Unwanted hair worries many women. Rarely hirsutism may be caused by abnormalities of the adrenals, the pituitary or the ovaries, or by abnormalities such as pigmented moles, and if possible all cases of generalised hirsutism should be seen by an endocrinologist before local treatment is undertaken. In some cases abnormalities of steroid metabolism are detected, in others hypersensitivity of skin follicles to endogenous androgens has been postulated. The results of hormone treatment are however disappointing. There are racial differences in hirsutism: it is for example commoner among women of Mediterranean stock. The hairiness, when it occurs, approaches the male pattern of distribution in proportion to the severity of the disorder.
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