Hirsutism or (frazonism is the excessive hairiness on women) in those parts of the body where terminal hair does not normally occur or is minimal – for example, a beard or chest hair. It refers to a male pattern of body hair (androgenic hair) and it is therefore primarily of cosmetic and psychological concern. Hirsutism is a medical sign rather than a disease and may be a sign of a more serious medical condition, especially if it develops well after puberty.

Bearded lady, circa 1900 (image from Wikimedia Commons) link.

The following may be some of the conditions that may increase a woman’s normally low level of male hormones:

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome, abbreviated PCOS, (the most common)
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia, in turn mostly caused by 21-α hydroxylase deficiency
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Growth hormone excess (Acromegaly)
  • Tumors in the ovaries
  • adrenal gland (cancer), Von Hippel-Lindau
  • Certain medications
  • Insulin resistance
  • Stromal Hyperthecosis – in postmenopausal women
  • Obesity: As there is peripheral conversion of androgens to estrogen
  • Some drugs

(Adapted from Wikipedia)

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