Manual Hirsutism (Monographs on Endocrinology)

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If you would like to contribute and complete an Endocrinology guideline summary, please contact either Alana Burns in the first instance via the 'Contact Us' link at the top right hand corner of this page. Otherwise, requests for interest will be emailed to trainees via the ACB office approximately three times a year.

Summaries that have not been reviewed are in the archive section on the left hand side of this page. Whether this correlates with PCOS, needs to be clarified. Females with severe insulin resistance in hyperinsulinemia often develop hirsutism due to increased androgen production in the ovaries that may be permitted by insulin-like growth factor-1 IGF-1 receptors of the ovarian theca cells.

Furthermore, insulin is able to lower SHBG serum levels leading to an increase in free testosterone in the peripheral blood. Optimized treatment of hirsute women is based on a detailed knowledge of their status. History of menarche, menstrual cycle regularity, and first symptoms of hirsutism are very important for predicting its course and treatment.

Edited by John A.H. Wass, Paul M. Stewart, Stephanie A. Amiel, and Melanie J. Davies

Family history of infertility, diabetes mellitus, complicated pregnancies, and similar disorders have to be recorded. Severity of hirsutism may be defined according to a modified Ferriman-Gallwey-Score [ Figure 3 ]. Patient self-assessment and independent physician assessment should be the rule. The severity of hair growth depends a good deal on the ethnic origin.

Body mass index, waist-to-hip-Ratio WHR , and similar parameters may be of value to diagnose metabolic syndromes, cardiovascular disorders, and so on. If there is any suspicion of metabolic syndrome insulin, C-peptide, glucose, Glycosylated Hemoglobin HbA1c , triglycerides, cholesterol, Lipoproteins HDL and LDL estimations are necessary to detect insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome. The pituary gland plays a key role in the pathogenesis of PCOS. Diet and correction of body mass index, lifestyle intervention, insulin sensitizers, oral contraceptives, and Vitamin D are the most common therapeutic approaches for the management of PCOS.

Their application depends on the individual therapeutic aim. Oral contraceptive pills: Estrogen—Gestagen combinations are preferably used. Estrogens lower LH levels and androgen production. Gestagens may be crucial, as they may feature androgenetic activity. Still, some of them increase the hepatogen production of SHBG—reducing, free testosterone levels.

Insulin-sensitizers represent a new tool in the management of hirsutism. Spironolactone, a useful antimineralocorticosteroid, may be beneficial in PCOS. Corticosteroids may be able to lower adrenal androgens and clear the clinical features of hirsutism. Weight control is one of the first interventions in obese PCOS women, but its success is often limited, and the principle is not applicable in lean PCOS patients. Insulin sensitizers, such as Metformin, may be helpful not only in weight loss, but they can directly stabilize insulin resistance and are able to substantially decrease androgen levels.

In PCO-patients, Metformin lowers the serum levels of insulin, testosterone, and LH, resulting in decreasing body weight and normalization of the menstrual cycle.

Hirsutism by ELIAS | | Booktopia

Oral contraceptives with an established antiandrogen efficacy can help to control both androgen levels, skin symptoms, and hirsutism. Furthermore, new therapeutic interventions might be helpful in future, such as, luteinizing hormone releasing hormone LHRH modulating agents, although clinical studies are currently being researched. By contrast, surgical interventions such as laparoscopic surgery have been widely used in the past and might be an alternative therapeutic option in several cases. In summary, PCOS is a highly frequent and often underestimated disorder in a considerable segment of hirsute women.

The complex metabolic and hormonal disturbances require a concomitant interdisciplinary and individualized therapy. Source of Support: Nil. Conflict of Interest: None declared. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Int J Trichology v. Int J Trichology. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer.

Address for correspondence: Dr. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Hirsutism represents a primary clinical indicator of androgen excess.

Treatment for hirsutism often involves a combination of treating the underlying disorder, if there is one, self-care methods, hair-removal therapies and medications. Medications taken for hirsutism usually take up to six months, the average life cycle of a hair follicle, before you see a significant difference in hair growth. Medications include:. These types of drugs block androgens from attaching to their receptors in your body. They're sometimes prescribed after six months on oral contraceptives if the oral contraceptives aren't effective enough.

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The most commonly used anti-androgen for treating hirsutism is spironolactone Aldactone. Because these drugs can cause birth defects, it's important to use contraception while taking them. This treatment involves inserting a tiny needle into each hair follicle.


The needle emits a pulse of electric current to damage and eventually destroy the follicle. You might need multiple treatments. Electrolysis is effective but can be painful.

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  8. A numbing cream spread on your skin before treatment might reduce discomfort. Laser therapy. A beam of highly concentrated light laser is passed over your skin to damage hair follicles and prevent hair from growing. You might develop skin redness and swelling after laser therapy. Laser therapy for hair removal is expensive and carries a risk of burns and skin discoloration, especially in people with tanned or dark skin. Instead of removing unwanted body hair, some women use bleaching. Bleaching removes the hair color, making the hair less visible.

    Bleaching can cause skin irritation, so test the bleach on a small area first.

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    Also, bleaching can make hair stand out on dark or tanned skin. You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor. He or she might refer you to a doctor who specializes in hormone disorders endocrinologist or skin problems dermatologist. When you make your appointment, ask if you should avoid removing your unwanted hair, so the doctor can better evaluate your condition.

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