What is Hirsutism or Excessive Hair Growth?

Hirsutism is a condition characterized by excessive hair growth in women in areas where men typically grow hair, such as the face, chest, and back. The excess hair growth is often coarse and dark. This can cause embarrassment and affect self confidence.

What are the causes of excessive hair growth?

There are many different factors that can excessive hair growth or hirsutism.  These include:

  • Hormonal imbalances - This includes things such as elevated levels of androgens (male hormones like testosterone), and  adrenal gland disorders.
  • Certain medications - such a cortico-steroids, anti-epileptic or anti-psychotic medications can increase hair growth.
  • Genetics - Some individuals are more genetically predisposed to developing excessive hair growth.
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome - This is the most common cause of hirsutism in women resulting in excess production of androgens.
  • Thyroid disease - These can result in hormonal imbalances resulting in excessive hair growth.

What are the treatments for excessive hair growth?

There are many different treatments for excessive hair growth or hirsutism.  These will depend on the underlying cause of the hair growth.  The options may include:

  • Hormonal medications - such as oral contraceptives or anti-androgens to regulate hormone levels.
  • Topical treatments - such as hair removal creams.
  • Shaving - can reduce unwanted hair in areas but hair will regrow and can sometimes cause issues such as ingrown hairs.
  • Waxing - can remove unwanted hair but this is a temporary solution since hair will regrow.
  • Electrolysis - can help manage unwanted hair although this requires individual treatment of follicles which can be very time consuming and may not be as effective as other options.
  • Laser hair removal - this is a very effective method of permanent hair reduction.  At CLNQ we offer the Cynosure Elite Laser IQ for laser hair removal.
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Reza Nassab FRCS Plast

Reza Nassab FRCS Plast

This page has been medically reviewed by Mr Nassab, consultant plastic surgeon.  

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