Hirsutism
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Reviewed By:

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc (Primary Care Physician)

Dr Patel graduated from the Zhejiang University School of Medicine. She worked in clinical research at the University of Illinois in Chicago and University of Nevada in Las Vegas focused on culturally adapted health interventions for preventive medicine in the community setting. Received her Master's of Science in Global Health (concentration in Health Policy) from Georgetown University, during which she worked with the WHO in Sierra Leone and Save the Children in Washington, D.C. Unnati went on to complete her family medicine residency in Chicago, Illinois at Norwegian American Hospital. | | She is currently working as a primary care physician in the city of Chicago and completing her Master's of Business Administration at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and Fellowship in Leadership in Value-Based Care.

Hidetaka Hamasaki, MD

Hidetaka Hamasaki, MD (Endocrinology)

Dr. Hamasaki graduated from the Hiroshima University School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Medicine, Jichi Medical University. He completed his residency at the Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, National Center for Global Health and Medicine Hospital and the Department of Internal Medicine, Kohnodai Hospital, National Center for Global Health and Medicine. He has served in the National Center for Global Health and Medicine Hospital and Kohnodai Hospital and joined Hamasaki Clinic in April 2017. Dr. Hamasaki specializes in diabetes and treats a wide range of internal medicine and endocrine disorders.

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Content updated on Jan 15, 2024

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  • Excessive hair growth

  • Growing too much hair

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About the Symptom

A condition in women that results in excessive growth of dark or coarse hair in a male-like pattern — face, chest and back. It can be present in those with polycystic ovary syndrome, obesity, or endocrine disorders. It can also be caused by some medications.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Headache

  • Disorder of consciousness

  • Edema

  • Fainting with loss of consciousness

  • Abnormal menstruation

  • Abdominal pain

Possible causes

Generally, Hirsutism can be related to:

  • Pretibial myxoedema

    Pretibial myxedema is a waxy discoloration and hardening of the skin on the front part of the lower legs. It is caused by thyroid disease. It can present as lumps, scaling plaques and swelling. It is also called Graves’ dermopathy.

  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

    Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS is a condition that can affect women during their reproductive years. It is generally diagnosed when women have irregular periods (menstrual cycles) along with features of excess male hormones (androgens). Patients typically have evidence of abnormal hair growth on their face, chest or abdomen. They can have multiple cysts (fluid sacs) on their ovaries when looked at by ultrasound, but this is not required. Patients with obesity have an increased risk for PCOS. The exact cause is unknown, but it can run in families and is related to hormonal imbalances (estrogen, insulin, testosterone etc).

  • Porphyria

    Porphyrias are a group of inherited or acquired disorders caused by a buildup of natural chemicals that produce porphyrin in the body. Porphyrins are necessary for hemoglobin function. Common triggers include drugs (birth control pills, sedatives, etc.), fasting, smoking, drinking alcohol, infections, emotional and physical stress, hormonal imbalance, and sun exposure.

  • Cushing syndrome
  • Acromegaly

Doctor's Diagnostic Questions

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom:

  • Has your body hair thickened recently?

  • Are you experiencing increased hair loss?

  • Have you gained weight all over your body, not just around your stomach?

  • Has your voice gotten deeper lately?

  • Do you have acne?

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Find Similar Symptoms

Symptoms from similar body parts

References

  • Hirsutism - Cleveland Clinic

    https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/14523-hirsutism

Reviewed By:

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc (Primary Care Physician)

Dr Patel graduated from the Zhejiang University School of Medicine. She worked in clinical research at the University of Illinois in Chicago and University of Nevada in Las Vegas focused on culturally adapted health interventions for preventive medicine in the community setting. Received her Master's of Science in Global Health (concentration in Health Policy) from Georgetown University, during which she worked with the WHO in Sierra Leone and Save the Children in Washington, D.C. Unnati went on to complete her family medicine residency in Chicago, Illinois at Norwegian American Hospital. | | She is currently working as a primary care physician in the city of Chicago and completing her Master's of Business Administration at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and Fellowship in Leadership in Value-Based Care.

Hidetaka Hamasaki, MD

Hidetaka Hamasaki, MD (Endocrinology)

Dr. Hamasaki graduated from the Hiroshima University School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Medicine, Jichi Medical University. He completed his residency at the Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, National Center for Global Health and Medicine Hospital and the Department of Internal Medicine, Kohnodai Hospital, National Center for Global Health and Medicine. He has served in the National Center for Global Health and Medicine Hospital and Kohnodai Hospital and joined Hamasaki Clinic in April 2017. Dr. Hamasaki specializes in diabetes and treats a wide range of internal medicine and endocrine disorders.

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