1 Chair and Department of Physiology, Wroclaw Medical University, Wrocław, Poland
2 Department of Urology and Urologic Oncology, University Hospital in Wroclaw, University Hospital in Wroclaw, Wrocław, Poland
Correspondence: Anna Otlewska, Wiązowa 7/1, 53-127 Wrocław, Poland, tel.: +48 500 074 744, e-mail: a.otlewska@gmail.com
Pediatr Med Rodz 2018, 14 (4), p. 392–395
DOI: 10.15557/PiMR.2018.0050

Hirsutism is defined as excessive hair growth in androgen-dependent areas and it affects about 5–10% of the female population. The majority of cases are either idiopathic or due to polycystic ovary syndrome. Other causes include adrenal glands disorders, congenital adrenal hyperplasia as well as adrenal and ovarian tumours and some medications. The Ferriman–Gallwey score is used to diagnose hirsutism. However, it should be noted that the assessment of the severity of hirsutism using this score is subjective. A thoroughly collected medical history and a detailed physical examination supplemented with laboratory and imaging diagnosis plays an important role in the diagnostic process. It is important to differentiate hirsutism from hypertrichosis, which is not associated with hyperandrogenaemia. Increased androgen levels can also cause other complications in women, such as masculinisation of the external genital organs, male-pattern hair loss, deepening of voice. The treatment uses pharmacotherapy and mechanical methods for excess hair removal. It should be noted that excessive hair in women may also have psychosocial consequences.

Keywords: hirsutism, polycystic ovary syndrome, idiopathic hirsutism, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, Ferriman–Gallwey score