Doctors say many women don't tell their doctors about excess hair because they are embarrassed, but it is usually a sign of a hormone disorder.
Five to 15% of women have excess hair, a condition known as hirsutism, and in 70 to 80 percent of cases polycystic ovary syndrome is to blame. If untreated the condition can cause major fertility problems. Excess hairiness may also by a symptom of certain tumors and thyroid dysfunction. Cosmetic concerns can cause psychological problems too. "The effect that excess hair can have on a woman's self-esteem and how she views herself as a woman - and therefore her quality of life - can be extremely distressing," says Rachel Hawkes, chairwoman of Verity, a polycystic ovary syndrome charity. Mild cases may be treated cosmetically, but in moderate to severe cases hormone therapy may be needed to eliminate the hair. [BBC]
[Image via Cedars-Sinai.]