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Clinical focus - Hirsutism

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Part 1 Aetiology
Hair follicles are an integral component of skin.1 Throughout life, hair follicles undergo a series of changes and eventually mature to form terminal hair follicles.1 Sexual terminal hair follicles develop in response to androgen exposure during puberty, resulting in the characteristic male and female hair patterns.1 A normal distribution of hair exists within the general population, with up to 40% of women complaining of unwanted facial hair. However, this is distinct from hirsutism, which is characterised by excessive growth of terminal hair in an androgenic pattern and can affect up to 10 per cent of women.2, 3 Hirsute patients often present with excessive growth in the face, beard, and chest areas, which are commonly associated with male sexual terminal hair follicles.

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