brothers at this age. They do start to have puberty smells and changes at this age for some boys. The big thing my brothers was that both of them decided to not clean themselves when they were in the shower at this age. They thought water was enough for the shower--no soap, washcloth or shampoo!!
I would start with a face cleancer. The earlier you can catch the problem the better. This is also another sign that his body is changing.
Talk to him about the importance of hygein and keeping clean.
Good luck!

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answers from Philadelphia on

To be honest I came to this posting off of google to see what kind of responses you are receiving. I too have an 11 year old who smells, doesn't help that I have a very sensitive nose. I know he is going through puberty, also he does not seem to care how he smells or looks for that matter.
I will start paying more attention to his diet- but at this age he eats anything that doesn't out run him, so how can we tell what food is the cuprit?. I was
also thinking about colognes like old spice or someone mentioned axe. If these odors continue I will most likely call his pediatrician to see if she has any solutions.

also t



answers from Denver on

Maybe let your nose do some work for you. Try to think of how he smells and describe it to yourself. Musty, cheesy, frito corn chips . . . you get the idea. He should shower every day with soap and scrub down with a clean wash cloth. That includes his face. Washing with a washcloth should be enough for him now and will help get the blackheads cleaned out. The cleaner his face is on a daily basis will help keep any acne from appearing.

He could have a fungal infection like with jock itch either in his privates or on his skin. I remember seeing an article on WebMD a while back on kids with body odor. The odor comes from bacteria on the skin. One of them recommended wiping down with a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water paying special attention to the armpits, creases in the thighs and privates, down the back, behind the ears, etc. You might get similar results scrubbing with an antibacterial soap.

One of the best things you and your husband can teach your son as he enters puberty is how to take care of his body and his skin. Hormones make it really tough - good hygiene makes it better.



answers from Austin on

What you place ON your skin (our largest organ) penetrates into our bloodstream, causing many problems with our immune system.
Read the Side Effects of OTC acne creams, they might cause more problems than solve them.

Some medications may cause or worsen acne, such as those containing iodides, bromides, or oral steroids. Most cases of acne are not drug related.

No one factor causes acne. Acne happens when oil glands come to life around puberty. Oil is a natural substance which lubricates and protects the skin. Under certain circumstances cells that are close to the surface block the openings of oil glands and cause a buildup of oil underneath. This oil stimulates bacteria ( which live on everyone’s skin and generally cause no problems), to multiply and cause surrounding tissues to become inflamed.

Xanthones in the mangosteen juice is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and hormone modulators. Since the cause of acne involves all three elements it makes sense to use the mangosteen juice. The juice should be taken by mouth three times a day and applied to all the affected areas using the cotton swab

Go to http://www.ewg.org/kid-safe-chemicals-act-blog/sign-the-p... to watch the video and sign The Declaration to stop pollution newborns.

People are polluted with hundreds of industrial chemicals. Babies are born pre-polluted with 300 industrial chemicals in their bodies when they enter the world.

We are at a tipping point, where the pollution in people is increasingly associated with a range of serious diseases and conditions from childhood cancer, to autism, ADHD, learning deficits, infertility, and birth defects.

just my 2ct



answers from Fort Wayne on

Perhaps he's not cleaning himself well enough when he showers? You could try a scented body wash like the Axe line. They smell really good and are made just for men. As far as the black heads, I would use St. Ives Apricot Scrub or a similar exfoliating product. I know there's a lot of stuff out there that's geared more toward men than women. His sweat glands are probably just working over time. I know that if my husband doesn't use a face wash once a day he gets huge black heads and pimples because of his oily skin. Maybe Dad could talk to him about cleaning yourself properly. If it's a man to man talk, your son may be more receptive than if you told him.



answers from Iowa City on

Hi J. - I've got four boys, and one of mine became smellier than the others at about this same age - different kids have different "natural" smells and develop at different rates. I had him begin using deodorant and had him start the daily showers (earlier in age than the others). I also found that having him take some chemical-free alfalfa tabs with chlorophyll (from http://solutionsforhealthylives.myshaklee.com/us/en/produ...) helped. My similar son also had the blackheads/whiteheads on his face at this age! A supplement of high-quality carotenoids (from http://solutionsforhealthylives.myshaklee.com/us/en/produ...) really helped keep this in check (thank goodness!) Feel free to write me a PM if you have more questions about this. I applaud you for being so sensitive about the best way to handle it.



answers from Portland on

Hello J.-

Puberty is coming earlier and earlier for kids today. I suggest you honestly talk to your son about his changing body, including letting him know kids can be mean, and you don't want him to be teased. There are a lot of "cool" products developed for men but marketed to young teens, he may find fun to use.

I also suggest you examine his diet. Often "poor" choices in food, (the kids preteens love), can effect how the body reacts, and can create an unpleasant smell.

I hope this helps.



answers from Austin on

Have you spoken with your son directly? Make sure he is really cleaning himself really well in ALL areas.

Deodorant soap can help, remind him not to use it on his face.

Make sure he washes his feet really well and then he HAS to dry himself really well. Bacteria likes moistness. Also he may need to use the deodorant under his arms, but also on his feet, tops and bottoms.

His hormones may be out of wack. You may need to take him to the doctor and have him checked out. This is not that uncommon. His glands are opening up and secreting all kinds of impurities.. He may need to be given something to balance his system.



answers from Greensboro on

Hi J.,

Most smells come from the inside out. His diet is what is probably giving off the odor. A healthier diet would do wonders, but at 11, I know that's hard. Try an absorbable multivitamin. I'm sure it will help with the odor as well as make him crave healthier foods. Don't buy a grocery store brand or Walmart brand but a pharmaceutical grade vitamin. I can recommend one if you like.

Water is also helpful for smells. The hormones may be playing into this but they will balance better with the nutrition improving!

God bless,




answers from Harrisburg on

He is going through puberty. Plain and simple. I think you already know this. His smell could have alot to do with him sweating out through his pores what he is eating. Junk Food? Maybe????
As far as the smell, make sure you smell him after his shower by giving him a hug, and telling him you are proud of him. Smell his hair. Take notice to it without letting him know. Remind him in the morning by a chore list of what he needs to do, and include in the list"Deo"....check him!
It is our responsiability to make sure our kids know how to care for their growing bodies.
As far as black heads. Get him the burt bees face scrub, and some tea tree oil to apply. Also get him some burts bees chap stick, so you are not just focusing on his skin, make him realize it is important to care for his skin cold conditions as well as warm. He will get it. :)

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