Hirsutism is defined as excessive terminal hair growth in a male pattern in females. Excessive hair growth can often cause significant psychological and emotional distress. As a result, hirsutism is a common presenting complaint to healthcare professionals, including dermatologists, as women search for cosmetic and medical solutions to their problem. Hirsutism results from excess production of androgens, often from ovarian or adrenal sources. It is typically associated with a metabolic syndrome like polycystic ovarian syndrome PCOS , but can be idiopathic or medication-induced.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) for School Nurses and Clinicians
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) | Center for Young Women's Health
While hypertension, hyperglycemia, and glaucoma may be asymptomatic, hirsutism and acne are not. Polycystic ovary syndrome PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age [ 1 ]. Of its manifestations, hyperandrogenism and infertility are the most prominent which bring young girls and women to medical attention. Being seen primarily by gynecologists and cosmetologists, the metabolic profile associated with PCOS lay silent. Symptomatic treatment for acne, hirsutism, or menstrual irregularity appeared to solve the problem. It is now increasingly recognized that PCOS is a metabolic disorder with cosmesis and infertility being part of a spectrum that includes accelerated atherosclerosis, insulin resistance, coronary artery disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes mellitus [ 1 , 2 ].
Hirsutism in Women
Although this condition has not received much publicity, it impacts many young women. The most common symptoms are irregular periods, weight gain, acne, and excess facial and body hair. The severity of the symptoms as well as the prognosis for lifelong implications such as type 2 diabetes, infertility, and cardiovascular disease varies among teen girls and young women.
Hirsutism HUR-soot-iz-um is a condition in women that results in excessive growth of dark or coarse hair in a male-like pattern — face, chest and back. With hirsutism, extra hair growth often arises from excess male hormones androgens , primarily testosterone. Self-care methods and effective treatment options are available for women who wish to treat hirsutism. Hirsutism is stiff or dark body hair, appearing on the body where women don't commonly have hair — primarily the face, chest, lower abdomen, inner thighs and back. People have widely varying opinions on what's considered excessive.