Hirsutism – Excess Hair Growth

Excess Hair ~ Hirsutism In the 1800s, the bearded lady was a staple of many circus shows. Today, although medical professionals know that hirsutism is a serious problem, social stigma still affects women suffering from this condition.

What is hirsutism?

Hirsutism is a condition in which women suffer from excess hair – in some cases, as much hair on the face and body as men. Generally, it refers to hair growth that mimics hair growth normal in men. This means, women with hirsutism may grow hair on their chest, face, and even back as well as on their legs and arms. In some cases, hirsutism is caused by other diseases, but in most cases the condition is caused by hormones or genetics.

How is it diagnosed?

If you suspect you may suffer from hirsutism, you need to a see doctor to determine whether there are any underlying reasons for the condition. You will likely be asked about family health history (especially about the hair growth on your relatives) and you will be given a blood test. You will be asked about your own medical history and you will be asked what medications you are currently taking. This is because some medications and medical conditions produce additional hair growth. In most cases, doctors will also check to see how much of the male hormone testosterone you are producing.

Why do some people suffer from it?

In most cases, it is simply an inherited trait. Even though it begins at puberty, women may find that the problem gets worse with time, leading them to believe they are developing a new problem. Inherited hirsutism is not really a dangerous medical condition, but doctors have become aware that it can be a serious issue that can affect a woman’s life adversely.

Does it have any other effects?

Yes, some women who suffer from hirsutism may develop poor self-esteem and may feel very shy in social situations. Since the condition mimics male hair growth, some women with this condition may feel (wrongly) that they are somehow less womanly or sexy. If left unresolved, excessive hair growth may make some women unhappy, depressed, and even isolated from others. Because of this, any good doctor will talk to you about the ways hirsutism affects your life and will offer possible solutions. If the first doctor you talk to is dismissive, look for another one. There is no reason anyone needs to deal with excessive body hair when so many options are available.

What are the best management strategies?

In most cases, the condition itself is not treated. Rather, women are encouraged to find mechanical means of getting rid of hair. Waxing, electrolysis, and other long-term methods are often very useful. Since it is now accepted as a medical condition, some women may find that their health coverage covers some or all of their hair removal treatments, which can allow women to get permanent hair removal and thus resolve the problem. Many women have also been very happy with the results they achieve with Vaniqa, a new prescription drug that inhibits hair growth.

Are there any over the counter treatments available?

Kalo Hair Growth Inhibitor contains a proprietary formula which is not available in any other hair removal products. It is probably not quite as effective as Vaniqa, but it is a lot less harsh and you can get it without a prescription. All matters considered it seems to have proven to be an effective and reliable product, so give it a try to reduce hirsutism.

Comments

59 Responses
  1. Anonomis says:

    Hi … I am a 22year old female from South Africa and have been going thru this since im 14 … I have went for three blood tests I think or two since 14years of age and only wen I was 20 did the doc give me a cause of it … …the doctor says that my body produces too much insulin and that i have a hormone problem … i also dont get my period on time … i get it aproximatly every two to three months and because of it I gain weight … ( I do however think there is something more to it other then what the doc says but im not sure) its not a nice feeling at all and it doesnt look like its going to change … ive been on birth control as well and that coats my womb so they’ve taken me off that … i dont gain weight from eating cos i hardly do eat and wish people would understand that…I have taken notice though that I tend to pick up more weight wen its been OVER three months that I HAVE NOT gotten my period … so far thats all the doctor could tell me and he has put me on diabetic medication to controll the insulin in my body…although im not a diabetic and wish to never be one … so i know exactly how you all feel and i hope for you all that everything works out for you … unfortunatly i cant give you any medical advice as i dont know any …. but i do most definatly wish the BEST for you …

    Thanks

  2. amber says:

    Hey I thought I was the only one in the world with this issue! I have hair on my nipples and it gets worse the older I get. My pubic area is growing down my legs as well. Question is though can you do electrolysis around the aureola (nipple) or not or maybe if you got fake boobs would the hair die that way? Really I need help I wont even date because I’m so embarrassed I’m 34 and I wont date because of this hair growth issue:( Please tell me there is a permanent solution?????

  3. Lee says:

    hello, I’m 18 years old and very, very scared. I’ve had upper lip/stomach (above belly button) and heavy arm/leg hair since I was 12-13, and I bleached the lip and tummy. I started tweezing the upper lip hair two years ago, and it takes a while every morning, but I’m used to it.
    1 year ago, overnight, 2 long chin hairs appeared. I tweezed them, they reappear every few weeks.
    over the last couple of months, everything has gone from bad to terrible.
    I now have long, dark hair above, below the bellybutton, on my knuckles, toes, all of stomach, lower back, upper arm/shoulders, buttcheeks, around nipples, on breasts, between breasts, inner things, on hands, etc. It seems to literally be getting worse by the day.
    most of the hair isn’t super thick, but it’s immensely unsightly. I can’t go swimming, wear tank tops, change in front of people, or even try getting intimate with anyone, I hate it.
    I’m a first year university student in canada, funds are sparse. I want to see if I have an imbalance, I’m not sure if I qualify for hirsutism? I have regular periods, high metabolism, (no weight issues) but I do have anxiety that I’ve had since I was 12-13.
    if I do get tested, regardless of the results, where to next? I don’t think health care covers this stuff here, and it’s very expensive for laser/electrolysis.

