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Excessive Hair Growth

Yes there is a thing as excessive hair growth! Excessive hair growth is not limited to on the scalp this condition can also lead to a crowd of hair on the chins and cheek and other parts of the body. This condition mostly effects females and is medically known as hirsutism. Hirsutism can cause a blow to a woman’s self-esteem. Hirsutism is a condition in which a hair grow on female body parts where usually men have hair.

Facial hair and hair on other parts of the body are quite normal. By nature the hair on the body is fine and light and colour and therefore blends with the skin of the body. However in case of hirsutism the hair that grows on the body is dark in colour and bristly in nature and therefore can be seen with naked eye. Hair grows on face, arms, neck, chest and even back.  Hirsutism is a condition that is not contagious but it does run in the family. This condition mostly affects women of Mediterranean, south Asian and Middle Eastern descent. Hirsutism needs to be treated as soon as possible.

Hirsutism on a woman’s body is caused because of the more than required androgens in the body. There can be many reasons for the same. These include polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), Adrenal gland disorders and medications.

PCOS has several symptoms and the most common of them is acne and being overweight. Other common indications include constant fatigue, mood swings, infertility, pain in the pelvic region, headaches and sleep problems.

Adrenal glands are responsible for the production of hormones in the body. Adrenal gland disorders include lack of the enzyme producing hormones (congenital adrenal hyperplasia), higher than normal stress hormone (Cushing’s disease), cancer and tumour. High blood pressures, muscle weakness, upper body weight gain, frequent headaches and high and low blood sugar levels.

Medications such as Minoxidil which is used to stimulate hair growth, steroids, testosterone and cyclosporine can also trigger excessive hair growth. Therefore it is always advisable to not to take such medications unless advised by an expert doctor.

Hirsutism can be treated with the use of various methods such as hormone management using birth control pills and antiandrogen medications, creams such as eflornithine can help reduce facial hair, hair removal treatments such as waxing, use of epilators, and shaving the extra hair can also but these treatments need to be repeated at regular intervals.  Other treatment methods include use of specific lasers that concentrate on the hair follicles and damage them so that the production of the hairs will stop. Laser treatments can cause the excessive hair to fall and require multiple sessions. However laser treatment is permanent. Another option is electrolysis which uses electric current to remove hair. Of course since each hair is treated individually this process takes a long time to complete but the results are permanent.

Threading and Tweezing is also a way to get rid of excessive hair growth when it is in small amount. However tweezing and threading can cause redness on the skin and are painful.

Another condition that can cause excessive hair growth is known as hypertrichosis. This is a condition that can happen to anybody irrespective to race, creed, caste and gender. In this condition excessive hair can grow on any part of the body. This condition can be present from birth or can happen later and is caused because of genetic mutation. Hypertrichosis can be treated with repeated shaving, chemical epilation, electrolysis and waxing.

Excessive hair can be treated right when the cause behind is explored in the right manner. Sometimes a combination of treatments is used for complete treatment.  A detailed diagnosis is done to find the cause. The process for the same includes discussing the detailed medical history, blood tests, check for diabetes, ultrasounds and MRI scans.