Are you growing hair in unusual places where you do not want them to be such as on the neck, chest, chin and back? Hirsutism is a medical term, which refers to excess body hair and facial hair in women. It occurs because of an increased production of androgens or male hormones. The increased sensitivity of the androgen receptors in the skin follicles also causes hirsutism.
Hirsutism is diagnosed using two methods:
- The Ferriman Gallwey model involves the visual inspection for detecting the presence of excess hair. The amount of hair growth in nine areas of your body is quantified in this model. However, this is not an ideal method as many women shave or pluck their hair.
- Blood test for excess androgens is another method for diagnosis of hirsutism. The different tests include free testosterone, total testosterone and DHEAS or dehydropiandosterone sulphate. Women with PCOS are likely to have increased levels of free testosterone in their body because of the absence of enough sex hormone binding globulin.
Removing excess hair
There are several ways by which you can get rid of excess body and facial hair. They are as follows:
- Plucking is a way of hiding hair during early stages. It is an easy fix. However, plucking from the follicle may lead to the distortion of the follicle, which may cause hair to thicken and turn darker.
- Depilatories is another way of removing excess hair due to hirsutism. Depilatories remove excess hair by the use of a chemical which dissolves the hair.
- Waxing is also effective for removing excessive hair. In waxing, warm wax is spread over the affected areas; a strip of cloth is placed over it, and rubbed on the wax. After holding the skin tight, the cloth is pulled off.
- Several medicines are used for dealing with hirsutism in women such as oral contraceptives, which help in removing the amount of androgens in the body. The androgen production may decrease as a result of oral contraceptives. The amount of circulating concentration of androstenediones and total testosterone are also reduced. Anti androgen medicines are also prescribed in some cases.
- Electrolysis is opted as a measure of managing excessive hair. In the process, a needle gets inserted along the hair shaft. After this, an electric pulse is sent to the root. This makes the hair release from the follicles and they are pulled out.
Laser hair removal is the final option for hirsutism treatment. In this method, light from the laser eliminates several hairs in the affected area. The pigment present in the hair absorbs the energy from the laser and gets destroyed.