Sign of Puberty?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-18-2004
Sign of Puberty?
4
Wed, 03-27-2013 - 9:04pm

Hello!  I've never posted on this board before but I'm hoping some of you may have some insight.  My oldest son just turned 9 and in the last couple of weeks I've noticed that his face seems to have this 'tanned' look to it.  It's faint and only noticeable in certain lights but I'm pretty certain it's not my imagination.  He's had 'bumps' for about a year now which I assume are the beginning of acne so I get him to wash his face each night with a gentle cleanser.  He's played a lot of hockey lately and the 'acne' seems to have worsened, I'm assuming from all the sweating.  Is it possible the tanned look is due to the increase in sweating as well??  Is slight skin darkening a sign of puberty??  I'm a little confused and wondering if a doctor's appointment is in order or I'm just freaking out over nothing LOL  It happens!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-16-2013
Thu, 03-28-2013 - 12:00pm

I don't usually post on this board either but had to respond after I read your message! I've noticed the same "tanning" appearance which I thought was especially odd since my kids are more of the "stay inside and play computer games" type. I never considered that it was maybe a sign of puberty since I had never seen it mentioned as one of the "signals" before but now I'm starting to wonder!

Avatar for melissamc
Community Leader
Registered: 03-22-2007
Thu, 03-28-2013 - 2:07pm

The first noticeable signs of puberty I've seen on my older boys are body odor, armpit hair, and facial hair.  It's so hard to tell what this could be, I did find the following:

Your skin may be naturally light or dark depending on how much melanin your skin produces. Changes in melanin production can be due to a variety of conditions and some medications. Skin darkening can be due to changing hormone levels or medications, but it can also occur from exposure to ionizing radiation (such as the sun) or heavy metals. Radiation therapy can also cause an increase in skin pigm

https://www.healthtap.com/#topics/skin-darkening-in-teenagers-is-that-always-normal-due-to-pubertal-hormonal-changes

Has he been eating a lot of anything like carrots or squash that could affect his skin tone?  Has he been in the sun more?  Do you see the change only on his face?  The sweating from hockey could be causing skin changes, make sure he's cleaning it every night after practice. How long has he been using this cleanser, is there any correlation with the change in skin color?  

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-18-2004
Fri, 03-29-2013 - 12:43pm

Thanks so much to both of you for responding!!  He is definitely more of 'gamer' as well so not really thrilled about spending time outside if he doesn't have to (except a trip to the beach, he's always up for that!).  Sometimes I make him though.  We live in Canada and are just coming to the end of our winter so I'm really doubting that it's from sun exposure.  I know that hormone changes can cause skin darkening so that's why it occurred to me.  I didn't think it really meant a facial-tanning look only though so that's why I'm confused.  The only things I can think that may be causing this is hormone changes (puberty) although he shows no other signs yet except for the acne I mentioned earlier, sweating from a lot of hockey, and maybe just maybe the vitamin D supplements I've started him on in the last couple of months.  Do you think??  He seems totally normal otherwise and has had an unusually healthy winter so I'm trying not to worry that it's a health problem.  Hmmmm, will maybe back off on the supplements and bump up the face washing and keep an eye out for more signs of puberty.  Thanks all!  Any more insight is welcomed!

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Avatar for melissamc
Community Leader
Registered: 03-22-2007
Mon, 04-01-2013 - 3:18pm
Interesting thought about the vitamin D supplements. That has me wondering, one of my twins takes them. I'll keep an eye on his skin tone to see if I notice any changes. That could be it, at least I think it's a good explanation. I had to remark that my 9 yo had the nastiest BO the other day - and so it begins...

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