Hirsutism is defined as hair growth in androgen-dependent body parts such as areas where the hair growth is proper to men and not women: face, chest and back.

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    Women with hirsutism have a hormonal disorder. Androgens are a group of hormones, also called male hormones. In normal situations men are those who present them the most. That is why, although it can affect both men and women, many refer to hirsutism as being exclusively a female disorder.


    There are several causes that can cause hirsutism. All of these would lead to disruption of androgens and increased hair growth.

    The origin of the hormonal disorder can be on a ovarian, adrenal or pituitary level. These three sources constitute the central hirsutism.

    Peripheral hirsutism appears at puberty and no hormonal disturbances are found, unlike central hirsutism. In the peripheral hirsutism the disorder would be on the performance level of male hormones. A disproportionate response of follicles to the presence of normal amounts of hormones occurs. t does not occur with other disorders such as irregular menstrual cycles and fertility problems, as often happens in many cases of patients with central hirsutism.


    Hirsutism is manifested by the presence of hair on the face, chest and back.

    Since hirsutism is an androgenic manifestation it can be accompanied by an elevation of these hormones in other tissues. Patients with hirsutism have more prevalence of acne and oily hair.

    Obesity promotes androgen activity so it is more frequent in obese than lean women. Menstrual irregularities may occur, affecting the menstrual cycle. The loss of a menstrual cycle may also occur. Hair loss or androgenic alopecia may also happen in addition to recalcitrant acne.


    Hirsutism diagnosis begins with a good examination: menstrual cycles, time of onset of hirsutism, other diseases that the patient may have and medications taken by the patient.

    The doctor will perform a physical examination and will perform blood tests, including an assessment of hormone levels.

    If necessary, your doctor may take other complementary tests such as an ultrasound or a computed tomography to check certain organs such as the adrenal glands.

    Treatment for Hirsutism

    The treatment for hirsutism is intended for hair removal in areas where women do not grow hair such as the face, back and chest. Sometimes treatment must include drug therapy. There are several techniques for hair removal:

    • Electrolysis: This therapy involves inserting a small needle into each hair follicle which emits a pulse of electrical current to damage and eventually destroy the follicle. The technique is painful. Great experience is required with this technique
    • Laser: A highly concentrated beam of light (laser) is applied on your skin to damage the hair follicles and prevent hair growth. The results will vary depending on the type of laser and the color of the hair.


    As for drugs, oral and / or anti androgen therapy may be needed in severe cases.
    The treatment of hirsutism should be a multidisciplinary treatment that a dermatologist should handle along with a gynecologist and an endocrinologist.

    Doctor Pablo Umbert