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Hirsutism is excessive
body hair Body hair, or androgenic hair, is the terminal hair that develops on the human body during and after puberty. It is differentiated from the head hair and less visible vellus hair, which is much finer and lighter in color. The growth of androgenic ...
on parts of the body where hair is normally absent or minimal. The word is from early 17th century: from Latin ''hirsutus'' meaning "hairy". It may refer to a "male" pattern of hair growth that may be a sign of a more serious medical condition, especially if it develops well after
puberty Puberty is the process of physical changes through which a child Biologically, a child (plural children) is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natur ...

puberty
. Cultural stigma against hirsutism can cause much psychological distress and social difficulty. Discrimination based on facial hirsutism often leads to the avoidance of social situations and to symptoms of anxiety and depression. Hirsutism is usually the result of an underlying
endocrine The endocrine system is a messenger system comprising feedback loops of the hormone A hormone (from the Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Re ...

endocrine
imbalance, which may be
adrenal The adrenal glands (also known as suprarenal glands) are endocrine glands that produce a variety of hormones including adrenaline and the steroids aldosterone and cortisol. They are found above the kidneys. Each gland has an outer cortex wh ...

adrenal
,
ovarian The ovary is an organ found in the female reproductive system The female reproductive system is made up of the internal and external sex organs that function in reproduction of new offspring. In humans, the female reproductive system is im ...

ovarian
, or
central Central is an adjective In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign languag ...

central
. It can be caused by increased levels of
androgen An androgen (from Greek ''andr-'', the stem of the word meaning "man") is any natural or synthetic steroid hormone A steroid hormone is a steroid , hypothetical a steroid with 32 carbon atoms. Its core ring system (ABCD), composed of 17 c ...
hormones. The amount and location of the hair is measured by a Ferriman-Gallwey score. It is different from
hypertrichosis Hypertrichosis is an abnormal amount of hair growth The growth of human hair occurs everywhere on the body except for the soles of the feet, the inside of the mouth, the lips, the backs of the ears, the palms of the hands, some external genita ...
, which is excessive hair growth anywhere on the body. Treatments may include
birth control pills Oral contraceptives, abbreviated OCPs, also known as birth control pills, are medication A medication (also called medicament, medicine, pharmaceutical drug, medicinal drug or simply drug) is a drug used to medical diagnosis, diagnose, cure, ...

birth control pills
that contain estrogen and progestin,
antiandrogens Antiandrogens, also known as androgen antagonists or testosterone blockers, are a class of drugs that prevent androgens like testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) from mediating their biological effects in the body. They act by receptor antag ...
, or
insulin sensitizers Drugs used in diabetes treat diabetes mellitus by altering the blood sugar level, glucose level in the blood. With the exceptions of Insulin (medication), insulin, most Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist, GLP receptor agonists (liraglutide, ...
. Hirsutism affects between 5–15% of all women across all ethnic backgrounds. Depending on the definition and the underlying data, estimates indicate that approximately 40% of women have some degree of facial hair.


Signs and symptoms

Hirsutism affects members of either sex, since rising androgen levels can cause excessive body hair, particularly in locations where women normally do not develop terminal hair during
puberty Puberty is the process of physical changes through which a child Biologically, a child (plural children) is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natur ...

puberty
(
chest The thorax or chest is a part of the anatomy Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανι ...
,
abdomen The abdomen (colloquially called the belly, tummy, midriff or stomach) is the part of the body between the thorax (chest) and pelvis, in humans and in other vertebrates. The abdomen is the front part of the abdominal segment of the Trunk (anatomy) ...
, back, and
face The face is the front of an animal's head that features the eyes Eyes are organs An organ is a group of tissues with similar functions. Plant life and animal life rely on many organs that co-exist in organ systems. A given organ's ti ...
).


