Read this if you have excessive hair growthAugust 31, 2021 2021-08-31 9:28
Read this if you have excessive hair growth
Read this if you have excessive hair growth
Written By Dr Surbhi, MD Skin
Unwanted hair dermatologically termed as hirsutism warrants a full health check-up; especially if the answer to any one of question enlisted below is “yes”.
- Are you getting unwanted hair on your chin or chest?
- Do you have excessive hair growth on your body as well?
- Are you having difficulty in losing the fat clinging on your belly?
- Are you noticing changes in the pattern of your menstrual cycles?
- Are you battling with pimples or dark patches on your face?
Read this article to unveil the reason behind getting excessive hair and how to tackle them.
What is Hirsutism?
Hirsutism is the development of thick and dark hair in females, in a pattern that is more typical of males. Hirsutism is no more a rare phenomenon; around 10% of females are affected by it, and its occurrence is increasing due to the sedentary lifestyle and the change in dietary patterns.
How does Hirsutism present itself?
Hirsute females might notice in the beginning, a few thick dark hairs on their chin or chest, eventually these strands of hair increase in number to cover the chin, upper lip, cheeks, groin and centre of chest & belly. The hair on limbs might also get thicker and denser. Acne, weight gain, changes in menstrual cycle, difficulty in conceiving are the other associated features.
What causes excessive hair?
The hair growth in a female is different from that of males because of the predominance of female hormones in their body. The increase in male hormones in the body of women leads to the decrease in feminine features (like menstrual cycles and fertility) and increase in the masculine features namely hirsutism, weight gain, acne and rarely hoarse voice. Male hormones called androgen might increase in females in the following conditions:
- Polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD): This is the most common cause of getting hirsutism; characterised by the presence of many small cysts in the ovaries.
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia: This is a congenital disorder in which the enzyme required for hormone synthesis is deficient and male-like features develop in a girl child. However, the onset of this disorder can occur in adults, and it might present with Hirsutism as the only manifestation.
- Medications: Like minoxidil, diazoxide, corticosteroid, phenytoin can cause increased hair growth but not necessarily in male like distribution.
- Idiopathic: The cases of hirsutism that do not reveal any changes in the level of hormones or any abnormality on scans upon investigation are termed as Idiopathic. This sub-category has an end organ hyper-responsiveness to the normal levels of androgen.
- Rare cause: These include Cushing disease, Acromegaly, Prolactin secreting pituitary tumours, ovarian tumours, etc. The tumours usually present themselves with the rapid onset of Hirsutism, with all other accompanying features of virilisation.
Any effective home remedies?
Yes, papaya, chickpea flour, turmeric and licorice are the natural ingredient that can help in reducing hair growth. To know the recipe, read the article, How to get rid of facial hair naturally.
Which skincare product can retard hair growth?
When to visit a doctor?
Start keeping a note of your body weight and details of your menstrual cycles in the form of start and end date along with the changes in the flow of blood; this would help you detect subtle changes in your cycles and weight. You should consult a doctor if you notice changes in menstrual cycles accompanied by diffuse hair loss, pimples, dark patches or weight gain. Your doctor might order certain scans and hormonal tests before starting any treatment. Even a few thick dark hairs on chin or chest in young females warrant a visit to a dermatologist.
What is the treatment?
With the advent of LASERS, Hirsutism is no more a nightmare. However, I would suggest you, to get yourself investigated to rule out the cause of increased hair growth along with opting for LASERS. The treatment of the underlying cause would not only help in reducing the formation of new thick dark hair but also help in reducing the growth of existing hair.
Is LASER effective?
Yes, LASER is effective in removing the thick dark hair, but it does nothing to stop the growth of new thick hair. I recommend you to treat the cause behind Hirsutism along with the LASER sessions. Always remember that LASER works on thick hair and not thin ( long) hair.
How many LASER sessions?
The number of sessions needed to reduce your hair growth depends on various factors like underlying hormonal problem, your weight, the colour of your hair and skin, compliance of hormonal treatment and LASER sessions. You might need 3-10 session to reach to the level that the hair growth is not bothersome. After that, the gap between the sessions is increased gradually. Subsequently, you might need LASER sessions every 3-6 months to remove few thick hair that pop-up due to occasional surges in the level of your hormones.