Background/Aims: Premature pubarche is associated with conditions such as virilizing congenital adrenal hyperplasia, androgen-secreting tumors, and exogenous exposure to androgen products. We describe the clinical and hormonal features of a series of children who were referred to endocrine evaluation due to premature pubarche. Methods: This is a retrospective case series study of 14 children with premature pubarche and/or virilization. Five were unintentionally exposed to testosterone gel (parental use). Nine patients were intensely exposed to diaper rash prevention creams. Clinical and laboratory data were revised. Results: Moderate to severe virilization was detected in the 5 patients (2 boys and 3 girls) who were exposed to testosterone gel. These patients had pubic hair development associated with clitoromegaly (3/3), penile enlargement (2/2), and accelerated growth (5/5). Testosterone levels were elevated in 4/5 patients associated with normal prepubertal gonadotropin levels and adrenal androgen precursors. The 9 children who were intensely exposed to diaper rash prevention creams had mild pubarche (intermediate hair) without any other clinical manifestation of pubertal development. Three of them exhibited pubic hair thinning after cream withdrawal. Conclusion: Unintentional topical androgen exposure or the intense use of diaper rash prevention cream should be ruled out in children with precocious pubarche and/or virilization signs to avoid misdiagnosis and expendable investigation.

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