Hirsutism: What You Need to Know About Excess Hair Growth in Women

Woman having a laser hair removal treatment

The majority of women only grow very fine hair on certain areas where men usually grow dark and coarse hair, like on the cheeks, upper lip, chin, abdomen, chest, and back. However, approximately 8% of women are afflicted with hirsutism, a condition that leads to the growth of excess hair in those specific areas. Fortunately, you could treat excess body hair with various hair removal methods, explains a hair removal expert from Salt Lake City, Utah.

What Are The Causes and Symptoms of Hirsutism?

Symptoms of hirsutism aside from excess hair could help establish if your condition is due to an underlying healthcare issue. You might likewise have:

1. Acne

2. Irregular or no menstrual periods
3. A very deep voice

4. Small breasts

5. Increased muscle mass

Approximately half of hirsutism patients have increased male sex hormone levels known as androgens. This is usually due to the following:

1. Medications like those for hormone replacement therapy, steroids, or danazol, used for treating endometriosis.

2. Polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS, in which cysts develop in the ovaries due to hormonal imbalance.

3. Tumors in the adrenal glands or ovaries.

4. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia, which is a group of diseases that negatively affect the adrenal gland’s function and promotes increased androgen production.

5. Cushing’s syndrome, a condition that causes the body to produce increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Unusual hair growth could likewise happen when the hair follicles of a woman are abnormally perceptive to male hormones, but doctors still don’t know the exact reason why. And unfortunately, in most cases, the main cause of hirsutism is never identified.

Can Hirsutism be Treated?

Woman getting her leg waxedTreatment for hirsutism involves temporary and permanent methods for hair removal, which include the following:

1. Shaving – One of the easiest and cheapest methods. But you’ll need to shave regularly, or you’ll get stubble.

2. Plucking or waxing – You could opt for waxing, if you have a high pain tolerance, to get rid of large hair patches, or plucking for getting rid of individual hairs. These methods are also cheap, but you’ll need to wax and regularly pluck to maintain results.

3. Depilatories – These are chemical creams for removing body hair. These contain strong chemicals so do a patch test first to be on the safe side.

4. Laser – According to a well-known cosmetic surgeon in Salt Lake City, laser hair removal involves the use of laser light to target the hair pigment and in turn damage the hair bulb and follicle. While this is only a semi-permanent solution, it’s the most cost-effective and convenient hair removal method currently available.

5. Electrolysis – This is the only permanent way to get rid of unwanted hair. However, it’s very costly, risky, and involves the use of electrical current on every single hair follicle.

What About Medications?

The most common medications used for combatting hirsutism include the following:

1. Birth control pills that lower androgen production.

2. Spironolactone and finasteride, which are anti-androgenic drugs.

3. Eflornithine, a cream used for slowing down hair growth. Note that this doesn’t eliminate existing hair.

It’s also crucial to note that hirsutism could be immensely distressing because what woman would want hair growing on body areas that should otherwise be hair-free? Some women even develop depression and anti-social behavior. If you’re suffering from hirsutism, keep in mind that you have lots of options. Consult your doctor to help you decide which options are right for you.

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