Adrenarche is a term for the puberty changes that result from androgen hormones made by the adrenal glands. Adrenarche includes development of pubic hair and underarm hair, as well as acne and body odor. When these changes happen before age 8 in girls or age 9 in boys, they are considered premature. However, premature adrenarche is typically “benign” – meaning it is not dangerous. If a child has signs of premature adrenarche, they should be evaluated to make sure there are not any other signs of early puberty, and in some cases blood tests and/or imaging may be needed. If they are not in true early puberty (meaning the pituitary gland and the ovaries or testes are not producing puberty hormones), premature adrenarche by itself does not require treatment.  

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