I have a lot of body hair, and it kind of embarrasses me. I even get comments about how I have sideburns. Is this normal?

cold weatherExtra or “unwanted” hair on certain parts of your body such as your face, arms, stomach and back is called “hirsutism”, pronounced: her-suit-is-m. This may be genetic (other women in your family have unwanted hair) and it can also happen if your body is making too much of the hormone testosterone. All women make testosterone, but if you have a hormonal imbalance, your ovaries make a little bit more of it than they are supposed to. Skin cells can be extremely sensitive to the small increases in testosterone which promotes extra hair growth. An imbalance of hormones can also cause irregular periods and can be associated with a condition called: PCOS which stands for “polycystic ovary syndrome.” It’s a good idea to make an appointment with your primary care doctor (PCP) to find out the cause. There is treatment to decrease hair growth and there all also safe ways to remove unwanted hair.