How to Identify & Treat Hirsutism?
All women have a certain amount of body hair and, yes, even a certain amount of facial hair. Men tend to have more hair than women and their hair is usually thicker, darker, and coarser than the hair that grows on women.
Many women, however, grow hair that is more associated with male hair growth. Caused by a condition called hirsutism, it can cause thick, dark hair to grow excessively in places women may not expect hair to grow.
What is Hirsutism?
Hirsutism is a condition in women that causes excessive hair growth that grows in a male-like pattern, usually on the face, neck, chest, back, and stomach. The hair associated with hirsutism is different from “peach fuzz,” the light and fine hair that everyone has all over their faces and bodies. Hair growth caused by hirsutism tends to be coarse, stiff, and dark.
Even though it may not feel like it if you have it, hirsutism is a fairly common condition that affects up to 10% of women. Hirsutism doesn’t impact your physical health, but it can cause distressing emotional and psychological side effects. Beauty standards are subjective, but some women with excessive hair growth can feel depressed, anxious, or have issues with their self-image.
The main symptom of hirsutism is the appearance of stiff, dark hair in places women don’t typically grow hair. However, some women with hirsutism also experience symptoms of a condition called virilization.
Virilization is a condition caused by high levels of androgens, which results in the development of male characteristics. Both men and women have the mae sex hormones, androgens, present in their system. In fact, they are the hormones involved with helping young people enter puberty. However, when women have higher levels of androgens, they can develop the signs and symptoms of virilization such as:
- A deeper voice
- Oily skin
- Smaller breasts
- Increased muscle development
- Male pattern baldness
- Irregular periods
- Enlarged clitoris
- High sex drive
- Hirsutism Causes
Sometimes it’s not known what causes hirsutism, but there are a few common causes for the condition. Excessive hair growth is often caused by an increased production of the male sex hormones, androgens. This increased production can be the result of several health conditions, like PCOS.
PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome, is a condition that causes an imbalance of sex hormones and usually starts showing symptoms at the onset of puberty. Between 70-80% of women with PCOS develop hirsutism. Other signs and symptoms of PCOS include irregular periods, fertility problems, obesity, and the development of cysts on the ovaries.
PCOS isn’t the only cause of hirsutism. However, 70% to 80% of all people with PCOS develop hirsutism.
Additional causes of hirsutism:
Menopause and post-menopause: The hormonal shifts and imbalances that happen during the menopause can cause increased facial hair.
Some medications: Hirsutism can be a side effect of medications such as danazol, minoxidil, anabolic steroids, and testosterone. If you’ve been prescribed medications, it’s because your healthcare provider feels you need them. Don’t stop taking medications if you’re worried about hirsutism. Instead, speak to your prescriber about your concerns and options.
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia: An abnormal production of natural steroid hormones by your adrenal glands, like cortisol and androgens.
Cushing Syndrome: Cushing Syndrome occurs when you’ve been exposed to high levels of the hormone cortisol, either from your adrenal glands producing too much of it or from long-term use of medications like prednisone.
In rare cases, an androgen-secreting tumour in the adrenal glands or ovaries can cause hirsutism.
How to Treat Hirsutism
The easiest method of managing excessive hair growth is through at-home hair removal methods like shaving, waxing, plucking, epilating, and hair removal creams. Bleaching the hairs can also make them less noticeable. These methods may be temporary, but they are cost-effective and fairly simple to do. The downside to home hair removal is that you will need to repeat them often, they can be uncomfortable, and you’re more likely to develop ingrown hairs and razor burn.
There are also more permanent hair removal methods like laser hair removal and electrolysis. These methods, carried out by a professional, can provide long-term results without side effects like ingrown hairs or razor rash, but they tend to be much more expensive.
Some medications may be able to help, especially if your hirsutism is caused by a hormone imbalance.
- Hormonal birth control
- Androgen-suppressing medications
- Low-dose steroid medications
If you are overweight, it’s recommended that you try to lose some of the extra weight. We know you hear it everywhere, but losing weight can reduce the severity of several health concerns including hirsutism.
Vaniqa cream is a prescription-only topical medication that reduces hair growth, giving you long-lasting results with your unwanted facial hair. Its active ingredient, eflornithine, works by blocking the action of an enzyme that’s found at the base of your hair follicles. Blocking this enzyme results in your hair growing back more slowly.
Since Vaniqa isn’t a hair removal cream, you’ll still need to use your regular hair removals methods like waxing and shaving. However, because your hair will be growing back more slowly, your unwanted hair won’t need as much annoying upkeep.
Also unlike hair removal creams, Vaniqa won’t give you immediate results. This is because Vaniqa works on the problem at the source, reducing new hair growth right at the follicle. Results will become more noticeable as the unwanted hairs go through their individual growth cycles. This can take up to 2-4 months.
Side effects with Vaniqa are uncommon, but if they do occur they tend to be temporary and mild. You may experience acne, skin irritation, soreness, or tingling, but as your skin gets used to Vaniqa these side effects should go away.
If you have facial hair that’s distressing you and impacting your self-esteem, Pharmacy Planet has effective hirsutism treatment that can help. Reclaim your self-confidence by visiting our website today to buy Vaniqa Cream online in the UK.