What Is Hirsutism?
Hirsutism refers to abnormal and excessive hair growth in areas where a female would not typically grow hair. The most common manifestation of hirsutism is when a female grows excessive hair on their face. Hirsutism may also cause women to grow hair on their back, chest, and abdomen.
Hirsutism is typically caused by an imbalance in hormones or endocrine, usually as the result of any underlying condition. This can include, but is not limited to the following:
- Insulin deficiency
- Excessive insulin
- Ovarian cysts
- Ovarian tumors
- Adrenal gland tumors
- hCG-secreting tumors
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
There is only one type of hirsutism.
- Excessive hair growth on face
- Excessive hair growth on abdomen or chest
- Excessive hair growth on back
Hirsutism can usually be diagnosed by a primary care physician through a thorough physical examination. Your doctor will likely order blood panels to check your hormone and endocrine levels as well as thyroid function. This will help them determine the underlying cause of the hirsutism. They may also order diagnostic imaging, such as an ultrasound or CT scan of the pelvis to check for ovarian cysts or ovarian tumors.
While some women do not seek treatment for hirsutism, many find the condition to be a nuisance and prefer to have it resolved. There is no definitive cure for hirsutism, but it can be managed with medications and hair removal procedures. Medications may include birth control pills, which will increase estrogen. Hair removal methods may include shaving, waxing, or more permanent methods such as laser hair removal.