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Hirsutism Reviewed 5/2014

Laura Novak, MD, Jigar Kadakia, MD
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  • Description
  • Epidemiology
  • Etiology and Pathophysiology
  • Risk Factors
  • General Prevention
  • Associated Conditions


  • History
  • Physical Exam
  • Differential Diagnosis
  • Tests


  • General Measures
  • Medication (Drugs)
  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine


  • Follow-Up Recommendations
  • Diet
  • Patient Education
  • Prognosis
  • Complications
The following is an excerpt....
  • Presence of excessive body and facial hair, in a male pattern, in women of reproductive age
  • May be present in normal adults as an ethnic characteristic, or may develop as a result of androgen excess
  • Often seen in association with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS); may be accompanied by menstrual irregularities, insulin resistance, obesity, or acne
  • System(s) affected: Dermatologic; Endocrine/Metabolic; Reproductive
ALERT: Pregnancy Considerations
  • May have related infertility. Offer intervention, if desired.
  • As hormone balance improves, fertility may increase; provide contraception, as needed.
  • Several medications used for treatment are contraindicated in pregnancy.

5–10% of adult women

Etiology and Pathophysiology

Hirsutism is due to increased androgenic (male) hormones, either from increased peripheral binding (idiopathic), which ...

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See Also
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I1.4 Inflammatory acne. The microcomedo becomes an inflammatory papule (A), pustule (B), or nodule (C). From Goodheart HP. Goodheart's Photoguide to Common Skin Disorders: Diagnosis and Management, 3rd Edition. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009.