Idiopathic hirsutism: excessive bodily and facial hair in women – Part 1

Jenna the Denver hair removal specialist back with another article from PubMed! This week we will be looking at “Idiopathic hirsutism: excessive bodily and facial hair in women” by Ebtisam Elghblawi. Hirsutism is a condition where women develop body hair in places that normally do not have body hair. The abnormal body hair generally occurs in a male pattern, such as a beard, mustache, or extremely hairy legs. Unfortunately, the hair is thick, dark, and hard to ignore. The hair involved in hirsutism is called terminal hair – it’s the thick hair found on the face, chest, abdomen, legs, arms, and feet. Terminal hair can be contrasted with vellus hair, which is also known as peach fuzz and is more commonly found on women than men.

Many cases of hirsutism are associated with causes such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or androgen-secreting tumors. However, this article discusses idiopathic hirsutism, which is when the cause of the hirsutism cannot be determined. Women with idiopathic hirsutism have normal periods and testosterone levels and do not have hyperandrogenemia. Before diagnosing idiopathic hirsutism, it’s important to rule out other causes such as drugs like oral contraceptives, L-thyroxine, danazol, and diazoxide. Do not confuse hirsutism with other conditions like hypertrichosis or the fact that some ethnic groups just tend to be hairier.

To evaluate hirsutism in women, doctors and researchers use the modified Ferriman-Gallwey scoring system. This system utilizes visual inspection in order to rate terminal hair growth. Nine location are considered: upper lip, chin, chest, upper arms, upper abdomen, lower abdomen, thighs, upper back, and lower back. Each area can be rated from 0 (no growth) to 4 (maximum growth). This means that the maximum score is 36. If a woman receives a score over 8, that means there is an excess of androgens in the body. Androgens are a type of hormone. They are most often known as “male hormones” because men have more of them, but women require androgens as well to be healthy. You’ve heard of one of the main androgens: testosterone.

In the next post, I will continue summarizing this article. Until then, farewell from this Lone Tree electrolysis expert!