A more recent article on hirsutism in women is available. This is a corrected version of the article that appeared in print. DEAN A.
The first step would be weight loss. Also, mild hirsutism can be treated with a variety of techniques for hair removal. These techniques do not address the cause of the problem, only the excessive hair.
Contact your doctor if you have abnormal hair growth or other related symptoms. The doctor will run tests to check your hormone levels. If they are high in androgens, they may do an ultrasound to check your ovaries or a CT scan to check your adrenal gland.
While having thick and dark hair on the face is a normal effect of hormones in men, for women it's a condition called hirsutism that can appear for a variety of reasons. The most common is excessive production of androgens, caused by a hormonal imbalance. This can appear as a result of things like stress, menopause, and obesity, but also because of medical conditions like Polycystic ovarian syndrome, characterized by multiple cysts in the ovaries which cause a deficient hormonal production, and adrenal gland disorders, which affect the production of a variety of hormones like cortisol. Certain medications like Minoxidil, Cyclosporine, and anabolic steroids have excessive hair on the face as a side effect.
Tests that measure the amount of certain hormones in your blood, including testosterone or other testosterone-like hormones, might help determine whether elevated androgen levels are causing your hirsutism. If so, your doctor might recommend an ultrasound or a CT scan to check your ovaries and adrenal glands for tumors or cysts. Your doctor might also examine your abdomen and do a pelvic exam to look for masses that could indicate a tumor.
Hirsutism in women is defined as excessive coarse hair appearing in a male-type pattern. Consequently, one-half of women with mild hirsutism have elevated levels of circulating androgens, as do most women with more severe hirsutism, although the severity of hirsutism is not necessarily proportion to the circulating androgen level. Many women with hirsutism report feeling unfeminine and embarrassed due to unwanted hair.
All women have facial and body hair, but the hair is usually very fine and light in color. The growth pattern of hirsutism in women is associated with virilization. Women with this condition have characteristics that are commonly associated with male hormones.
Clue is on a mission to help you understand your body, periods, ovulation, and so much more. Start tracking today. Hirsutism is the medical term for growing more dark, coarse hair in areas like the face, back, and stomach than is typically expected in women 1. Sometimes hirsutism can be a side effect of medication 4,5but more often it is a symptom of a hormonal imbalance caused by extra androgens a type of hormone including testosterone present in the blood.
Facial hair is an issue that many women prefer to keep quiet, with furtive trips to the beauty salon or secret bleaching sessions at home. While all women have fine, light hair covering their faces and bodies, for some women this hair can be thicker, coarser and more visible — but why? We spoke to dermatologist Dr Stefanie Williams at the launch of the new Philips Lumeawhere she told us that there are a variety of factors behind female facial hair.