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Fifteen-minute consultation: Approach to the adolescent presenting with hirsutism


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
  • Dermatology
  • Endocrinology

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