Hirsutism (HUR-soot-iz-um) is a condition in women that results in excessive growth of dark or coarse hair in a male-like pattern—on the face, chest and back. This unwanted hair is referred to as “terminal hair” and it affects roughly 5 to 10% of women. It is a common reason why women visit the dermatologist.
Hirsutism can be emotionally distressing. And although hirsutism doesn't cause physical complications, the underlying cause, which is a hormonal imbalance, can. Facial hair growth during menopause is typically caused by an increase in the ratio of androgen (testosterone) to estrogen. This does not necessarily point to a problem, but the increase in facial hair can be bothersome.