Causes

Hirsutism can be caused by either an increased level of
androgen An androgen (from Greek ''andr-'', the stem of the word meaning "man") is any natural or synthetic steroid hormone A steroid hormone is a steroid , hypothetical a steroid with 32 carbon atoms. Its core ring system (ABCD), composed of 17 c ...
s, or an over-sensitivity of
hair follicle The hair follicle is an organ Organ may refer to: Biology * Organ (anatomy) An organ is a group of Tissue (biology), tissues with similar functions. Plant life and animal life rely on many organs that co-exist in organ systems. A given org ...

hair follicle
s to androgens. High levels of hormones such as
testosterone Testosterone is the primary sex hormone and anabolic steroid in males. In humans, testosterone plays a key role in the development of Male reproductive system, male reproductive tissues such as testes and prostate, as well as promoting secondar ...
result in masculinisation such as stimulated hair growth, increased size and intensity of the growth and pigmentation of hair. Other symptoms associated with a high level of testosterone include
acne Acne, also known as acne vulgaris, is a long-term skin condition A skin condition, also known as cutaneous condition, is any medical condition A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure or ...

acne
, deepening of the voice, and increased muscle mass. The condition is called
hyperandrogenism Hyperandrogenism is a medical condition A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A ...
. Growing evidence connects high circulating levels of
insulin Insulin (, from Latin ''insula'', 'island') is a peptide hormone produced by beta cells of the pancreatic islets; it is considered to be the main Anabolism, anabolic hormone of the body. It regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and p ...

insulin
in women to the development of hirsutism. This theory is speculated to be consistent with the observation that obese (and thus presumably insulin resistant hyperinsulinemic) women are at high risk of becoming hirsute. Further, treatments that lower
insulin Insulin (, from Latin ''insula'', 'island') is a peptide hormone produced by beta cells of the pancreatic islets; it is considered to be the main Anabolism, anabolic hormone of the body. It regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and p ...

insulin
levels will lead to a reduction in hirsutism. It is speculated that insulin, at high enough concentration, stimulates the ovarian theca cells to produce androgens. There may also be an effect of high levels of insulin to activate
insulin-like growth factor 1 Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), also called somatomedin C, is a hormone similar in tertiary structure, molecular structure to insulin which plays an important role in childhood growth, and has Anabolism, anabolic effects in adults. IGF-1 is ...
(IGF-1) receptor in those same cells. Again, the result is increased androgen production. Signs that are suggestive of an androgen-secreting tumor in a patient with hirsutism is rapid onset,
virilization Virilization or masculinization is the biological development of adult male characteristics in young males or females. Most of the changes of virilization are produced by androgens. Virilization is most commonly used in three medical and Sex diffe ...
and palpable abdominal mass. The following are conditions and situations that have been associated with hyperandrogenism and hence hirsutism in women: *
Hyperinsulinemia Hyperinsulinemia is a condition in which there are excess levels of insulin Insulin (, from Latin ''insula'', 'island') is a peptide hormone produced by beta cells of the pancreatic islets; it is considered to be the main Anabolism, anabolic ...
(insulin excess) or (insulin deficiency or
resistance Resistance may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Comics * Either of two similarly named but otherwise unrelated comic book series, both published by Wildstorm: ** ''Resistance'' (comics), based on the video game of the same title ** ''Th ...
as in
diabetes Diabetes mellitus, commonly known as just diabetes, is a group of metabolic disorder A metabolic disorder is a disorder that negatively alters the body's processing and distribution of macronutrients such as proteins, fats, and carbohydrate ...

diabetes
). *
Ovarian cyst An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac within the ovary. Often they cause no symptoms. Occasionally they may produce bloating, lower abdominal pain, or lower back pain. The majority of cysts are harmless. If the cyst either #Cyst rupture, breaks o ...
s such as in
polycystic ovary syndrome Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is the most common endocrine The endocrine system is a messenger system comprising feedback loops of the hormone A hormone (from the Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to G ...
(PCOS), the most common cause in women. *
Ovarian tumor Ovarian tumors, or ovarian neoplasms, are tumors arising from the ovary. They can be benign or malignant (ovarian cancer). They consists of mainly solid tissue, while ovarian cysts contain fluid. Histopathologic classification Ovarian tumors ar ...
s such as granulosa tumors,
thecoma Thecomas or theca cell tumors are benign {{Unreferenced, date=June 2019, bot=noref (GreenC bot) Benignity (from Latin ''benignus'' "kind, good", itself deriving from ''bonus'' "good" and ''genus'' "origin") is any condition that is harmless in t ...
s, Sertoli–Leydig cell tumors (androblastomas), and gynandroblastomas, as well as
ovarian cancer Ovarian cancer is a cancer Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. These contrast with benign tumor A benign tumor is a mass of cells Cell most ...
. *
Hyperthecosis Hyperthecosis, or ovarian hyperthecosis, is hyperplasia Hyperplasia (from ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: ...
. *
Pregnancy Pregnancy, also known as gestation, is the time during which one or more offspring In biology, offspring are the young creation of living organisms, produced either by a Asexual reproduction, single organism or, in the case of sexual repr ...

