I have developed severe facial hair on my throat, equivalent to a beard; what is the cause of this? I am a woman and a very brittle diabetic. My thyroid checks out normal.

Dr. William Sullivan


There are a number of causes of excessive facial hair growth in woman. Excessive hair growth in women, known as “hirsutism,”can occur over the upper lip, chin, chest, back and abdomen. Some women have a predisposition toward excessive body hair based on their family history; and certain ethnic groups have a predisposition to excessive hair growth. A common condition that can lead to excessive hair growth is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). This condition also causes missed menstrual periods, weight gain and acne. Rare causes of excessive hair growth include tumors in an ovary or adrenal gland (located on top of kidneys). I recommend that you talk with your healthcare provider about it, about possible causes in your case, and about treatment options. Often blood tests are needed to check for different hormone levels. Depending on the cause of the excessive hair growth, possible treatments include birth control pills, medicines that lower androgens (male hormones), or physical treatments such as shaving, electrolysis or laser hair removal.