Unwanted Hair Bothering You?

BY Dr. Mrunalini Valasani MD Published on March 24, 2022

Unwanted hair can be a problem for a person as they age. Body hair is a feature shared by all females, and conversely, it may be more apparent in other people and involve facial development.Excessive hair growth is known as hypertrichosis. During puberty, the female body's hormones induce hair to grow in regions where it usually only succeeds in men.

A wide range of medical disorders can cause Hirsutism in women. In certain circumstances, there may be no specific reason. If a woman does not want to undergo treatment, she always has the option of removing hair through cosmetics like waxing.

Definition: Hirsutism

Hirsutism is a condition in which a woman's dark and coarse hair grows excessively in places of the body where it shouldn't, such as the face and back. Approximately one in ten women are impacted.

Hirsutism is often an indication of a more serious underlying disease than a separate medical illness. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the most common cause of unwanted hair in females. Consult your physician if you have concerns about your body hair, either quantity or distribution. 

What is the reason for Hirsutism?

Some of the potential reasons for female Hirsutism include:

  • Side effects of some drugs can cause hair to grow in places you don't want it to, like an androgen-secreting tumor on the ovary or an adrenal gland that makes androgens.
  • High levels of the stress hormone cortisol are characteristic of Cushing's syndrome, a general name for a group of hormonal illnesses.
  • Many women with Hirsutism have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
  • Hyperinsulinemia is the overproduction of insulin, which is generally related to diabetes.
  • Exceptional high levels of prolactin, the hormone linked with breastfeeding.
  • Anorexia nervosa, hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland), and acromegaly are rare conditions.

How will doctors diagnose Hirsutism?

In addition to examining the Ferriman-Gallwey scale, a physician will diagnose Hirsutism in women by screening out any other possible reasons for excessive hair growth, which is frequently the case. If a person's first checkup indicates that they have unwanted hair growth, a doctor must investigate the source of the problem.

  • Full-body inspection
  • Blood tests to check on how well the thyroid gland is working
  • Any medical history.
  • Grading method for measuring the density of one's body hair
  • Testosterone levels are measured by blood testing.
  • Different scans to look for an androgen-secreting tumor

Treatment of Hirsutism in women

Treatment is a matter of personal choice; however, the doctor's recommendations must be considered. 

Removing unwanted hair: Hair growth is not harmful to the body, and removing or reducing hair is a personal choice. You can use various methods, such as applying anti-wrinkle cream, shaving, waxing, undergoing electrolysis or bleaching, using creams with anti-inflammatory agents, or opting for laser hair removal.

By taking medicine, it's possible to suppress hair growth by using other drugs. Results from these medications might take up to six months or more. Some of the medicines that may impact hair growth by altering hormone levels include:

Pills for contraception: pregnancy prevention hormone tablets come in various forms, and they can lower your body's level of androgens.

Medications that reduce the effects of testosterone: You may lower your androgen levels by taking this drug. Prescribed medicines would be beneficial in protecting the hair follicles.

Hirsutism self-care

When experiencing adverse effects from medication like weight gain, depression, and exertion, consult your doctor. They may adjust your dose or suggest an alternative.

If you're concerned about hair regrowth, lotions or creams may help, but it can take up to two months to see benefits, and many women dislike using them. Medical therapies don't make unwanted hair fall out, so you'll need to use your preferred cosmetic method like waxing or laser.

Patience is vital throughout treatment, as it may take one to four years to achieve optimal results. For more information on Hirsutism in women, consult your doctor.

Where to get help?

Over the long run, unwelcome, excessive, or both hair growth on the body and face can pose problems. When there is no doubt about the existence of a hormone imbalance, it is sufficient to indicate that they seek therapy.

A second consultation not only provides beneficial effects but also serves to monitor your situation until your condition is thoroughly addressed.

During the consultation, you will get a complete evaluation and a detailed report, and you will have the opportunity to ask questions.


Dr. Mrunalini Valasani MD

Dermatology (Skin specialist)

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