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Pediatrics/pubic hair in 6 year old

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Question
Hello Dr. Olson,

How are you?  I sent you a query back in January of 2012 about my daughter who was about to turn 5 at the time - I had noticed mild body odor from her armpits.  I detected no other pubertal changes - no underarm or pubic hair, no breast development, no acne.  I took her to our pediatrician - who is fantastic - he could detect no other pubertal changes and advised me to wash her armpits with an antibacterial soap - like Dial.  We did that - and the armpit odor is no longer a problem.

She turned 6 a few months ago - and during her well child exam - the pediatrician assessed her and again - no pubertal changes.   A couple nights ago she passed a hard BM - and she complained that her bottom hurt.  I was worried that she may have experienced a fissure - so took a look.  I was surprised to see several dark perianal hairs - they were straight, but were dark, long and slightly coarse.

Of course, I closely examined her - no breast development, no pubic hair, no underarm hair - just the few perianal hairs.  I am a pediatric RN - and feel pretty confident about that assessment.  Have you seen cases like this in your practice?  Should I be concerned?  

Thank you,
Jody

Answer
Hi, Jody,

A couple hairs in the area you describe are normal and not a sign of precocious puberty.  Axillary or pubic hair may be, although depending on ethnicity and other factors, a few scant hairs in these two areas can be normal as well.  

Good luck, Dr. Olson

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David Olson, MD

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I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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