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What is CPP and what happens if puberty is early?

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What is Central Precocious Puberty (CPP)?

posted Jun 23, 2016 by Swati Tyagi

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1 Answer

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Central Precocious Puberty

This is the condition when body begins to change from that of a child to an adult (mature) earlier than the expected puberty/maturity age. The normal maturity age is 7.5 years in girls and 9 years in boys. But in case of CPP it might start from 6 years in girls and 8 years on boys. Following are some of the symptoms which would help identify if the child has CPP or not:

In girls
- Budding of breasts
- Onset of menstruation
- Hair growth in the armpits and pubic area
- Acne
- Emotional and behavioural changes
- Rapid growth of bones

In Boys
- Enlargement of testicles, penis
- Development of facial hair, hair in armpits, pubic area
- Change in voice characterized by deepening
- Acne
- Rapid growth of bones

This is caused due to the irregular behaviour of the hormones which regulate the male and female characteristics. The irregular behaviour of hormones might be caused due to a malfunctioning gene, hereditary, brain injury, a non-cancerous tumour in brain etc.

Following are the things which happen if puberty onsets early -

Short stature
Since the growth of bones starts earlier than the normal age, the child might appear taller than the children of same age. But growth also stops at an early age. This results in the child appear shorter than the height, he/she would have been, had CPP not occurred. Early treatment of precocious puberty, especially when it occurs in very young children, can help them grow taller than they would without treatment.

Emotional and behavioural aspects
This might not appear as a major issue when examined superficially, but talking to the child about the emotional roller coaster he/she is going through can be helpful. The consciousness developed due to rapid change in the physical appearance might hurt their self esteem. Care should be taken to boost their confidence and divert their focus on academics, recreation, extra curriculum so that, there is not much emphasis on physical outlook.

answer Jun 24, 2016 by Dr Prachi
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