    I feel gross and like nobody will ever like me for me. unrelated, but I mostly swing towards women..do you think they’d be more lenient on this, or more critical? thank you if you can help.

    • Carina says:

      Hi!
      I am 25, and I have the same problem… I read about this today and will contact a doctor first thing tomorrow! You should do the same – you can get help and get back your self esteem.

      Here are the different areas for hirsutism – you sound like you are qualified: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferriman-Gallwey_score

      Together with my hairy body, I’m overweight, depressed, tired, have irregulair periods and get sweaty after doing almost nothing – I have alot of the symptoms for polystic ovary syndrom . Being intimate with somone is something I really miss, but wouldn’t dream of because of how I look and feel.
      In my case I’m actally quite happy because of this – if I have hirsutism and/or polycistic ovary syndrom, I know there is a solution to my problem!

      Wish you the best of luck!
      Carina
      Norway

      • Lee says:

        now that you mention it, I actually have always had very clammy/sweaty hands and sometimes sweat more than usual..perhaps there is an underlying problem. (I brought that up with my doctor and he shrugged it off haha)

        thank you! best wishes!

  4. jacob says:

    Hi, i’m jacob and i have the same problem.

    I just wana know what methods are there for removing these hairs(permanent and short term)

  5. anna says:

    I have a condition called polysistic overy syndrom (PCOS). It can lead to excessive hair growth and weight gain. It looks like I have pubic hair on my extremities, all the way down from my fingers to my toes. It’s on my upper lip, chin, and jaw line. It’s a pain in the rear, and yes, I have a butt load of hair there, pun intended. I also sweat like a pig, and I also have really bad B.O. Does anyone else here have that problem?

    • Rose says:

      I have the same problem, don’t worry, the hair will reduce gradually; it takes time to recover. Be patient and eat healthy and exercise regularly (keep a check on your weight).
      Don’t lose your confidence and don’t feel awkward, treat it just like some other common disorder, it happens to many. 🙂

  6. sunshine says:

    I have been tested for PCOS and negative but I have all the symptoms I’m 25 and its on my mind everyday I’ve read reviews on trynono.com a hair removal product it takes about a year but I’m willing to try anything I would do or pay anything to get rid of at least my hair symptoms looks like everything I’ve read is asking the questions and no one has any answers its effected my life so much and I just hate it

  7. Alexi says:

    Hi, I’m Alexi and I have been experiencing pretty much all of the same symptoms y’all have all been experiencing yet I’m only 14 and a freshman in highschool and I have very low self esteem and am very shy in school because of this pesky problem, I’ve talked to my mom about it and she had the same problem she s says its hereditary in my family cause her mother had this problem also. I’m overweight had a slight B.O problem which isn’t cool cause girls in middleschool and highschool aren’t very nice about stuff like that but I’m going to try talking to a doctor about that PCOS thing and I’m hoping they can diagnose me with something so I know if I have something or at least can blame a disease or whatever and maybe fix this problem. Especially in the hiighschool scene I would like to start dating and be outgoing but this hair thing has limited me. But I do have one question for the people who have been diagnosed with hiributism or PCOS when you were talking to your doctor was it very nerveracking? And I’m guessing you had to show them the “problem areas” and I’m wondering if how you were feeling at that time and maybe if y’all had some tips to share about temporarily solving the problem?

    • leza says:

      I have the same problem have found great relief taking inosito about 2000 mcg a dayl(a B vitamin water soluable) and drinking spearmint tea. I saw a great reductions of hair growth after a week on it it also helps with anxiety!

  8. zbigpigula says:

    Hello,

    I’ve been reading this board for quite a long time. Recently, firefox tries to stop me from visiting – it says that this website is infected.

    Can you do something about it?

