Hirsutism occurs when a woman has dense, black hair on her face, tummy, neck, chest, lower back, thighs, or buttocks. It could be a sign of an underlying issue, genetics, or the result of a treatable medical condition.
Identification Of Hirsutism
Several tests are used to identify hirsutism in females, and these may include:
- Medical background
- Physical assessment
- Particular inquiries, such as whether hairiness began gradually or suddenly, and the Evaluation of body hair employing a standardized scoring system
- Tests to measure testosterone levels in the blood
- Testing for thyroid function
- Hormone tests and an ultrasound of the ovaries are used to diagnose PCOS.
- Different scans to look for an androgen-secreting tumor.
Hirsutism is characterized by dark or stiff body hair that develops on parts of the body that are typically hairless for women, such as the chest, face, lower belly, back, and inner thighs. People have drastically disparate views on what defines excess. When elevated androgen levels result in hirsutism, other symptoms, or virilization, may appear over time. Possible symptoms of virilization include:
- Deepening tone
- Smaller breast size
- Bigger muscle frame
- Expansion of the clitoris
Hormones known as androgens are associated with hirsutism. It can occur if your body develops a greater sensitivity to these hormones or if their concentration increases. Various factors might lead to hirsutism, including:
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): This disorder frequently develops during adolescence and creates a sex hormone imbalance. PCOS can slowly cause obesity, irregular periods, excessive hair growth, infertility, and occasionally many ovarian cysts for years.
Cushing syndrome. This condition occurs when the stress hormone cortisol is in high concentrations in your body. It can happen if you take long-term prednisone therapy or if your adrenal glands produce too much cortisol.
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia. The adrenal glands’ aberrant synthesis of steroid hormones, such as cortisol and androgen, is a hallmark of this genetic illness.
Tumors. Hirsutism is a rare complication of androgen-secreting adrenal glands or ovaries.
Medications. Hirsutism may result from some drugs. These include dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), testosterone (Androgel, Testim), and minoxidil (Minoxidil, Rogaine), which is used to treat endometriosis in female patients (DHEA). Hirsutism may affect you if your partner consumes topical androgen-containing treatments due to skin-to-skin contact. Often, there is no known reason why hirsutism develops.
Your propensity to develop hirsutism may be affected by several variables, including:
Family background. Polycystic ovarian syndrome and congenital adrenal hyperplasia are two hirsutism-causing disorders in families.
Ancestry. Women having descent from the Mediterranean, South Asia, and the Middle East are more likely than other women to develop more body hair for no apparent reason.
Obesity. Obesity raises testosterone production, which can exacerbate hirsutism.
Hirsutism can be upsetting to the mind, as some ladies experience self-consciousness because of their unwanted hair. Furthermore, even though hirsutism doesn’t result in any medical problems, the underlying reason for a hormone imbalance can.
Your polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which can impair fertility, may exist if you experience irregular periods and hirsutism. It would be best if you avoided pregnancy for women who take specific hirsutism drugs due to the possibility of birth abnormalities.
Treatments For Hirsutism
You can use several methods to eliminate unwanted face or body hair. These methods include:
Loss of weight. Suppose you lose weight while overweight; your body might produce fewer male hormones.
Shaving. An electric shaver or razor makes it simple to get rid of unwanted hair. You might have to shave every day to prevent stubble growth. Too frequent shaving might cause razor burns in some individuals, but a soothing balm might be helpful.
Using tweezers or thread. There are various techniques for removing hair from the root. Tweezers are an option. Alternately, you may pay someone to “thread” your hair, which involves wrapping each undesirable hair in a long, taut strand before pulling it out. Pain and redness may result from these techniques.
Waxing. Melted wax can quickly remove a lot of excess hair from the base. This procedure is often performed in a salon. The skin is waxed, then the wax is swiftly removed. Redness and soreness may result from it.
Creams. Strong ingredients known as depilatories are found in some lotions. The hair disappears when you wipe off the cream after applying it and letting it sit for a bit.
Electrolysis. Electrolysis is a service that uses an electric current to zap hair at the base to eliminate it permanently. You should repeat the method before the treated regions’ hair growth stops.
Laser hair removal. The heat can remove hair from lasers, but you may need to undergo the procedure more than once because it occasionally grows back. The procedure is uncomfortable and may harm your skin because it targets the base of the hair.
Medication. Doctors can recommend medications that alter the way the body produces hair. On the other hand, hair will regrow when you stop taking the drug.
Birth control pills: Male hormone production is decreased using birth control tablets. You will experience a reduction in body and facial hair with continued use.
Anti-androgen: Anti-androgen medications function by obstructing the actions of androgens like testosterone. They accomplish this by attaching to androgen receptor-containing proteins. A variety of anti-androgens exist. They are typically safe to take along with other drugs and during some types of surgery.
Eflornithine: Eflornithine lotion slows but does not stop hair growth. It could take up to four weeks before you experience the full effects of eflornithine cream. While applying eflornithine cream, you should keep utilizing your current hair removal technique (such as cutting, plucking, or shaving).
It would be best if you didn’t stop applying eflornithine without first consulting your doctor. When you stop taking eflornithine, your hair will grow back the way it did before you started taking it.
Even if there is no cause for concern when you begin to experience hirsutism symptoms, it is a good idea to visit your doctor as soon as you discover any unusual hair growth. This action would help you to quickly detect the root cause and how to handle such condition.