By Canada Cloud Pharmacy | Published Thursday 10 June 2021

Hirsutism is a common condition in which women have excess hair growth in the areas such as the face, chest, chin, abdomen, and back. Almost 5-10% of women in their childbearing age experience hirsutism. The hair that grows in hirsutism is typically coarse and dark.

While the condition may embarrass women, safe and effective treatments are available to treat the disease. Let us discuss the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for hirsutism.

What are the common symptoms of hirsutism?

Some symptoms of hirsutism appear early, while some take time to appear. The early symptoms include dark, thick, and coarse hair growth on the chin, chest, inner part of thighs, and back. These areas in women typically have thin and fine hair. The symptoms that appear later are as follows:

  • Deep and coarse voice.

  • Baldness.

  • Decreased breast size.

  • Enlarged clitoris.

  • Increased muscle mass.

What are the causes of hirsutism?

The following conditions may cause hirsutism:

  • When the female body makes excess male sex hormone, the male-like hair growth on the female body begins.

  • Higher levels of hormone cortisol secreted by the adrenal gland due to a tumor may cause hirsutism.

  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome PCOS: is a condition in women that causes cysts in the ovaries and hormonal imbalance. This imbalance may result in hirsutism.

  • Hormonal changes towards the end of the menstrual cycle may result in excessive growth of facial hair.

  • Hirsutism can be a side effect of certain medications such as anabolic steroids, testosterone, minoxidil, and danazol (Danocrine).

  • Family history or ethnicity plays a role in developing hirsutism.

What are the treatment options for hirsutism?

Hirsutism is primarily a result of excess male sex hormones (androgens) in women. Losing bodyweight helps in reducing androgen levels. The treatment options are as follows:

  • Hair removal:

You may lighten the hair by bleaching it to hide its presence. The following procedures help in temporary hair removal:

  • Shaving using a machine or razor.
    • Using chemical depilatory cream.

    • Waxing or tweezing the hair.

  • Long term hair removal procedures are as follows:

    • Electrolysis: Each hair follicle is removed using electrolysis (a small electric current pulse through a needle). It is painful and time-consuming.

    • Laser: Use of laser beams that damage the follicles and stop hair growth. It may damage the skin.

  • Medications to reduce hair growth:

    • A prescription cream containing eflornithine hydrochloride (Vaniqa) reduces hair growth when applied topically.

    • Anti-androgen drugs such as spironolactone (Aldactone) taken after six months of oral contraceptives can help reduce hair growth.

    • Oral contraceptives: These medications are used if excess hair growth is due to hormonal imbalance. Your doctor may prescribe oral contraceptives containing drospirenone (Yaz) or cyproterone acetate (Diane 35).

The procedures of hair removal are continuously required to control hair growth. None of the methods can completely stop the hair growth in hirsutism. Talk to your doctor for an effective treatment.


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