Guide about Hirsutism: Excess hair in women

Guide about Hirsutism: Excess hair in women
Published : Apr 15, 2024
Last Updated : Apr 15, 2024

You might be aware of women's problems, such as excessive unwanted hair. Yes, women observe hair growing in such parts, which happens only in men. The condition where women observe excess hair is known as Hirsutism.

Today, we are here to discuss HirsutisHirsutism. We will discuss all causes, prevention tips, and more to help you. Read this blog to learn more.

What is Hirsutism?

Hirsutism is a state only in women where they see excess hairs growing in the unwanted parts. It has been seen that hairs grow often in such parts where men usually have hairs. In men, it is just rarely found.

The hairs growing are darker in color but not light or delicate. In the United States, around 10% of women suffer from Hirsutism. It's more likely to be caused by hereditary problems. If any of your relatives or family members have such issues, you may also have them.

Body parts that are affected by Hirsutism

Most likely, due to Hirsutism, the hairs mainly grow in the following body parts:

  • Inner thighs
  • Face
  • Chest
  • Back
  • Lower stomach

Causes of Hirsutism

Mainly, women develop Hirsutism when the androgen hormone levels are higher than expected. The androgen hormones mean androstenedione and testosterone. Let's discuss some more causes of Hirsutism.

Adrenal gland disorders

Adrenal gland disorders, such as adrenal tumors, cancer, Cushing disease, etc., may also contribute to Hirsutism. The adrenal gland is responsible for the production of hormones. An adrenal tumor leads to a massive output of Prolactin.

Patients suffering from Cushing disease have massive Cortisol levels. Patients suffering from congenital adrenal hyperplasia lack enzymes that are important for hormone production. For these reasons, the body affects androgen production.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome

PCOS also causes Hirsutism. Around 85% of Hirsutism cases are reported due to PCOS. Due to PCOS, a benign cyst is formed on the ovaries. As a result, hormone production is affected. Also, it caused decreased fertility and irregular menstrual cycles.

PCOS is mainly caused by a family history of suffering from the same or Obesity. PCOS also creates a massive problem in losing weight and rapidly thins hair.

Medicines you take

In some cases, it has been found that Hirsutism is caused due to the medicines you take. Minoxidil, anabolic steroids, cyclosporine, and testosterone are some of the drugs that cause Hirsutism.

Diagnosis of Hirsutism

Hirsutism diagnosis is started by asking a few questions. A healthcare provider performs a physical exam to check the hair growth. The tests that are mainly suggested to diagnose Hirsutism are:

ACTH stimulation test

This test checks the adrenal gland's response to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which stimulates the gland to release a hormone called cortisol.

Other than this, X-rays and CT scans are also performed to check adrenal glands.

Blood test

Various types of blood tests are performed to diagnose the reason for Hirsutism. Some test includes testosterone test, 17- 17-hydroxyprogesterone blood test, and DHEA sulfate test.

Risk factors for Hirsutism

Certain risk factors develop Hirsutism. They are:

· Hirsutism can be experienced if you have such a problem in any of your family members.

· Obesity can lead to Hirsutism by decreasing the production of androgen.

Treatment for Hirsutism

Hirsutism is a long-term problem. Many people prefer removing excess hairs, while some may not. Here are some of the hair removal treatments you can try out.


Shaving doesn't lead to complete removal. It removes the hairs from the skin's surface and creates a blunt edge. If the hairs are much darker, the blunt edge might be visible. Shaving is a process that must be carried out frequently to maintain a hair-free appearance. Shaving daily can cause problems such as growing ingrown facial hairs.

Laser hair removal

Laser hair removal keeps hairs removed for longer than any other treatment. This treatment method should only be done by a dermatologist. They will intensely light the skin. While carrying out the process, a sensation is felt. It can cause swelling and redness.


Waxing is a process that obliterates the hairs from the shaft. A heated wax is applied on the skin area where hairs are grown. Then, a cloth is used to yank off the surface. This process should be done every three weeks.


Electrolysis is a hair removal treatment that removes hair from the root. In the area where hair has grown, a small needle is inserted to deliver an electrical charge, which removes hair from the follicle. This process causes a mild sensation. In the short term, you may experience tenderness and redness.


Creams are a solution to treat Hirsutism. Creams contain strong chemicals called depilatories. Apply a certain amount of cream and keep it for some time. Then wipe off the cream, and you will see the hairs removed.


A thread can also remove unwanted hairs. This process plucks the hairs out from the roots, using thread to remove each one. However, this removal process can cause redness and pain.

Medicines that treat Hirsutism

Hirsutism can also be treated with the use of medicines. The medicine reduces the hair growth. However, the medication should be taken for six months to observe improvements. The drugs that can be taken are:


Anti-androgens help decrease the production of androgen, which reduces hair growth. The principal anti-androgen is Spironolactone.

Birth control pills

Birth control pills are responsible for lowering androgen levels. It has been noticed that 60 to 100% of women observe improvement in their condition after taking birth control pills.


You may also try using creams like Eflora Cream which contains Eflornithine as the active ingredient. Eflornithine(Vaniqa) is a prescription-based cream that helps treat facial hirsutism. Use of Eflornithine may slow the growth of unwanted hair around the lips or under the chin. Doctors suggest it's regular use to get the most benefits from it in your facial hirsutism.

Final words

Hirsutism is a common condition faced by women that is mainly caused by the increased hormones called androgen. Several causes and treatments for Hirsutism have been discussed herewith.

Visit a healthcare provider. They will diagnose Hirsutism and then provide you with the best treatment possible.