Idiopathic Hirsutism

Idiopathic Hirsutism

Idiopathic Hirsutism is a condition characterized by excessive androgen-dependent body hair growth in women. It typically affects women between the ages of puberty and menopause and affects 5-10% of women in the United States. It is a benign disorder but can have a profound impact on self-esteem and quality of life.

While the exact cause of idiopathic hirsutism is unknown, it is thought to be due to an underlying hormonal imbalance. It is typically due to an increase in androgens, male hormones typically present in lower levels in women.

Common symptoms of idiopathic hirsutism include:

  • Excessive facial hair growth, typically on the chin, cheeks or upper lip
  • Increased body hair growth, typically on the chest, abdomen or back
  • Acne
  • Irregular menstrual cycles

Treatment typically involves a combination of lifestyle modifications, medical treatments, and in some cases, surgical interventions. Lifestyle modifications such as stress management and increasing physical activity may be beneficial as they can help lower levels of androgens. Medical treatments may include oral contraceptives, anti-androgens, or oral corticosteroids. In some cases, laser or electrolysis treatments may be recommended.

With the proper treatment, idiopathic hirsutism can typically be managed effectively, allowing patients to greatly improve their quality of life. If you are experiencing symptoms of idiopathic hirsutism, contact your doctor for further evaluation.