Hirsutism is a condition in which there is an excessive growth of hair on the face or body of a woman. Usually women who have thick, dark hair on their face, chest, abdomen and back suffer from hirsutism. The hair is different from the the normal kind of hairs found on the upper lip, breasts or stomach of a women, or the very fine and almost unnoticeable “baby hair” all over a woman’s body.
Usually, women from certain ethnics groups, Middle Eastern, South Asian and Mediterranean, are prone to hirsutism more than others.
Some symptoms of the condition might include the appearance of acne, irregular menstrual periods, a deepening of the voice, an increased muscle mass and a decrease in breast size.
The condition is generally caused by abnormally high levels of male hormones, or androgens which can sometimes be caused by conditions such as Polycustic ovary syndrome or Cushing’s syndrome.
Hirsutism can also be caused by having hair follicles that are far too sensitive to male hormones, though doctors are not entirely sure of the reasons behind the condition.
There are some medications such as hormones and anabolic steroids that can help cure hirsutism. Danazol is one common medication used to treat hirsutism.
There are things that can be done to help loose the hair other than medication, however. If the woman is overweight, she should shed some pounds. This decreases the amount of hormones in the body that produce hair.
Shaving is the safest and easiest method to remove excess hair from the body. However, there will be an appearance of stubble if it is not shaved every day. Skin can also become irritated from constant contact with a razor.
Depilatory creams for removing hair can also be used but they can irritate the skin as well.
Bleaching paste can also be used to lighten the color of the hair and make it less noticeable but this too can cause skin irritation.
Plucking and waxing are effective waves of removing hair, though plucking will only remove small stray hairs.
More sophisticate ways of removing hair from the body include electrolysis and laser hair removal.
Electrolysis involves delivering a small current of electricity through a needle placed into the hair follicle, but the process is often very expensive and time-consuming.
Laser removal uses lasers to damage the hair follicles so that they fall out and do not grow back. It is also a very expensive procedure. In both cases of laser removal and electrolysis, it is important to make sure that the person performing the procedure is a qualified and a licensed professional.
If people want to go the medicinal route, there are several anti-androgen medicines that can be prescribed by doctors that will help to block the male hormones associated with hirsutism.
Doctors may also prescribe birth control polls, which will also help decrease androgen levels in the body.