    Thanks in advance

  9. Vee Koppelman says:

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  10. ashlee says:

    hi girls!
    I am 19years old and have had ‘hair’ problems from the age of about 11 when I first started puberty. it stated getting worse when I was about 14, I started getting really thick dark hairs on my back chin and upper thighs and arms and toes. this really worried me because I was already overweight and suffering from social anxiety paranoia. I went to see my doc but he said that it was kind of normal but my mother insisted that I have a blood test and it typified out that I have PCOS but I was not given any medication or help with this. I took matters into my own hands. I started to exercise at home everyday. I also cut out all meat from my diet and ate only fish and vegetables and whole grain bread and pasta. I also stopped drinking milk and fizzy sugary drinks and stuck to water, teas and natural fruit juices/smoothies. I dropped from a UK size 18 to a size 10/12 in the space of 8months. I also stopped shaving and stuck to plucking and epilating and my hairs started to become thinner. I still have the problem but I am not so self conscious about it because the hairs are much MUCH more unnoticeable. I have also managed to maintain a healthy weight and feel more confident in myself I wish you all the best with your progress 🙂

  11. Nyla says:

    Hello, I’m 15 and I’ve been self concious about my body since I was in elementary school. I actually had to start shaving in the 4th grade. I’m not very comfortable with my body because I have hair everywhere except for the soles of my feet and the palms of my hands. Some of it is more noticae than others (it’s on my face, neck, back, chest, stomach, buttocks, arms, thighs, legs, fingers, and toes.) if there’s an inexpensive way to get rid of this or @ least make it unnoticeable enough to wear a bathing suit please let me know. If you would be kind enough as to email it to me at smile_nlt@yahoo.com I would highly appreciate it.w

  12. awatibabdallah says:

    hello ,yes i’m faceing this type of problem hair growth on my face nd i saw many dictor about this case . please i need ur help from u people ,send for me what i wll use .thank u from awatib abdallah

  13. Ann says:

    Hi
    I am forty two years old. I have had electrolysis since I was eighteen. I have hair all over the place. Due to electrolysis I have lots of facial scars. The only solution I have found is laser treatment where they”burn”the hair in the hair follicle. Keep in mind that the hair has a growth cycle and for the treatment to work the laser treatment need to zap the hair in the growing phase and “kill”it otherwise the hair does grow back. it is costing me a fortune but there is vast improvements. I get my whole body done, from face to breasts to tummy, back, whole legs, butt, bikini and under arms. Even though it is painful it is the only solution. I would be interest to know if some of the older ladies have found a problem with ‘going bald’ as I am losing my top section of head hair almost like men going bald.
    Hope this help someone. At school they used to make fun of me because of my facial hair and long sideburns. People/children can be very cruel so try to grow a thick hide/skin. You can contact me lannstarr@rocketmail.com.
    Pardon my English. it is not my first language.

  14. Kai says:

    I’m twelve and a half, about to start year eight at secondary. (I’m English). About the age of ten I started to develop a ‘moustache’, well that was what it was called. I was ‘girl-with-tache’ to my classmates, friends and bullies alike. I was bullied everyday. Then when I started Secondary when I was 11, things got from bad to worse. My moustache got thicker, I started to get hair on my chin (I pluck it). Then my back, and my buttocks, and my nipples, breasts, between my breasts, i have what looks like pubic hair all over my legs. My arms aren’t TOO bad. I also have tons of hair at the top of my nose. I pluck that as well. But everyone at school looks at me like I’m a disgusting revolting scum of the earth. They stare and bully me and near the end of year seven I was feeling really suicidal. If this is what it’s like when I’m 12, wth will it be like when i’m 18!?!? I have extremely irregular periods, though i suppose since I only started like in march, so that’s natural. My dad is quite/very hairy. My mum also has a ‘beard’ and a ‘moustache’. My god, I can’t live through this much longer. :,(

  15. Kai says:

    I have put on a little weight. I’m going to try going on a low calorie diet, though my mum will just laugh and never understand.

    • Susan Perkins says:

      Dear Kai,

      I’m sorry you are having such a difficult time with your body hair issues, it must be especially difficult at your age. Please talk to your parents about seeing a Dr. To rule out an underlying medical condition that can possibly be treated with medication. I encourage you to talk to your parents about how this is affecting you to the point of feeling suicidal and that you need some help to make things better. If they don’t listen, please find some adult at school who can help you. Please know that however badly you feel about this right now, your life is precious and you sound like a bright and amazing person. Please ask for help until someone hears you! Take care!!!

      • Kai says:

        Dear Susan,
        Thankyou it makes me feel so, so much better when i know someone knows and has given me advice, I’m going to talk to my parents about going to see my doctor, if it is an underlying medical condition and can be treated with medicine ill be so happy! If not, i am saving up for electrolysis when i am a little older. But thankyou tons and tons because I feel a lot better, when I start school in a week i wont feel as bad or ashamed because now i know there are ways around it 🙂
        Kai

  16. Celestina Herrera says:

    I do have PCOS and had abalation because i was having heavy periods. I was wondering if I take Myo-Inositol or D-Chiro Inositol will it make my period come back and will it help my facial hair. It seems after the menopause it has gotten worse. i have to shave every day.. And yes I do have a weight problem and trying to lose weight on that problem.

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