Pregnancy
. * Adrenal gland tumors,
adrenocortical adenoma Adrenocortical adenoma is commonly described as a benign neoplasm emerging from the cells that comprise the adrenal cortex. Like most adenomas, the adrenocortical adenoma is considered a benign tumor since the majority of them are non-functioning ...
s, and
adrenocortical carcinoma Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is an aggressive cancer Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. These contrast with benign tumor A benign tumor is a ...

adrenocortical carcinoma
, as well as
adrenal hyperplasia The adrenal glands (also known as suprarenal glands) are endocrine gland Endocrine glands are ductless glands of the endocrine system The endocrine system is a messenger system comprising feedback loops of the hormones released by interna ...
due to
pituitary adenoma Pituitary adenomas are tumor A neoplasm () is a type of abnormal and excessive growth of tissue Tissue may refer to: Biology * Tissue (biology), an ensemble of similar cells that together carry out a specific function * ''Triphosa haesitata ...
s (as in
Cushing's disease Cushing's disease is one cause of Cushing's syndrome characterised by increased secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) from the anterior pituitary (secondary hypercortisolism). This is most often as a result of a pituitary adenoma (speci ...

Cushing's disease
). * hCG-secreting tumors *
Inborn errors of steroid metabolism An inborn error of steroid metabolism is an inborn error of metabolism due to defects in steroid metabolism. Types A variety of medical condition, conditions of abnormal steroidogenesis exist due to genetic mutations in the steroidogenic enzymes i ...
such as in
congenital adrenal hyperplasia Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is a group of Genetic disorder#Autosomal recessive, autosomal recessive disorders characterized by impaired cortisol synthesis. It results from the deficiency of one of the five enzymes required for the Biosynthe ...

congenital adrenal hyperplasia
, most commonly caused by
21-hydroxylase deficiency Congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency in all its forms, accounts for over 95% of diagnosed cases of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), and CAH in most contexts refers to 21-hydroxylase deficiency and different mutat ...
. *
Acromegaly Acromegaly is a disorder that results from excess growth hormone Growth hormone (GH) or somatotropin, also known as human growth hormone (hGH or HGH) in its human form, is a peptide hormonePeptide hormones or protein hormones are hormones ...

Acromegaly
and
gigantism Gigantism ( el, γίγας, ''gígas'', "giant In folklore Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology ...
(
growth hormone Growth hormone (GH) or somatotropin, also known as human growth hormone (hGH or HGH) in its human form, is a peptide hormone that stimulates growth, cell (biology), cell reproduction, and cell regeneration in humans and other animals. It is th ...
and IGF-1 excess), usually due to
pituitary tumor Pituitary adenomas are tumors that occur in the pituitary gland. Pituitary adenomas are generally divided into three categories dependent upon their biological functioning: benign adenoma, invasive adenoma, and carcinomas. Most adenomas are benign ...
s. * Use of certain medications such as
androgen An androgen (from Greek ''andr-'', the stem of the word meaning "man") is any natural or synthetic steroid hormone A steroid hormone is a steroid , hypothetical a steroid with 32 carbon atoms. Its core ring system (ABCD), composed of 17 c ...
s/
anabolic steroid Anabolic steroids, also known more properly as anabolic–androgenic steroids (AAS), are steroid A steroid is a biologically active organic compound In , organic compounds are generally any s that contain - . Due to carbon's ability t ...
s,
phenytoin Phenytoin (PHT), sold under the brand name Dilantin among others, is an anti-seizure medication Anticonvulsants (also commonly known as antiepileptic drugs or as antiseizure drugs) are a diverse group of pharmacological agents used in the tre ...
, and
minoxidil Minoxidil (2,4-diamino-6-piperidinopyrimidine 3-oxide), sold under the brand name Rogaine among others, is a medication A medication (also called medicament, medicine, pharmaceutical drug, medicinal drug or simply drug) is a drug used to ...

