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CNE breakouts, period pains and the occasional 'heart failure' each time your crush from school passes by — all make for unpredictable, sometimes stressful teen years, because you just never know what tomorrow will bring. And on top of the daily struggles, there are also health problems to think of. Just because you are young, it doesn't mean you don't have to bother to take care of your health—body and mind. Some of you know this, as you suffer from health issues that affect teenagers. If you do have some of the nagging teenage health problems, there is nothing to be embarrassed about—they are quite natural. As you grow and get older, your body will change, and with that, you may experience certain problems. In this issue, we tackle some of the main difficulties that teenagers go through and offer solutions. ACNE Unless you're blessed with good genes, you'll go through a phase of acne as a teenager. Some have a mild case of it, but others break out badly. Again, it is a very uncomfortable issue. Although its a physical problem, acne can affect teens mentally too. What you can do: Eat nutritious food, and if you must use oil in your food, ask your parents or guardian to invest in olive oil. Its more expensive than ordinary cooking oil, but people who use it say it lasts longer, because you're always careful not to use too much. A light, oil-free moisturiser can be used to hydrate your skin, especially if it's flaking, very dry, or feels tight. Stay away from fatty and greasy food like vetkoek, ikota, burgers, etc. as these add to the oiliness on your face, thus making you prone to acne. Think of your face as an avocado: if you press too hard, it darkens. So don't squeeze, pick or pop your pimples. If you do, you will cause scarring on your face. Also, popping a pimple leaves it bigger and redder than it was before. The benefit of being a teen is having naturally beautiful skin. If you don't believe this, wait until you're 30! Don't use too much make-up as this worsens the acne. If you do use make-up, stick to oil-free brands. PERIOD PAIN Menstrual cramps or period pains are not fun. While there is not much that you can do to get rid of the pain altogether, there are ways in which you can reduce it during your menstrual cycle. TEENZONE ail :1 I Move! shows you common conditions that affect young people and how to avoid them A 54 12 NOVEMBER 2014 What you can do: Keep a hot water bottle and rub it on your tummy to alleviate the pain. Exercise will help to relieve pain. A heated pad placed on the abdominal area also helps to ease the cramps. r Medication also helps; try something that has been especially formulated for period pain. DEPRESSION Teenage depression is a very serious problem and is not just about being in a bad mood. If not dealt with, teenagers can become extremely vulnerable and indulge in drug usage, theft, violence, and may even resort to suicide. What you can do: Don't self-destruct. Talk to some- one close to you who can offer you good advice. Seeking help from a counsellor or psychologist will help. Focus your mind on activities that excite you. EATING DISORDERS A person suffering from an eating disorder has low self-esteem and might feel unhappy with the way they look. But it is more a psychological than a physical condition, and it is a serious problem once the sufferer has lost control. Girls who are too thin, or extremely overweight, might be suffering from an eating disorder such as anorexia (obsessed with being thin and starves), binge eating (eats too much and is very overweight), or bulimia (eats a huge amount of food at once and throws it up later on in order to remain thin). What you can do: Talk to someone trustworthy about your problem or seek professional help by calling: LifeLine —011715 2000 /www.lifeline.org.za SADAG (The South African Depression and Anxiety Group) — 011 234 4837 /www.sadag.org BAD BODY ODOUR Many people with body odour don't even know they smell unpleasant, and this can be horrible for teens. So if you hear comments that you smell bad, confirm it with someone close to you to make sure its true. What you can do: Bath or have an all-over wash regularly, using antibacterial soap. Shave your armpits. Make sure your clothes are clean. Use antiperspirant deodorant. Cut down on meat and spicy foods, which make things worse.