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Hirsutism is a condition that mainly affects women. Also referred to as excessive hair growth, Hirsutism causes the body to grow thick, dark hair on the face, neck and lower body. Hirsutism can be unpleasant for women as patches of hair can cause distress and can negatively affect their mental health. If left untreated the condition can cause the body to change due to the higher levels of androgens in the body.
Hirsutism mainly affects women; this is because it is caused by excess male hormones such as testosterone. The excess hormones signal the body to develop hair growth in parts of the body that mainly men experience growth, such as the neck and chin. Hirsutism can affect women of all ages, no matter their medical history. Roughly 5-10% of women experience symptoms of Hirsutism, so while it’s a smaller percentage, it’s not uncommon to have the condition.
The condition has been linked to hormones known as androgens. Hirsutism usually occurs when the hormones increase therefore causing unwanted hair growth around the face and chin, which more commonly occurs in men. One of the main causes of Hirsutism is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) which is a condition that affects the ovaries. Hirsutism can also be caused by other factors such as specific medications, the use of anabolic steroids, or a tumour that affects the hormone levels in the body, though these are less commonly the cause.