Excessive Hair Growth (Hirsutism) in Children

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Many women have a frustrating condition called hirsutism, or excessive hair growth on parts of the body where men usually grow hair.

  • About 8 percent of women in the United States have some form of excessive hair growth.
  • Women of Middle Eastern, South Asian and Mediterranean ancestry are more likely to develop hirsutism than women of other ethnicities.
  • About half of women with hirsutism produce high levels of male hormones called androgens from their ovaries and adrenal glands. Hormonal disorders, such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), may cause this to happen.
  • Hirsutism occurs in 80 percent of women who have PCOS.

How Boston Children's Hospital approaches hirsutism

Boston Children's Hospital's Reproductive Endocrine Practice, within the Adolescent/Young Adult Medical Practice, provides expert evaluation and treatment of adolescents and young women with excessive hair growth.

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