Guideline Urges Hormone Test for Women with Unwanted Hair

Women with unwanted facial hair often experience an array of feedback, internally and externally. From hygiene to gender stereotypes, they get plagued with stares, off-kill jokes and offensive critiques. However, a new Endocrine Society guideline says, women with dark, coarse hair growth on the face, chest or back should be tested for polycystic ovary syndrome and other underlying health problems.

Hirsutism – the growth of unwanted hair in places where men typically grow hair, such as the face or chest – affects between 5 and 10 percent of women.

“Excess facial or body hair is not only distressing to women, it is often a symptom of an underlying medical problem,” Dr. Kathryn Martin, chairwoman of the guideline task force, said in a society news release. Martin is an endocrinologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

“It is important to see your health care provider to find out what is causing the excess hair growth and treat it,” she added.

Hirsutism can be caused by