Arrival of the pubic hair before time, do you have to worry?
All people grow from baby to adult and the symptoms that indicate that a child is getting older are recognizable and known by everyone, both physical and those who show that the minds of children are maturing. But what happens when these signs appear before time? Do you have to worry or keep the calm?
One of the symptoms of advanced maturity that can be perceived is the appearance of pubic hair ahead of time. A situation known as premature adrenarche that also presents other aspects such as hair in the armpits, oily skin, mild acne and increased body odor, typical signs of adolescence but that arise at younger ages. When do you have to worry? On it speaks Spanish Association of Pediatrics, AEP.
Definition and symptoms
AEP defines adrenarche as the appearance of pubic hair, axillary hair or body odor. It can be considered that this process is premature when these symptoms appear before the age of 8 in girls and before 9 in boys. It is also one of the most common causes that explain the appearance of hair in these areas before the adolescent stage.
The main symptom is the presence of pubic hair, among the secondary, as has already been said the appearance of hair in the axillary area, oily skin, mild acne and increased body odor. Its appearance is independent of the puberty so it is not accompanied by any other symptoms associated with it. Neither the breasts, in the case of the girls, nor the testicles increase their volume. Nor does an increase in height occur.
All these symptoms are related to an early maturation of an area of the adrenal gland, leading to the production of hormones called adrenal androgens. All these signals can appear between the 3-8 years and the possibility of it appearing in girls is up to 9 times more than children. It is considered a normal variant of development, with no long-term consequences.
Consultation and diagnosis
AEP recommends consulting with pediatricians when there is an appearance of pubic hair, axillary, increased body odor or mild acne in girls before the age of 8 and in children before the age of 9. For the diagnosis, a detailed physical history and physical examination will be done. , and sometimes, an x-ray of the hand to find out the bone age and a blood test. The objective of this last test is to detect the level of sulfate dehidroepiandrostendiona to know if it is elevated for age, but appropriate for the stage of pubic hair.
In the case of hand x-ray, the bone age it must be according to or not greater than 2 standard deviations for the age and sex of the child. You also have to make a prediction of adult height, which will be according to genetic size. The diagnosis will seek to rule out other causes for these symptoms and calm the parents.
The premature adrenarche is considered a benign condition that does not need treatment. Although it does not require treatment, it is advisable to make periodic reviews to assess pubertal development. These children may have a higher incidence of obesity, rule alterations and hirsutism (hair growth), which is why monitoring is adequate.