Hirsutism is a medical condition in which a person experiences excessive body hair growth. It typically affects women, and several different factors can cause it. Here’s a look at hirsutism, who is most likely to experience it, and the treatments available for people living with it.
What is Hirsutism?
Hirsutism is an excess of male-pattern facial and body hair growth in women. This includes hair on the face, chest, back, abdomen, and other areas usually considered socially unacceptable for females. This can cause significant distress to those affected by it.
Everyone can be affected by hirsutism, but there are those with a higher chance of getting it. Here are some common risk factors for the disorder.
One of the most common risk factors for hirsutism is hormonal imbalances. Specifically, this means an excess of androgens-hormones responsible for male characteristics such as facial hair growth-in the body.
This can be caused by conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder affecting up to 10% of women worldwide. PCOS can cause an imbalance in your hormones, leading to increased testosterone levels in your body and resulting in symptoms such as hirsutism.
Certain medications may also increase your risk of developing hirsutism. These include certain birth control pills, steroids, and other hormone-based drugs. Be sure to speak with your doctor about potential side effects before starting any new medication; they will be able to advise on how best to manage any possible side effects or risks associated with taking the drug.
Your family history may also play a role in determining your risk for developing hirsutism. For example, if someone in your family has a history of hirsutism or PCOS, you may be at higher risk for developing those conditions yourself. If you have any concerns about your family history and its connection to hirsutism, talk with your doctor so they can provide advice on how best to manage any potential risks associated with it.
The Problems With Hirsutism
Although hirsutism isn’t deadly in any way, it can cause distress among specific individuals. Here are some common problems that come with this disorder:
Women with this disorder often feel embarrassed or ashamed of their appearance, leading to social anxieties and depression. This can make it difficult for them to feel comfortable in public, as they may worry about how others will perceive them due to their excessive body hair.
Because hirsutism results in excessive amounts of body and facial hair, it can lead to physical discomfort when the hair grows long enough to become matted or irritated by clothing. This can be especially true for women who are unaccustomed to having excessive body hair or for those who don’t have the means to regularly groom their bodies. In addition, people with hirsutism may feel self-conscious about how they look due to the excessive amounts of body hair they have.
Hirsutism can also cause social issues due to the stigma surrounding excessive body hair in certain cultures. Women, in particular, may feel uncomfortable going out in public because they fear being judged by others based on their appearance. Additionally, people with hirsutism may experience difficulties finding clothing that fits appropriately due to their unique shape and size created by their excess body hair.
Treatments for Hirsutism
Hirsutism can be managed through treatments, including lifestyle changes and medications. Here are some common treatments that may help those affected by hirsutism:
One of the best ways to deal with hirsutism is to get excess hair removed. Painless laser hair removal services now utilize laser technology to remove unwanted hair effectively. This method is prevalent because it can permanently reduce excess hair growth and is relatively painless compared to other forms of hair removal.
Your doctor may also recommend medications to help manage your hirsutism symptoms. These could include birth control pills, antifungal creams, or anti-androgen medications. It’s important to talk with your doctor about the medicines that are right for you and any potential side effects so you can make an informed decision about which treatment is best for you.
Making lifestyle changes may also help reduce hirsutism symptoms. For example, eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly can help regulate your hormones, reducing hirsutism symptoms. Reducing stress through relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation may also help manage the condition.
Hirsutism is a medical condition that affects people worldwide. Knowing who is at risk and what treatments are available can help make a living with hirsutism a little bit easier. Speak with your doctor about any concerns or questions about the condition, and they can advise on how best to manage it.