What are the treatment options for hirsutism secondary to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)?

Updated: Sep 19, 2019
  • Author: Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG; Chief Editor: Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG  more...
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Answer

A clear primary treatment for hirsutism in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) remains lacking. [4] However, short-term, nonpharmacologic treatments of hirsutism include shaving and the use of chemical depilatories and/or bleaching cream. [81] Plucking or waxing unwanted hair can result in folliculitis and ingrown hairs. Long-term, more permanent measures for unwanted hairs include electrolysis and laser treatment.

Adjunctive eflornithine with laser treatment is superior to laser therapy alone in treating hirsutism. [4] Eflornithine (Vaniqa) is a topical cream that can be used to slow hair growth. This agent works by inhibiting ornithine decarboxylase, which is essential for the rapidly dividing cells of hair follicles.

Weight reduction decreases androgen production in women who are obese; therefore, losing weight can slow hair growth.


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