Hirsutism is a condition of abnormal hair growth in women and is characterized by thick and coarse, hair in areas where women usually do not have any hair such as face, chest, abdomen, and back. Patients may feel self-conscious about having unwanted body hair and this can be emotionally very distressing.
Besides an excessive amount of hair, the woman may also have other symptoms, such as
• Oily skin
• Hair loss (alopecia)/blading
• Deepening voice
• Enlargement of the clitoris
• Irregular periods
• Increase in the overall muscle mass of the body
Women normally have low levels of male hormones, called androgens, but in hirsutism, these levels are abnormally high leading to over-stimulation of hair follicles and hence excess hair growth.
Difference causes are
• Obesity: As it causes increased androgen production, which can worsen hirsutism.
• Polycystic ovary syndrome: At puberty, female ovaries start to produce a mix of female and male sex hormones. The imbalance of these sex hormones can result in irregular periods, hirsutism, obesity, infertility and multiple cysts on your ovaries.
• Cushing's syndrome: This occurs when your body produces high levels of the cortisol hormones.
• Medications: Some medications such as steroids and hormonal pills can cause hirsutism.
• Congenital adrenal hyperplasia: This condition is characterized by abnormal production of steroid hormones, including cortisol and androgen, by your adrenal glands.
• Tumors: Androgen-secreting tumor in the ovaries or adrenal glands can cause excessive hair growth.
• Positive Family history
An accurate diagnosis is needed for the treatment. You should see an expert physician preferably an endocrinologist or dermatologist for complete history and examination. You would also likely need more tests (labs such as serum testosterone level and imaging such as abdominal and pelvic ultrasound to check your ovaries and adrenal glands) to identify the causes.
Treatment depends on the underlying cause. Hair-removal therapies and medications are generally the two most commonly used treatment for hirsutism. Your physician will guide you what is the best treatment specific to your case.
Birth control pills or other hormonal contraceptives, which contain estrogen and progestin can treat hirsutism caused by androgen production.
These medication block androgens from attaching to their receptors in your body. The most commonly used one is spironolactone. Because these drugs can cause birth defects, it's advised to use contraception while taking them.
To remove unwanted hair permanently, options include:
This treatment involves inserting a tiny needle into each hair follicle which emits a pulse of electric current to damage and eventually destroys the follicle. You may need multiple treatments.
A beam of highly concentrated light (laser) is passed over your skin to damage hair follicles and prevent hair from growing.
If you need more information or would like to schedule an appointment with the doctor or for tests, please visit us at SHIFA4U.com contact us at (042) 111-748-748 or text on Whatsapp number +92-324 744 3248
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