Excessive Hair Growth, PCO

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Viewer Question

I would like to know more on how you can help yourself with the excessive hair growth on the face and body associated with polycystic ovary disease (PCO). Is having treatment on the actual hairs themselves going to make any difference at all? Or is it the hormones that have to be treated?
Signed, HS

Doctor's Answer

You have asked very astute questions. The actual hairs are not the problem, they are only the end result of the abnormally high testosterone levels that women with PCO so often experience. The hairs do not need to be treated at all, but they are treated if women are disturbed by them. After the physician evaluates the woman for other causes of excessive hair growth besides PCO, any routine hair removal technique is satisfactory. Examples of these techniques include laser hair removal, waxing, and others. Although several months are required for optimal effect, by helping to restore the hormonal imbalance, oral contraceptive pills will decrease excessive hair growth in women with PCO. Other medications are also available for controlling excessive hair growth.

See the Polycystic Ovarian Disease article for further information.

Thank you for your question.

Carolyn Janet Crandall, M.D.
William Shiel, MD, FACP, FACR

Last Editorial Review: 10/29/2010

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