Hirsutism is excess male-pattern hair on a woman, caused by so-called "male"
hormones. Acne also follows this pattern, as it is linked to the same
stimulation of the hair follicle. Often it's not so much that you have too many
free testosterones in your system as that your follicles are exceptionally
sensitive to your normal level of the hormone.
If you are a woman and have heavy hair growth in male-pattern areas such as
upper lip, beard, sideburns, chest (not breast - that's pretty normal) and
especially if your periods aren't regular, the best thing is to consult an
endocrinologist. The answer may (or may not) be giving estrogen or using an
androgen blocker such as spironolactone. Both have side effects. At the same
time, it would be good to have electrolysis done, as it took a long time to
stimulate those follicles to grow the hair; it will take just as long to
overcome that stimulation.
For more information, see hair removal, and perhaps read Dr. Geoffrey
Redmond's book (for understanding the hormones, not for options in hair removal)
The Good News About Women's Hormones.
Another, perhaps more accessible, opinion on hormones is available from John
R. Lee, MD in his book on the properties of natural progesterone.
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