minoxidil
. Causes of hirsutism not related to hyperandrogenism include: *
Porphyria cutanea tarda Porphyria cutanea tarda is the most common subtype of porphyria Porphyria is a group of liver disorders in which substances called porphyrins build up in the body, negatively affecting the skin or nervous system. The types that affect the ner ...
. *
Minoxidil Minoxidil (2,4-diamino-6-piperidinopyrimidine 3-oxide), sold under the brand name Rogaine among others, is a medication A medication (also called medicament, medicine, pharmaceutical drug, medicinal drug or simply drug) is a drug used to ...

Minoxidil


Diagnosis

A complete physical evaluation should be done prior to initiating more extensive studies, the examiner should differentiate between widespread body hair increase and male pattern
virilization Virilization or masculinization is the biological development of adult male characteristics in young males or females. Most of the changes of virilization are produced by androgens. Virilization is most commonly used in three medical and Sex diffe ...
. One method of evaluating hirsutism is the Ferriman-Gallwey Score which gives a score based on the amount and location of hair growth on a woman. After the physical examination, laboratory studies and imaging studies can be done to rule out further causes. Diagnosis of patients with even mild hirsutism should include assessment of ovulation and ovarian
ultrasound Ultrasound is sound wave In physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or, ...
, due to the high prevalence of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), as well as 17α-hydroxyprogesterone (because of the possibility of finding nonclassic
21-hydroxylase deficiency Congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency in all its forms, accounts for over 95% of diagnosed cases of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), and CAH in most contexts refers to 21-hydroxylase deficiency and different mutat ...
). Many women present with an elevated serum dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) level. Levels greater than 700 μg/dL are indicative of
adrenal gland The adrenal glands (also known as suprarenal glands) are endocrine gland Endocrine glands are ductless glands of the endocrine system The endocrine system is a messenger system comprising feedback loops of the hormones released by interna ...

adrenal gland
dysfunction, particularly
congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency Congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency in all its forms, accounts for over 95% of diagnosed cases of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), and CAH in most contexts refers to 21-hydroxylase deficiency and different mutat ...
. However,
PCOS Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is the most common endocrine The endocrine system is a messenger system comprising feedback loops of the hormone A hormone (from the Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to G ...
and idiopathic hirsutism make up 90% of cases. Other blood value that may be evaluated in the workup of hirsutism include: *
androgen An androgen (from Greek ''andr-'', the stem of the word meaning "man") is any natural or synthetic steroid hormone A steroid hormone is a steroid , hypothetical a steroid with 32 carbon atoms. Its core ring system (ABCD), composed of 17 c ...
s;
androstenedione Androstenedione, or 4-androstenedione (abbreviated as A4 or Δ4-dione), also known as androst-4-ene-3,17-dione, is an endogenous Endogenous substances and processes are those that originate from within a system such as an organism, Tissue (bio ...

androstenedione
,
testosterone Testosterone is the primary sex hormone and anabolic steroid in males. In humans, testosterone plays a key role in the development of Male reproductive system, male reproductive tissues such as testes and prostate, as well as promoting secondar ...
* thyroid function panel; thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), , *
prolactin Prolactin, also known as lactotropin, is a protein Proteins are large biomolecule , showing alpha helices, represented by ribbons. This poten was the first to have its suckture solved by X-ray crystallography by Max Perutz and Sir Jo ...
If no underlying cause can be identified, the condition is considered
idiopathic An idiopathic disease is any disease with an unknown cause or mechanism of apparent wikt:spontaneous, spontaneous origin. From Ancient Greek, Greek ἴδιος ''idios'' "one's own" and πάθος ''pathos'' "suffering", ''idiopathy'' means approxi ...
.


Treatment

Many women with unwanted hair seek methods of
hair removal Hair removal, also known as epilation or depilation, is the deliberate removal of body hair or head hair. Hair typically grows all over the human body and can vary in thickness and length across human populations. Hair can become more visible d ...
. However, the causes of the hair growth should be evaluated by a physician, who can conduct blood tests, pinpoint the specific origin of the abnormal hair growth, and advise on the treatment.


Medications

Medications consist mostly of
antiandrogen Antiandrogens, also known as androgen antagonists or testosterone blockers, are a class of drug A drug is any chemical substance that causes a change in an organism's physiology or psychology when consumed. Drugs are typically distinguished ...
s, drugs that block the effects of
androgen An androgen (from Greek ''andr-'', the stem of the word meaning "man") is any natural or synthetic steroid hormone A steroid hormone is a steroid , hypothetical a steroid with 32 carbon atoms. Its core ring system (ABCD), composed of 17 c ...
s like
testosterone Testosterone is the primary sex hormone and anabolic steroid in males. In humans, testosterone plays a key role in the development of Male reproductive system, male reproductive tissues such as testes and prostate, as well as promoting secondar ...
and
dihydrotestosterone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT, 5α-dihydrotestosterone, 5α-DHT, androstanolone or stanolone) is an endogenous Endogenous substances and processes are those that originate from within a system such as an organism, Tissue (biology), tissue, or Cell ...
(DHT) in the body, and include: *
Spironolactone Spironolactone, sold under the brand name Aldactone among others, is a medication A medication (also called medicament, medicine, pharmaceutical drug, medicinal drug or simply drug) is a drug used to medical diagnosis, diagnose, cure, th ...

Spironolactone
: An
antimineralocorticoid An antimineralocorticoid, also known as a mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist (MCRA) or aldosterone antagonist, is a diuretic A diuretic () is any substance that promotes diuresis Diuresis () is increased urination Urination is the rel ...
with additional antiandrogenic activity at high dosages *
Cyproterone acetate Cyproterone acetate (CPA), sold alone under the brand name Androcur or with ethinylestradiol Ethinylestradiol (EE) is an estrogen Estrogen, or oestrogen, is a category of sex hormone responsible for the development and regulation of the fem ...

Cyproterone acetate
: A dual antiandrogen and
progestogen Progestogens, also sometimes written progestagens or gestagens, are a class of natural or synthetic steroid hormone A steroid hormone is a steroid , hypothetical a steroid with 32 carbon atoms. Its core ring system (ABCD), composed of 17 c ...
. In addition to single form, it is also available in some formulations of combined oral contraceptives at a low dosage (see below). It has a risk of
liver damage Liver disease (also called hepatic disease) is a type of damage to or disease A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements i ...
. *
Flutamide Flutamide, sold under the brand name Eulexin among others, is a nonsteroidal antiandrogen A nonsteroidal antiandrogen (NSAA) is an antiandrogen with a nonsteroidal chemical structure A chemical structure determination includes a chemist's s ...

Flutamide
: A pure antiandrogen. It has been found to possess equivalent or greater effectiveness than spironolactone, cyproterone acetate, and
finasteride Finasteride, sold under the brand names Proscar and Propecia among others, is a medication used to treat hair loss Hair loss, also known as alopecia or baldness, refers to a loss of hair Hair is a protein filament In biology ...

finasteride
in the treatment of hirsutism. However, it has a high risk of liver damage and hence is no longer recommended as a first- or second-line treatment. Flutamide is safe and effective. *
Bicalutamide Bicalutamide, sold under the brand name Casodex among others, is an antiandrogen medication that is primarily used to treat prostate cancer. It is typically used together with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogue, gonadotropin-releasing hor ...

Bicalutamide
: A pure antiandrogen. It is effective similarly to flutamide but is much safer as well as better-tolerated. *
Birth control pill The combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP), often referred to as the birth control pill or colloquially as "the pill", is a type of birth control Birth control, also known as contraception, anticonception, and fertility control, is a me ...
s that consist of an
estrogen Estrogens or oestrogens, are a class of natural or synthetic sex hormone Sex hormones, also known as sex steroids, gonadocorticoids and gonadal steroids, are steroid hormone A steroid hormone is a steroid that acts as a hormone. Steroid ho ...

estrogen
, usually
ethinylestradiol Ethinylestradiol (EE) is an estrogen (medication), estrogen medication which is used widely in birth control pills in combination with progestins. In the past, EE was widely used for various indications such as the treatment of menopause, menopau ...

