Overview

Hirsutism (HUR-soot-iz-um) is a condition of unwanted, male-pattern hair growth in women. Hirsutism results in excessive amounts of dark, course hair on body areas where men typically grow hair — face, chest and back.

The amount of body hair you have is largely determined by your genetic makeup. There's a wide range of normal hair distribution, thickness and color due to differences in heredity. However, hirsutism is a medical condition that can arise from excess male hormones called androgens, primarily testosterone. It can also be due to a family trait.

A combination of self-care and medical therapies provides treatment for many women with hirsutism.

Nov. 05, 2016
References
  1. Barbieri RL, et al. Evaluation of premenopausal women with hirsutism. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 16, 2016.
  2. Hirsutism. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dermatologic-disorders/hair-disorders/hirsutism. Accessed Aug. 16, 2016.
  3. Barbieri RL, et al. Treatment of hirsutism. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 16, 2016.
  4. Bode D, et al. Hirsutism in women. American Family Physician. 2012;85:373.
  5. Blume-Peytavi U. An overview of unwanted female hair. British Journal of Dermatology. 2011;165:19.