When the Woman in the Mirror is Very Hairy: Hypertrichosis
Many women feel that they have too much unwanted hair. Most times, we feel this way because we wish we had less hair or because getting rid of the unwanted hair we have is such a bother. However, some people suffer from a medical condition known as hypertrichosis.
What is hypertrichosis?
Hypertrichosis is the term used to describe excessive hair in both men and women that follows normal hair patterns. In plain language, if a woman has a lot of hair on her legs or a man has a lot of hair on his back, they are considered to be affected by hypertrichosis. This condition does not refer to excessive hair on unexpected parts of the body (on women’s chests or on ears, for example).
There are two main categories:
- Congenital hypertrichosis means a person is born with excessive hair and continues to grow the hair through their lifetime. This is extremely rare.
- Acquired hypertrichosis means the condition begins in adulthood or childhood. This is the more common type. It may be caused by some cancers and metabolic disorders; as well as by some medications. Women who suffer from anorexia or malnutrition may find that they begin to grow excess hair as well, as the body strives to protect itself.
How is it treated?
There are a few treatments for hypertrichosis. If medications or underlying diseases are producing the condition, the medications can be changed or the diseases addressed. In the case of malnutrition or anorexia, added nutrition and a better lifestyle will usually, with time, resolve the problem. In some cases, excess hair growth persists, either because an underlying condition cannot be resolved or because there does not appear to be an underlying condition. In these cases, good hair removal methods are the best solution. Since hypertrichosis is considered a medical condition, some medical insurance may cover hair removal methods. