Hair Raising Hirsutism

Wonder what Hirsutism is? You probably haven’t heard of the name like millions of people even though it’s something you are familiar with. It is a health condition in which a woman grows loads of hair in areas of the body where she usually does not. I mean, areas seen as the exclusive preserves of men. Essentially, dermatologists describes it as unwanted male-pattern hair growth that occur on a woman’s face, chest and back.

The other noticeable thing about hirsutism is that the resulting outgrow is very dark and coarse rather than the light, fine peach fuzz that covers most of the body.

Hirsutism affects between 5 and 10 percent of women during their period of genital activity just as it affects 20 to 25 per cent of adolescent girls. Though it could become a long-term challenge, it is however, not regarded as dangerous even the hormonal imbalance that can lead to it may compromise a woman’s health. Whereas most women with diagnosed hormonal imbalances respond well to treatment, the abnormality comes with social issues, including feelings of self-consciousness and depression particularly because the hair can grow back if the hormone levels shoots up again. This may require extensive therapy to handle attendant psychological issues.

Experts say Hirsutism is caused by high level of the male hormone, androgen. They explain that though it is normal for a woman’s body to produce the hormones, hirsutism occurs when it is in very high doses. The presence of a high level of the male hormones, they add, results in a woman having loads of acne, a deep voice, and small breasts.

Hirsutism is said to have a hereditary bearing. In other words, it tends to be more likely to occur if a female member of the lineage-mother, sister, or other female relatives has it. According to experts, some conditions that run in families which affect hormones predispose women to developing hirsutism just as obesity is also said to be another factor given that it causes the female body to make more male hormones which, in turn, induces hirsutism or make it worse.

There are other underlying factors. One of them is that hirsutism can also result from polycystic ovarian syndrome, a hormonal disorder that causes enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. Yet, it can result from Cushing Syndrome, hirsutism arising from long time exposure to high cortisol levels. There is also the Idiopathic hirsutism, which has no identifiable cause.

Other underlying ailments, including tumours in the adrenal gland as well as the ovaries can cause hirsutism. Not least is hirsutism induced by the use of certain birth control drugs.

Dermatologists insist particular diagnosis is required to select appropriate hirsutism treatment. However, it can be treated with medication just as it can be removed with chemical hair removal, including creams that contain depilatories. However, whereas the cream can wipe off the unwanted hairs, it can irritate sensitive skin.

Hirsutism can be treated with shaving and waxing. The latter can be painful and often leads to redness of the affected areas. It can also be treated with electrolysis or laser therapy which targets the hair at its root. However, it requires repeated process which has no guarantee over regrowth. The process is painful and can damage the skin around affected areas of application.

The use of contraceptives, experts warn, can only apply when dealing with excessive hair growth caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome. The reason is that uncontrolled use of birth control pills can result hormonal imbalance. Therefore there is need to seek expert medical opinion at the earliest notice of hirsutism for proper evaluation, diagnosis and treatment.

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