ethinylestradiol
, and a
progestin A progestogen, also referred to as a progestagen, gestagen, or gestogen, is a type of medication A medication (also called medicament, medicine, pharmaceutical drug, medicinal drug or simply drug) is a drug Uncoated tablets, consist ...
are supported by the evidence. They are functional antiandrogens. In addition, certain birth control pills contain a progestin that also has antiandrogenic activity. Examples include birth control pills containing
cyproterone acetate Cyproterone acetate (CPA), sold alone under the brand name Androcur or with ethinylestradiol Ethinylestradiol (EE) is an estrogen Estrogen, or oestrogen, is a category of sex hormone responsible for the development and regulation of the fem ...

cyproterone acetate
,
chlormadinone acetate Chlormadinone acetate (CMA), sold under the brand names Belara, Gynorelle, Lutéran, and Prostal among others, is a progestin and antiandrogen medication which is used in birth control pills to prevent pregnancy, as a component of menopausal hormo ...

chlormadinone acetate
,
drospirenone Drospirenone is a progestin A progestogen, also referred to as a progestagen, gestagen, or gestogen, is a type of medication A medication (also called medicament, medicine, pharmaceutical drug, medicinal drug or simply drug) is a drug ...

drospirenone
, and
dienogest Dienogest, sold under the brand name Visanne among others, is a progestin A progestogen, also referred to as a progestagen, gestagen, or gestogen, is a type of medication A medication (also called medicament, medicine, pharmaceutical dr ...

dienogest
. *
Finasteride Finasteride, sold under the brand names Proscar and Propecia among others, is a medication used to treat hair loss Hair loss, also known as alopecia or baldness, refers to a loss of hair Hair is a protein filament In biology ...

Finasteride
and
dutasteride Dutasteride, sold under the brand name Avodart among others, is a medication primarily used to treat the symptoms of an benign prostatic hyperplasia, enlarged prostate. A few months may be required before benefits occur. It is also used for patter ...

dutasteride
: 5α-Reductase inhibitors. They inhibit the production of the potent androgen DHT. A meta-analysis showed inconsistent results of finasteride in the treatment of hirsutism. *
GnRH analogue A GnRH modulator, or GnRH receptor modulator, also known as an LHRH modulator or LHRH receptor modulator, is a type of medication which receptor modulator, modulates the GnRH receptor, the biological target of the hypothalamic hormone gonadotropin ...
s: Suppress androgen production by the gonads and reduce androgen concentrations to castrate levels. *
Metformin Metformin, sold under the brand name Glucophage among others, is the first-line medication for the treatment of type 2 diabetes Type 2 diabetes (T2D), formerly known as adult-onset diabetes, is a form of diabetes Diabetes mellitus (DM ...

Metformin
: Antihyperglycemic drug used for diabetes mellitus and treatment of hirsutism associated with insulin resistance (e.g.
polycystic ovary syndrome Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is the most common endocrine The endocrine system is a messenger system comprising feedback loops of the hormone A hormone (from the Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to G ...
). Metformin appears ineffective in the treatment of hirsutism, although the evidence was of low quality. *
Eflornithine Eflornithine, sold under the brand name Vaniqa among others, is a medication used to treat African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) and hirsutism, excessive hair growth on the face in women. Specifically it is used for the 2nd stage of sleeping ...

Eflornithine
: Blocks
putrescine Putrescine is an organic compound In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behavior ...

putrescine
that is necessary for the growth of hair follicles In cases of hyperandrogenism specifically due to
congenital adrenal hyperplasia Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is a group of Genetic disorder#Autosomal recessive, autosomal recessive disorders characterized by impaired cortisol synthesis. It results from the deficiency of one of the five enzymes required for the Biosynthe ...

congenital adrenal hyperplasia
, administration of
glucocorticoid Glucocorticoids (or, less commonly, glucocorticosteroids) are a class of corticosteroid Corticosteroids are a class of steroid hormone A steroid hormone is a steroid that acts as a hormone. Steroid hormones can be grouped into two classes: cor ...
s will return androgen levels to normal.


Other methods

*
Epilation Hair removal, also known as epilation or depilation, is the deliberate removal of body hair or head hair. Hair typically grows all over the human body and can vary in thickness and length across human populations. Hair can become more visible d ...
*
Waxing Waxing is the process of hair removal Hair removal, also known as epilation or depilation, is the deliberate removal of body hair or head hair. Hair typically grows all over the human body and can vary in thickness and length across human ...

