Skin and Beauty

Hirsutism - a Cosmetic Challenge

Written by
Dr. Suvash Sahu
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Jun 22, 2016 and last reviewed on Dec 25, 2018   -  1 min read

Abstract

Abstract

This article discusses the causes and management of hirsutism.

Hirsutism - a Cosmetic Challenge

Hirsutism is the presence of excessive hair in androgenic dependent areas of the female body. The condition is a marker for androgen excess, although many women have no detectable hormone abnormalities. In addition to androgens secreted into the circulation by the adrenal glands and ovaries, peripheral fat also gets converted into circulating androgens, of which the most important is testosterone.

An individual may have other features of androgen excess along with hirsutism like acne vulgaris or androgenic alopecia and evidence of PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) such as irregular menses or infertility.

Causes of Hirsutism:

  1. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is seen in 60 % of cases.
  2. Idiopathic, which means no cause found out in 10 % of cases.
  3. Birth abnormalities like congenital adrenal hyperplasia.
  4. Other endocrine disorders like Cushing's disease and thyroid disease.
  5. Drug-induced such as oral contraceptive, anabolic and androgenic steroids, and antiseizure medicine.
  6. Gestational, which means pregnancy induced.

Investigation:

In case of mild hirsutism with regular menses and no other features of androgen excess such as acne vulgaris or androgenic alopecia or PCOS, no investigation is needed.

In case of moderate hirsutism with or without menstrual abnormalities - serum testosterone and SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin) should be measured during the second day of menses as well as dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) level of LH (Luteinizing Hormone) and FSH (Follicle-Stimulating Hormone) should also be estimated. The ratio of LH and FSH more than 2:1 indicates PCOS.

Treatment of Hirsutism:

  1. Intense pulsed light and laser hair removal have dramatically altered the outlook of the patient.
  2. Topical agents like Eflornithine cream slows down the hair growth after six to eight weeks of twice daily use but may cause local irritation.
  3. Oral therapy such as oral contraceptive pills. Anti-androgens and 5-Alpha-reductase inhibitors are the mainstays of medical treatment.

Home Remedies:

You can try removing the excessive hair by plucking, shaving, or waxing it. Or you can try using commercially available hair removal creams. Some women choose to bleach unwanted hair, as bleaching makes the hair lighter and not visible.

To know more about hirsutism, consult a hirsutism specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/endocrinologist/hirsutism

Last reviewed at:
25 Dec 2018  -  1 min read

RATING

15
Ask a QueryAsk a Query Consult by PhoneConsult by Phone Video ChatVideo Chat

Tags:

Related Questions & Answers


Why is the DHEA level high and what does it mean?

Query: Hi doctor, My daughter is 15 years old and she has high levels of DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). In the first test, it was 641 and 381 in the second test. She took her test when she had periods, normal testosterone and thyroid antibodies. She always had a deep voice and body hairs on her chest and ...  Read Full >>


Dr. Shaikh Sadaf
Diabetologist, Endocrinologist, Family Physician, General Practitioner

Answer: Hello, Welcome to icliniq.com. I just read your query about your daughter. It appears that your daughter has irregular menses and hirsutism which is mostly due to polycystic ovarian disease. DHEA means dehydroepiandrosterone. The levels are usually raised in two conditions: Polycystic ovarian d...  Read Full

Is there any surgery to eradicate hirsutism?

Query: Hello doctor, I am a 21 year old female. I have been suffering from hirsutism (due to PCOS) for about six years. I have undergone treatments like LASER (for about a year) and even consumed antiandrogens and contraceptive pills. But, nothing really worked out. It is horrible now. The growth of the h...  Read Full >>


Dr. Sunil Sekhri
General Practitioner

Answer: Hello, Welcome to icliniq.com. Before I can answer, I would like to see some lab reports. Serum testosterone. DHEAS (most sensitive to adrenals, if > 800 ug/dl suggests adrenal tumor). 17-hydroxyprogesterone. Serum prolactin. Urinary 17-ketosteroid. FSH and LH during first three days of...  Read Full

Please suggest ayurvedic treatment for permanent hair removal.

Query: Hello doctor, I have got unwanted hair all over my body. I have tried laser treatment on my face. After like 14 treatments, the intensity though has reduced, but it is not as expected. There is only a 50 % reduction. What should I do? Should I continue getting laser treatments or is there another a...  Read Full >>


Dr. Alka
Ayurveda Specialist

Answer: Hello, Welcome to icliniq.com. I just read your query. The condition in which excessive hair grows all over the body is called hirsutism. It is usually a harmless condition but often makes a person feel embarrassed and unconfident sometimes. There might be many causes behind this condition like t...  Read Full

Popular Articles Most Popular Articles

Do you have a question on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or Androgenetic Alopecia?

Ask a Doctor Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.
Enter Your Health Query
You can upload files and images in the next step.

Fee:  

 


Disclaimer: All health articles published on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek the advice from your physician or other qualified health-care providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website.