Hairiness is having more hair on your body than usual. The amount of body hair people have varies a lot, but in women hairiness can be a sign of a hormone problem.
Sometimes hairiness runs in families and isn't caused by any kind of problem.
Hair growth is controlled by hormones. Extra male hormones in women cause thick, dark hair to grow in a male pattern, such as the face and chest. Common causes of extra male hormones include:
Women who have extra male hormones can get other male characteristics (this is called virilization). Such male characteristics include a deeper voice, bigger muscles, going bald over the forehead, and a bigger clitoris. You may also develop acne and stop having periods.
Sometimes hairiness isn't caused by extra male hormones. This can happen in both men or women. It can happen in one spot or all over the body and is caused by:
See your doctor soon if you’re a woman with hairiness and have any of these warning signs:
Hairiness can run in families. If you don't have any warning signs, feel well, have regular periods, and have family members with a lot of hair, you don't need to see a doctor.
Doctors treat hairiness by treating any disorders causing your hairiness. For example, if a medicine you take is causing hairiness, doctors will stop the medicine if possible. Hairiness is treated with: