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Hair under arms and around nipples at age eleven, no periods. Concerned about it. Advise?

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Hi my daughter who is now 11 years old had hair under her arms at 6 years of age. I have noticed now she is getting hair around the nipples at age 11. However, she has not had her periods yet. As mother, I am concerned. Lot of people say that it happens to over weight girls. On the other my daughter's is actually 'under weight'. That is also a concern for us
Posted Mon, 21 May 2012 in Growth and Development in Children
Answered by Dr. Santosh Kondekar 3 hours later

Thanks for the query.

It all depends on how much and how thick are the hairs; also if they are very thin and short and soft it may be normal, but it does need to be seen.

I also would like to know what are the other maturity markers? do you feel the breast buds, menarche may be delayed a bit and may be decided by mother's age of menarche.

What is her current weight? if she is 25 kg plus, she need not be seriously underweight.
Hairs around pubis also are early markers of puberty.

Minor variations are very common, common age of occurence of menarche is 12 years.

I hope this answers your query, please accept the answer and you may ask follow up questions if any.

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Follow-up: Hair under arms and around nipples at age eleven, no periods. Concerned about it. Advise? 43 hours later
Dear Dr XXXXXXX thanks for replying.

The hair seems to be not very soft. Her weight is 37 KGs and height is 156 cms as per the BMI calculation, she is under weight, I think.

I am concerned as she was around 5 when she started smelling under the arms. Whereas, her elder sister who is 13 just started with puberty signs. I will be getting her physically checked. Any other I should be aware of.

Answered by Dr. Santosh Kondekar 14 hours later
Hi there,

BMI (Body Mass Index) isn’t a good marker for underweight in children, but for adults. We use growth charts to classify underweight in children and she probably falls at 50th centile that is normal weight for age.

Now the issue is with height, 156 cm appears a little taller for age at 11 years. I recommend you to get the height confirmed by a health visitor or doctor and nurse. Broken tapes and not using a stadeometer for height and faulty position of head and spine during recording can give wrong height results. Also height potential of children depends on parents' heights.

Now if she is surely 156, and has hairs under arms, black and thick, then you should not delay a referral opinion of endocrinologist.

The specialist will ask for bone age, will look for abnormalities that may be giving long height, in addition will ask for some hormonal work up if indicated depending on examination of genital structures.

Hope I answered all your questions. If you do not have any more queries, please close this discussion.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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