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Symptoms and Treatments of Hirsutism

Symptoms and Treatments of Hirsutism

Hirsutism is a condition which causes excessive hair growth in various areas of the body. It's a problem that mainly affects women but can occur in men as well. Although the condition is relatively common, many women find it embarrassing or distressing.

Hirsutism is often a long-term problem but there are ways that it can be treated and managed.

Symptoms of hirsutism

Hirsutism usually results in the excessive growth of thick, dark hair. The hair grown is rarely thin or fine, which makes it more noticeable and is often why it can be so distressing. The hair will usually be stiff and tends to appear in areas where women do not usually grow visible body hair.

In many cases, hirsutism is caused by abnormally high levels of a hormone known as androgen. This can then lead to other symptoms such as:
- Balding
- Acne
- A deepening voice
- An enlarged clitoris
- Increased muscle mass


Treatments for hirsutism often focus on treatment of the underlying cause of the condition (if there is one).

Medications for hirsutism usually take up to six months to take effect. This is because this is the average life cycle of a hair follicle which needs to pass before you will see a significant difference in hair growth. Medications include:

- Oral contraceptives
Oral contraceptives can aid hirsutism treatment by rebalancing your hormone levels.
- Anti-androgens
This particular type of drug blocks androgens from attaching to their corresponding receptors, meaning the hormone isn't absorbed by your body.
- Topical creams
Topical creams can be applied directly to the affected area of your face. These will slow the growth of new hair but won't remove existing hair.

Procedures to remove unwanted hair include:

1. Electrolysis

A tiny needle is inserted into each hair follicle and emits a pulse of electrical energy. This damages and can eventually destroy the hair follicle, preventing the hair from growing back. To completely kill the hair follicle, however, you may need multiple treatments.

2. Laser therapy

This treatment for hirsutism involves using a highly concentrated laser which is passed over your skin. The laser will cause damage to the hair follicles and prevent unwanted hair from growing. As with electrolysis, you may need several treatments to achieve the full effect.

3. Lifestyle and home remedies

There are also a number of things you can do at home to help remove unwanted hair. These include:
- Plucking
Tweezers can be a good way to remove any stray, unwanted hair but maybe a little painful and time-consuming if you want to remove a larger number of hairs.
- Shaving
Shaving is a good method because it's quick and inexpensive, but you will have to keep on top of it as the hair is only cut from the surface of your skin and the follicles will keep regrowing hairs.
- Waxing
Waxing is great for removing hairs from a large area at a quick speed, but it may temporarily sting and can cause skin irritation and redness.

If you're suffering from hirsutism, contact our specialist dermatologists and arrange an appointment in our hospital in Marbella