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.
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. Hypertrichosis, on the other hand, can increase hair anywhere on the body. According to the Indian Journal of Dermatology , hirsutism affects between 5 and 10 percent of women. It tends to run in families, so you may be more likely to have unwanted hair growth if your mother, sister, or other female relative also has it. Women of Mediterranean, South Asian, and Middle Eastern heritage are also more likely to develop the condition.
Last week, a reader sent in a comment in response to one of our stories:. My biggest complaint—and no one I know seems to share this—is a sudden abundance of light facial hair! I had it waxed once, but read that waxing will eventually cause the hair to coarsen.
Learn something new every day More Info As men age, they often experience a decline in facial hair. While this may seem like a good thing for some, others may be very affected by decreased amounts of facial hair.
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