Medical Q&As

Puberty - developing early?

My 10 year old son has been showing signs of puberty for some time now, since just before his 10th birthday. He has pubic hair, mild acne and is beginning to get facial hair. Is this normal at his age or should I be concerned?

Puberty normally begins in boys between the ages of 9.5 and 14 years. The first change to take place is enlargement of the testicles followed by enlargement of the penis approximately one year later. This is followed by the development of pubic hair. Facial hair, hair in the armpits, voice changes and acne tend to appear after the development of pubic hair and tend to occur around 14 to 15 years. You say that your 10-year-old son has facial acne and facial hair, which places his development a little bit ahead of his peers in some respects. I think it would be reasonable to bring your concerns to the attention of your GP who can confirm if all is well. Young people vary greatly in the speed with which they accelerate through puberty and your son is probably normal. A visit to your GP could confirm this for you.