Do you have abnormal hair, too dark and hard and/or in areas that don't belong? You may be suffering from hirsutism, a condition that, although it may not seem like it, is related to baldness.
What is hirsutism?
As we have said, hirsutism is a condition that only occurs in women. It is the growth of hair in typically male areas: beard, moustache, sideburns, chest and even back. This hair is also thick, hard and dark, following, in fact, a male pattern.
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Symptoms of hirsutism
The first thing you will discover is the growth of this totally abnormal hair growth on the face, back and chest. It is usually dark although, of course, the amount, colour and thickness are genetically determined, so it is possible to develop lighter or finer hair.
In addition, when there is a very high level of androgens, there will be the symptom picture that corresponds to virilisation, which includes baldness (androgenic or androgenetic), acne, deepening of the voice, reduction of breast size, increases in clitoral size as well as muscle mass.
Causes of hirsutism
Hirsutism occurs because, at puberty, a girl produces both male and female hormones in her ovaries. The combination is perfectly balanced, but if this is not the case and there are too many male hormones (androgens), the condition appears.
Then there are some cases in which this problem occurs, such as polycystic ovary and Cushing's syndromes, tumours, congenital adrenal hyperplasia and the intake of certain drugs such as fluoxetine, anabolic steroids, minoxidil, phenytoin, cyclosporine, testosterone or corticosteroids.
On the other hand, it should be noted that there are also cases in which hirsutism occurs without causes that, for the time being, we can identify. The women most prone to this are South Asians, Middle Easterners and women of Mediterranean descent.
Risk factors that trigger or favour the pathology are a family history of any of the causes and obesity.
Hirsutism treatment; can it be cured?
Treatment of hirsutism includes the use of medications such as oral contraceptives, anti-androgens such as spironolactone, and topical creams applied to the face to slow hair growth.
You can opt for either electrolysis or laser therapy to get rid of hair permanently, although they do not prevent new hair from growing. In both cases, the hair follicle is damaged.
Of course, if it exists, the hidden disorder is also addressed at the psychological level.
In addition, hair removal is always advised, either by tweezing, waxing or chemical depilation, or bleaching of the hair. Of course, these are only cosmetic solutions to hide it, but have nothing to do with the treatment of the condition.