Excess body hair (hirsutism) may be distressing for any lady and this may be particularly worrying for a teenager who is just becoming aware of her sexuality. Hirsutism is excessive hair growth in certain areas of a woman's face and body, such as the moustache and beard area, that creates a "male pattern" of hair.
Women normally can have fine, pale, faintly visible hair in these areas, but heavy hair growth in a male pattern with coarse or coloured hair is not expected.
Most causes of hirsutism create a tendency to have lifelong excessive hair growth. However, many women will have a satisfactory response to medical treatment if they continue the therapy for several months or longer. A few causes of hirsutism (such as tumours that produce androgen hormones or tumours in the pituitary gland) can be cured with surgical treatment, radiation or both.
Cosmetic treatments can remove unwanted hair temporarily, and may limit hair re-growth in treated areas.
Most causes of hirsutism are beyond a woman's control. You should avoid unnecessary medicines that are known to cause hirsutism.
If you have excessive, male-pattern hair growth or unusually rapid growth of male-pattern hair in a short period of time, you should see a medical professional. Also discuss hirsutism with a doctor if you have any symptoms of overproduction of androgens:
Because some medical problems resulting in hirsutism run in families, talk to your doctor if you have these symptoms, even if your hirsutism is typical for your female relatives.
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