Table of contents
What is Hirsutism?
Hirsutism is a hormonal health condition that most female develops a male pattern of hair growth on their face, chest, and back. This results in excessive serration of male hormones called androgen. The condition may either be medical or inherited.
It is caused by the overproduction of androgen (testosterone), or over-sensitivity of the hair follicles to androgen can cause this condition. Men have testosterone at a high level, and women also have this male hormone in smaller quantities. Insulin can stimulate the woman’s cell to produce androgen, and a high level of insulin can also cause hirsutism. Other causes include high cholesterol and the adverse effect of certain indications. Danazol and Androgen therapy may also contribute to hirsutism and DHEA, respectively. Sometimes, the condition can be caused by tumors of the adrenal glands and pituitary or ovaries
Symptoms can include the following:
- Excessive coarse and pigmented hair on body areas like the face, chest, and back.
- Wily stain
- Alopecia (hair loss)
- An enlarged clitoris
- Voice becomes deeper
- Breast size decreases
- Development of muscle
- Sometimes baldness.
How is hirsutism diagnosed?
Contact the doctor immediately whenever the patient begins to notice some symptoms. After a physical examination, the following can be done:
- Physical examination; initially, when the patient approaches the doctor, the doctor will do a thorough physical examination of the patient to look for any signs of abnormalities.
- Medical and family history
- Hormonal Test; to measure the number of certain hormones in the blood (including testosterone or testosterone hormones)
- Abdomen and pelvic exam
- Investigational scans; include ultrasonography and MRI scans of the abdomen to look for the presence of tumors or cysts in the ovaries or adrenal gland.
- Urine analysis; is done to estimate the level of cortisol.
How is hirsutism treated?
It cannot be treated but can be controlled. Treatments to manage the condition include
- Oral contraceptives contain estrogen and progestin (only for women who don’t want to be pregnant).
- Anti-androgens: Spironolactone (Aldactone, acrospire)
- Topical cream: Eflornithine (Vaniqa). It is applied directly to the affected areas of the face twice daily
Laser therapy: this process of photo epilation damages the hair follicles, thereby preventing the hair from growing.
- Electrolysis: A pulse of electricity is emitted through a tiny needle into each hair follicle to destroy the follicle.
2. Self-care or natural method:
- Plucking of hair
- Shaving of hair
- Waxing involves applying warm wax on the skin to remove unwanted hair. It may cause skin irritation and redness
- Depilation: chemical depilatories dissolve hair when applied to the affected skin.
A preliminary study has shown that women with hirsutism who had spearmint tea had less free testosterone (male hormones) in their blood and that the tea might reduce symptoms of mild hirsutism. Take 1 cup of spearmint tea (Mentha spicata) two times daily.
Hair will not go away but will grow slowly and become finer. The following methods can inhibit hair growth waving, laser therapy, or electrolysis. Don’t ignore medication.
The following foods may help to remove unwanted hair on your face:
1) Lemon juice and sugar,
2) basis and oatmeal,
3) lemon and honey,
4) oatmeal, honey, and lemon juice,
5) white of egg, and/or
6) rose water and alum.
These are some home remedies for this condition.
Picture Courtesy: thepcosbible
Hirsutism is a common disorder where unwanted male pattern hairs appear on some part of a female body. Not all cases of hirsutism are reversible, but the symptoms can be managed with correct medical and cosmetic treatment.
Taking estrogen (available in oral contraceptives) can help reduce massive hair. These drops are usually a long-term solution for hirsutism. Improvement is most highly observable after 3-6 months of drug therapy.
Hirsutism cannot be prevented completely, but we can reduce the complications by following these methods. They include:
1) Exercise regularly
2) Maintain a healthy lifestyle
3) Avoid fatty intake, tobacco and alcohol consumption
4) Control obesity
5) Increase the intake of vitamins and mineral supplements in the diet
Complications associated with hirsutism are:
1) Emotional distress
3) Polycystic ovarian cyst (PCOS)
4) Irregular menstruation due to PCOS
The risk factors associated with the condition are:
a) Family history
c) Ancestry; women from Mediterranean, Middle Eastern countries, and South Asian countries
The condition affects about 5-10% of the female population around their childbearing age. It affects about 40% of women at some point during their lives.
PCOS isn’t the only cause of hirsutism. However, 70-80% of people diagnosed with PCOS develop hirsutism.