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Hirsutism (Hypertrichosis)

Written and reviewed by
MBBS, Diploma In Dermatology & Venerology & Leprosy (DDVL), DNB Dermatology
Dermatologist, Gurgaon  •  12 years experience
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I am Dr Anchal Sehrawat, a consultant at Dr Anchala Skin and Hair Clinic, Gurgaon and I will be discussing Hirsutism. Hirsutism is defined as a male pattern of hair growth seen in females, male pattern of hair growth means that there is excessive hair growth over the upper lip, chin, side, chest, lower abdomen and thighs, which is normally seen in case of males and not in females. It is becoming quite a common condition in today's world and basically, there is excessive production of androgens which are the main hormones, which leads to the growth of the dark coarse hair over the body. In case there is rapid growth of hair and it is also associated with other features like acne, deepening of voice, oil hair follicle and increase muscle mass over the shoulder and there is loss of female contour and she should be properly investigated for other rare causes of hirsutism like congenital adrenal hyperplasia or tumors or Cushing syndrome. The treatment modality mainly includes the lifestyle modification and medication. Lifestyle modification is very important wherein healthy eating habits should we maintain, weight loss should be the main aim of the patient and moderate exercises are quite helpful. Most women resort to different plucking methods like shaving, breaking and waxing which though they are inexpensive and easy, but they are temporary and they lead to several side effects like folliculitis, irritant dermatitis and scarrying also. Laser hair removal has as such gain popularity in past two decades. It basically uses light generated heat to destroy the follicle to destroy the hair in the follicle, it basically targets the pigment which is present in the hair follicle, so it is more effective in destroying the dark here as compared to light hair. Laser hair removal has such gain much popularity in past two decades for mechanical removal of hair. It uses light generated heat to destroy the ability of hair to grow in the follicle since it targets the pigment present in hair so it is more effective in destroying the dark hair as compared to the light hairs. The laser helps in reducing the thickness of hair, it decreases the density of hair follicles as well as it decreases the rate of growth of hair. So that's why the procedure is known as Laser hair reduction. Various lasers available are the diode, IPL and ND: YAG and Alexandrite. Medications which are used mainly oral contraceptive pills and insulin, sensitizers, androgen suppressing agents. So Hirsutism management includes index clinical evaluation thorough investigation, modification, medications as well as laser hair removal.

Thank you very much, if you want to know more about hirsutism and want to contact me. You can contact me through Lybrate or you can come directly to my Clinic Dr Anchal Skin and Hair Clinic.

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