Hirsuitism is excessive hair on parts of the body where terminal hair does not occur.
Terminal hair is strong hair found naturally on the eyebrows and head.
Vellus hairs are fine light hairs which can be found all over the body these hairs can be transformed into terminal hairs subjected to androgens.
Women with hirsutism grow hair in a male pattern on the chest, abdomen, back and face. The medical term for excessive hair growth that affects both men and women is Hypertrichosis.
Hirsutism can be caused by either an increased level of androgens, and or testosterone the male hormones. These hormones stimulate hair growth.
Hirsutism may affect one to three women in every 20 who have not yet started the menopause. The change in hormones can make excess hair more common after the menopause.
Before you’re born, you’re covered with a layer of fine, soft hair called lanugo hair. In most people, this falls out before birth, and the usual hair that you have on your head and body grows. Extremely rarely, this doesn’t happen and hair carries on growing after you’re born and throughout your life. This is called congenital hypertrichosis, this condition is very rare.
Hypertrichosis can develop later in life due to illness.
There are treatments to manage the condition;
- Laser hair removal – this method works to destroy the hair at the root, it is a permanent reduction in hair growth.
- Electroylsis – It may take many more treatments to destroy the hair from the root but it can work on white, grey and red hairs.
- Medical treatments are available with our Angel based Dermatologists;
- Topical creams
- Anti-androgens ( Androgen receptor blockers and suppressants)
- Medication that blocks the enzymes that makes Testosterone which would suppress further hair growth
- Oral contraceptives
Hirsutism is dependent on hormonal activity from androgens (testosterone) it is possible to manage this condition and improve the appearance of it but impossible to cure.