Excessive Hair Growth (Hirsutism) Symptoms & Causes

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In-Depth

What are the symptoms of hirsutism?

  • Textured, pigmented hair where men typically grow hair, such as the face, chest and back.

If the hirsutism is caused by excessive levels of the male hormone testosterone, your daughter may experience:

  • deepening voice
  • irregular menstrual periods
  • acne
  • increased muscle mass
  • decreased breast size

If the hirsutism is caused by Cushing's syndrome, you daughter may show:

What causes hirsutism?

Many women with hirsutism don't have a hormonal imbalance or they have hair that is more sensitive to small amounts of hormones. About half of women with excessive hair growth do have an underlying hormonal condition that makes hair grow thicker and faster. Some medications can stimulate excessive hair growth as well.

Causes of hirsutism may include:

  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • Cushing's syndrome
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • tumors on the adrenal glands or ovaries
  • severe insulin resistance
  • medications like phenytoin, minoxidil, diazoxide, cyclosporine and hexachlorobenzene
  • Anabolic steroids can cause hair growth.
  • Danazol, a substance used to treat endometriosis
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