Hirsutism is a common endocrinological complaint. The causes of this complaint can vary from dissatisfaction with a normal pattern of hair growth on the one hand, to the first clinical manifestation of androgen overproduction by an adrenal adenocarcinoma on the other. The purpose of this short review is to reexamine the physiology of hair growth in normal women, identify the common abnormal patterns, and explore the differential diagnosis associated with each. An approach to working through the differential diagnosis will be described, and the commonly available treatment modalities for the various forms of hirsutism will be examined in terms of risk and benefit. The review is written from the point of view of the physician and the most efficient, cost effective, and safe clinical approach to the patient with the problem.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical