Hirsutism is a condition in women that results in excessive growth of dark or coarse hair in a male-like pattern — face, chest and back.

With hirsutism, extra hair growth often arises from excess male hormones (androgens), primarily testosterone.


Hirsutism is stiff or dark body hair, that appears on the body where women don’t commonly have hair — primarily on the face, chest, lower abdomen, inner thighs, and back. People have widely varying opinions on what’s considered excessive.

When high androgen levels cause hirsutism, other signs might develop over time, a process called virilization. Signs of virilization might include:

  • Deepening voice
  • Balding
  • Acne
  • Decreased breast size
  • Increased muscle mass
  • Enlargement of the clitoris

Self-care methods and effective treatment options are available for women who wish to treat hirsutism.

Dr. Ashutosh Sonawane