Hirsutism is the excessive growth of hair, particularly on a woman's face, torso and limbs, and is generally caused by increased androgens. It is a common sign of polycystic ovary syndrome in women. It can also be caused by a pituitary tumour or other serious medical conditions.
One method of evaluating hirsutism is the Ferriman-Gallwey score which gives a score based on the amount and location of hair growth on a woman.
Many people with unwanted hair seek methods of hair removal to control the appearance of hirsutism.
For men to be diagnosed with hirsutism, the amount of hair has to be exceptionally large. Often, such men (and rarer, also women) are known as "wolfe people". Fedor Jeftichew suffered from the condition, as did his father, Adrian .
See also hypertrichosis, a genetic condition that results in unusually thick body hair.
Last updated: 10-20-2005 07:11:37