What Is Premature Adrenarche ?
Premature adrenarche is the appearance of pubic hair before puberty. It may happen if the adrenal hormones start working earlier than expected or it could be a normal part of growth and development. Puberty usually occurs between the ages of 10 and 14 for girls. If a child has premature adrenarche, changes occurs before age 8 for girls and before age 9 for boys.
What are the signs of premature adrenarche ?
The signs include he following :
- Pubic hair growth
- Unexplained and rapid growth (often above the 90th%)
- Oily skin
- Underarm odor often requiring the use of deodorants
How is premature adrenarche diagnosed ?
The doctor will ask about when the hair growth started and where else hair growth is noted (such as in the armpits). He will then perform a physical exam, which may include checking for any breast growth and other signs of possible early puberty. A blood test will be done to check hormone level and check and x-ray of the hand and wrist (a Bone Age) to determine if this is a normal variant or if treatment for precocious puberty is warranted.
How is it treated ?
There is usually no treatment for premature adrenarche. For some children, the doctor will want to see them in 3 to 6 months to monitor puberty changes. It is essential to explain to your child that it is normal to experience bodily changes at different ages.
Premature Adrenarche: Information for Parents. American Academy of Pediatrics. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/gradeschool/puberty/Pages/Premature-Adrenarche-Information-for-Parents.aspx. Accessed September 13th, 2020
Pediatric Premature Adrenarche (PA). Children’s Health. https://www.childrens.com/specialties-services/conditions/premature-adrenarche. Accessed September 13th,2020