Premature Adrenarche

Also known as: PA

What is premature adrenarche?

Adrenarche means “awakening of the adrenal gland”. There are two adrenal glands, each one lies at the top of each kidney which produce sex hormones that cause some of the changes that are seen when a child's body goes through puberty. For example, pubic and body hair, oily skin, and body odor. When these changes occur early (before 8 years in girls and 9 years in boys), it's called premature adrenarche (during puberty the ovaries and testicles produce the hormones which caused sexual maturity e.g. Breasts etc. in girls and enlarged testes/penis etc. in boy). 

What causes premature adrenarche?

Early adrenarche is usually normal (occasionally there may be a problem) and occurs when the adrenal glands begin secreting sex hormones earlier than normal. The reason for this is unknown.

What are the symptoms of premature adrenarche?

Other than early development, there usually are no other symptoms related to premature adrenarche (other signs of puberty tend to develop in a normal fashion).

What are premature adrenarche care options?

No treatment is needed for premature adrenarche other than reassurance that the changes are normal.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: November 03, 2021 03:46 PM

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