Waxing
*
Shaving Shaving is the removal of hair, by using a razor A razor is a blade A blade is the portion of a tool, weapon, or machine with an edge that is designed to wikt:puncture, puncture, wikt:chop, chop, Cutting, slice or scraper (archaeology), ...

Shaving
*
Laser hair removal #REDIRECT Laser hair removal#REDIRECT Laser hair removal Laser hair removal is the process of hair removal by means of exposure to pulses of laser A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the ...
*
Electrology Electrology is the practice of electrical hair removal to permanently remove human hair from the body. Electrolysis is the actual process of removing hair using electricity. In electrolysis, a qualified professional called an electrologist slid ...
* Lifestyle change, including reducing excessive weight and addressing
insulin resistance Insulin resistance (IR) is a pathological condition in which cell (biology), cells fail to respond normally to the hormone insulin. Insulin is a hormone that allows glucose to enter cells which also reduces blood glucose (blood sugar). Insulin is ...
, may be beneficial. Insulin resistance can cause excessive testosterone levels in women, resulting in hirsutism. One study reported that women who stayed on a low calorie diet for at least six months lost weight and reduced insulin resistance. Their levels of
Sex hormone-binding globulin Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) or sex steroid-binding globulin (SSBG) is a glycoprotein Glycoproteins are protein Proteins are large s and s that comprise one or more long chains of . Proteins perform a vast array of functions wit ...

Sex hormone-binding globulin
(
SHBG Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) or sex steroid-binding globulin (SSBG) is a glycoprotein Glycoproteins are protein Proteins are large s and s that comprise one or more long chains of . Proteins perform a vast array of functions wit ...
) increased, which reduced the amount of free testosterone in their blood. As expected, the women reported a reduction in the severity of their hirsutism and acne symptoms.


See also

* Ferriman-Gallwey score *
Petrus Gonsalvus Petrus Gonsalvus ( es, Pedro González; , Tenerife – c. 1618, Capodimonte, Lazio, Capodimonte), referred to by Ulisse Aldrovandi as "the man of the woods", became famous during his lifetime because of his condition, hypertrichosis. His life at va ...
*
Androgenic hair Body hair, or androgenic hair, is the terminal hair that develops on the human body during and after puberty. It is differentiated from the head hair and less visible vellus hair, which is much finer and lighter in color. The growth of androgenic ...

Androgenic hair
*
Pubic hair Pubic hair is terminal body hair that is found in the genital area of adolescent and adult humans. The hair is located on and around the sex organs and sometimes at the top of the inside of the thighs. In the pubic region around the pubis ...

Pubic hair
*
Hypertrichosis Hypertrichosis is an abnormal amount of hair growth The growth of human hair occurs everywhere on the body except for the soles of the feet, the inside of the mouth, the lips, the backs of the ears, the palms of the hands, some external genita ...
*
Hair removal Hair removal, also known as epilation or depilation, is the deliberate removal of body hair or head hair. Hair typically grows all over the human body and can vary in thickness and length across human populations. Hair can become more visible d ...
*
Laser hair removal #REDIRECT Laser hair removal#REDIRECT Laser hair removal Laser hair removal is the process of hair removal by means of exposure to pulses of laser A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the ...
*
Bearded lady A bearded lady (or bearded woman) is a female, with a naturally occurring beard A beard is the hair that grows on the jaw, chin, upper lip, lower lip, cheeks, and neck of humans and some non-human animals. In humans, usually only pubescent o ...
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Trichophilia Hair fetishism, also known as hair partialism and trichophilia, is a partialism in which a person sees hair most commonly, head hair as particularly Eroticism, erotic and Sexual arousal, sexually arousing. Arousal may occur from seeing or touchi ...
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Polycystic ovary syndrome Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is the most common endocrine The endocrine system is a messenger system comprising feedback loops of the hormone A hormone (from the Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to G ...
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Social model of disability The social model of disability identifies systemic barriers, derogatory attitudes, and social exclusion (intentional or inadvertent), which make it difficult or impossible for individuals with impairments to attain their valued functionings. The ...


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External links


Why the Bearded Lady Was Never a Laughing Matter: Hirsutism


{{Authority control Conditions of the skin appendages Ethnological show business zh:多毛症