Excessive Body Hair

Excessive Body Hair

What is Excess Body hair (Hirsutism)?

  • Hirsutism is a male pattern of post-pubertal or secondary hair growth occurring in women.

  • It arises in the areas of mustache and beard when puberty hits and when hair also appears in non-hirsute women in the areas such as underarm and pubic areas.

  • Hirsute women may also develop thicker and longer hair than is usually appear on their limbs and trunk.

Who gets hirsutism?

Culture and ethnicity play an important role as the normal range of secondary hair growth varies with race. This is true and should also be noted that women spend a great deal of time and energy for removing unwanted hair by going through painful sessions of waxing and threading, resulting in an unnaturally hair-free norm in today’s society.

What causes hirsutism?

  • Cushing’s syndrome - a hormonal disorder that causes bloating around the neck and face or sudden weight gain.

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome – a condition that causes irregular periods in women and cysts which are the fluid-filled sacs on the ovaries.

  • A tumor (growth) – that increases the production of androgens (hormones) and usually affects the adrenal glands or ovaries.

  • Hirsutism is usually first found in late teenage years and tends to gradually get more severe with the growing age of women (mainly menopause).

  • Hirsutism is usually isolated and can found at one site or multiple sites.

Areas affected by Hirsutism?

  • Facial hair -moustache, beard, eyebrows

  • Abdomen

  • Chest – around the nipples or more extensive growth on tummy

  • Upper back and lower back

  • Inner thighs

  • Buttocks

  • Neck

What is the treatment for hirsutism?

Hair removal needs to be repeated regularly to slow the growth of new hairs and stop them to coming back.

Methods include:

  • Home hair removal techniques - Shaving, plucking, waxing

  • Depilatory creams

  • Electric hair removers

  • Electrolysis and thermolysis

  • Specialist hair removal treatment such as Laser hair removal and intensely pulsed flash lamps can be used for hair removal.

  • Some women with hirsutism may be treated with anti-androgens with variable response. Drugs to be consumed as per doctor's prescription.