Hirsutism Treatment Tips

By: Juliet Cohen

Hirsutism is defined as the excessive growth of thick dark hair in locations where hair growth in women usually is minimal or absent. It refers to a male pattern of body hair (androgenic hair) and it is therefore primarily of cosmetic and psychological concern. Hairs may also grow on the chest or extend from the groin area on to the abdomen and thighs. Hirsutism is a symptom rather than a disease and may be a sign of a more serious medical indication, especially if it develops well after puberty.

Hirsutism can occur in both men and women, usually only women consider it a problem. Women who have hirsutism have dark, thick hair on their face, chest, abdomen and back. This thick, dark hair is different from the hair that some women have on their upper lip, chin, breasts or stomach. Women from certain ethnic groups tend to have more body hair than others. The cause of hirsutism can be either an increased level of androgens (male hormones) or an oversensitivity of hair follicles to androgens. Male hormones such as testosterone stimulate hair growth, increase size and intensify the growth and pigmentation of hair. A small minority of women with hirsutism produce too much androgen and sometimes this is due to an underlying medical condition. In addition, some medicines can cause hirsutism - these include hormones, anabolic steroids, and sometimes oral contraceptive pills. Hyperandrogenism is increased levels of male hormone production in women. The most commonly seen symptom is irregular menstrual cycles. 25% of normal middle-aged women have unwanted facial hair.

Many women with unwanted hair seek methods of hair removal to control the appearance of hirsutism. Bleaching makes the excessive hair less obvious. Waxing pulls hairs out from the roots and needs to be repeated regularly. Laser treatments also damage the hair follicles. The unwanted hairs fall out, and may not grow back. Epilady removes the hair by a combined cut and pull. Depilatories, or creams that remove hair, can be used. They leave no stubble. However, these creams may irritate your skin. Treatments for hyperandrogenism include oral contraceptives, spironolactone and flutamide. A prescription cream that stops facial hair growth.

Hirsutism Treatment and Prevention Tips

1. Shaving is the safest and easiest method of removing hair.

2. Depilatories, or creams that remove hair, can be used.

3. Epilady removes the hair by a combined cut and pull.

4. Spironolactone daily can slowly reduce excessive hair growth.

5. Bleaching paste may also be used. Bleaching may irritate your skin.

5. Electrolysis gets rid of hair permanently by delivering a small electrical current.

6. Laser hair removal uses a laser light to damage hair follicles so unwanted hair falls out.

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