Hirsutism, unwanted terminal hair growth in androgen-dependent areas, is a common presentation to general paediatricians, dermatologists and endocrinologists. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is the most common cause but can be challenging to diagnose in young people due to the significant overlap of features with the healthy adolescent population. There are other rare, but important, causes to consider such as non-classic congenital adrenal hyperplasia and androgen-secreting tumours. Hirsutism carries a significant psychological burden for those living with it. This 15 min consultation piece describes the causes of hirsutism, introduces a novel assessment tool and suggests an approach to investigations and management, including signposting to psychological support.
- Adolescent Health
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Contributors ASC designed, drafted and revised all aspects of the work, approved the final version for publishing and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work. CJE conceptualised, designed and revised all aspects of the work, approved the final version for publishing and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the study. MM conceptualised and revised the work, particularly regarding cosmetic management of hirsutism, approved the final version for publishing and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the study.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.