Excess Hair

What is excessive hair growth?

Excessive hair growth, medically known as hirsutism, refers to the abnormal growth of thick or dark hair in areas of the body where hair growth is typically minimal, or absent in women. These areas commonly include the face, chest, back, and abdomen.


What causes hirsutism?

Hirsutism is primarily caused by hormonal imbalances, particularly an excess of androgens (male hormones) like testosterone in women. This hormonal imbalance can be triggered by various factors:

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): PCOS is a common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age, characterised by enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. It often leads to irregular menstrual cycles, infertility, and symptoms like hirsutism due to elevated androgen levels.

Adrenal Gland Disorders: Conditions affecting the adrenal glands, such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia or Cushing’s syndrome, can cause overproduction of androgens, leading to hirsutism.

Medications: Certain medications, such as anabolic steroids, corticosteroids, and some hormonal contraceptives, can disrupt hormone levels and contribute to hirsutism.

Genetics: Hirsutism can run in families, suggesting a genetic predisposition to the condition.

Tumours: Rarely, tumours of the ovaries or adrenal glands can produce excess androgens, leading to hirsutism.

Insulin Resistance: Insulin resistance, commonly associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome, can also contribute to hirsutism by increasing androgen production.

Idiopathic Hirsutism: In some cases, the cause of hirsutism may not be identifiable, and it is termed idiopathic hirsutism.


Can laser hair removal help with hirsutism?

Laser hair removal can be an effective treatment option for managing hirsutism. While it doesn’t address the underlying hormonal imbalances causing hirsutism, laser hair removal can significantly reduce the appearance of excess hair and provide long-term results compared to temporary hair removal methods like shaving or waxing.


Here’s how laser hair removal can help with hirsutism:

Targeted Hair Removal: Laser hair removal targets the pigment in the hair follicles, effectively destroying the follicles and preventing future hair growth in the treated areas. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with hirsutism, as it allows for targeted removal of thick, dark hair in areas of concern, such as the face, chest, back, or abdomen.

Long Term Results: Unlike temporary hair removal methods that require frequent maintenance, laser hair removal can provide long-lasting results. After completing a series of treatment sessions, many individuals experience significant reduction in hair growth, with some achieving permanent hair reduction in treated areas.

Improved Confidence: By reducing the appearance of excess hair, laser hair removal can help improve self-esteem and confidence in individuals with hirsutism. It can alleviate the emotional distress associated with unwanted hair growth and enhance overall quality of life.

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  • What is hirsutism?
  • Hirsutism is a condition characterised by excessive and unwanted hair growth in areas where hair is typically minimal or absent in women, such as the face, chest, back, and abdomen.

  • What causes hirsutism?
  • Hirsutism is primarily caused by hormonal imbalances, particularly elevated levels of androgens (male hormones) like testosterone. Common causes include conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), adrenal gland disorders, medications, genetics, and tumours.

  • What are the symptoms of hirsutism?
  • Symptoms of hirsutism include excessive hair growth, male-pattern hair growth patterns, thick or coarse hair, rapid or progressive growth, associated hormonal symptoms like irregular menstrual cycles and acne, and emotional distress.

  • Can hirsutism be prevented?
  • While preventing hirsutism entirely may not be possible, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, managing stress, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and following prescribed treatments can help manage symptoms and reduce the risk of exacerbating the condition.

  • Is laser hair removal effective for hirsutism?
  • Yes, laser hair removal can effectively reduce the appearance of excess hair caused by hirsutism by targeting and destroying hair follicles. It provides long lasting results and can significantly improve confidence and quality of life for individuals with the condition.

  • Is hirsutism more common in darker skin tones?
  • Yes, hirsutism can be more noticeable in individuals with darker skin tones due to higher melanin levels. However, it can affect people of any skin tone, and the severity of symptoms can vary widely among different ethnicities and backgrounds.

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