Teen Health Checkups in Singapore

Being a teenager can be challenging. Adolescence is a time of huge physical, social and emotional upheaval. They have their first taste of independence and may want to spend more time away from family to socialise with their friends. Whilst they undergo significant physical changes, teenagers are also being shaped by numerous external challenges like peer pressure, media influence and academic-related expectations.

If you are encountering challenges with your child, having an expatriate doctor for teens’ mental and physical health may be beneficial. Often, having an external adult who can guide conversations and offer objective advice can be beneficial.

Expat Doctor for Teens

It is imperative that teenagers feel comfortable with their chosen doctor. This is vital in building up the trust required to enable them to speak openly to doctors about their concerns. It may be that your child feels aligned with expat doctors, or possibly other factors are more important.

For example, we have a male doctor who sees a lot of male teenagers (Dr Neil Forrest). Therefore, gender is a key component. If you are looking for an expat doctor for teens, please see our doctors’ bio pages which may guide you on who may be the best fit for your child.

Physical Health

Physical Health

Every teenager experiences puberty differently. They may get a growth spurt earlier or later than their peers, and some may navigate their physical changes with ease, while other teens may not.

Alongside these changes come various physical health challenges teenagers may encounter that may necessitate the help of expat doctors for their management and intervention:

1. Acne and skin conditions

Due to hormonal fluctuations during adolescence, teenagers can encounter acne. The increase in androgens can lead to the overproduction of sebum, an oily substance meant to lubricate the skin. When sebum production is excessive, it clogs pores, resulting in acne breakouts and other related skin issues.

2. Menstrual problems

For girls, menstruation, which may start between ages 10 and 16, can present various challenges. Issues like hormonal imbalances, irregular cycles, painful cramps, or heavy bleeding can affect daily activities.

The teenage years for girls can be challenging, and finding a doctor that your adolescent can talk to openly will help. The best fit is to find a doctor with the right knowledge and temperament. Osler Health has an expat doctor with a background in obstetrics and gynaecology and supports a lot of girls with their teenage gynae requirements (Dr Natalie Hutchins).

3. Teen sexual health

Teens face the task of understanding their bodies, emotions, and relationships while learning about safe sex practices, consent, and contraception. The risks of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies make comprehensive sexual education and access to health services vital. Open, honest conversations and reliable information can help teens make informed, responsible decisions regarding their sexual health.

Both our Singaporean and expat doctors can assist in dealing with the unique challenges of adolescent and teenage medicine. Patients may also choose to see a male or female doctor; all consultations are strictly confidential.

Mental Health

Adolescence is a period where people often experience mental health problems for the first time. Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and even psychotic illnesses can all present during the teenage years. As doctors, we have noticed that mental health problems in young people have increased.

1. Depression

Be aware of some of the common symptoms and seek help if you recognise the following:

  • Social withdrawal
  • Change in appetite
  • Change in sleep
  • Change in behaviour
  • Low mood. Inability to take pleasure in things.
  • Physical signs of self-harm/injury

2. Anxiety

Anxiety in teenagers often have similar symptoms to depression, however it may also be accompanied by acute physiological symptoms, including panic attacks.

3. Eating Disorders

These disorders are not just about food but reflect deeper issues of control, self-esteem, and identity. Be aware of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Rapid or excessive weight loss
  • Refusing to eat with others
  • Tooth decay in bulimia
  • Obsession with weight/appearance/exercise

Teens may hide these struggles, so noticing changes is important.

Get in touch with an expat doctor for teens

Get in touch with an expat doctor for teens

You may visit our Raffles Hotel Arcade clinic which is located in the Central Business District. You may also choose to visit our Star Vista branch near Tanglin Trust School, the United World College Of South East Asia (Dover campus) and Dover Court. All teenage patients at our medical clinic are offered complete confidentiality and a safe space to air their concerns.

Not sure where to begin? Find out how to contact us here or simply give our friendly reception team a call and they’ll be happy to assist. You are not alone!

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Frequently asked questions about Teen Health

To distinguish depression from typical teenage mood swings, consider more specific signs than just sadness—unexplained physical complaints (like headaches or stomach aches), extreme sensitivity to criticism over schoolwork or appearance, or a sudden show of anger over minor issues.

When these intense emotions and behaviours persist for more than two weeks, affecting normal functioning, this is a sign of depression. Such mental health concerns may warrant consultation with a Singaporean or expat doctor for the appropriate management and support.

While it’s common for teens to be concerned about body image due to societal pressures, excessive fixation can be worrisome. Encourage a healthy perspective by promoting self-esteem, encouraging diverse role models, and emphasising qualities beyond physical appearance. Advocate for balanced nutrition and activity, discuss media’s influence critically, and create an environment where they feel valued for more than their looks, ensuring concern doesn’t escalate to detrimental levels.

If you notice persistent negative body image issues, or if significant physical changes accompany these concerns, consider consulting with local or expat doctors near you for professional medical advice and support.

Help your teen tackle stress and anxiety by chatting about their day in a relaxed way, showing you’re there to listen, not to judge. Introduce them to simple relaxation techniques, like taking deep breaths or going for walks. Make sure they’re getting enough sleep, eating well, and staying active. If things get tough, consider seeking help from a doctor experienced in teens’ health.

Annual flu vaccines for your teenager can help protect them against seasonal influenza, and the HPV vaccine to help prevent human papillomavirus-related cancers. The Tdap vaccine is also crucial for immunity against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. If your teen often travels overseas, travel medicine vaccines like those for hepatitis A and B are essential, depending on their destination.

Raffles Hotel Arcade Star Vista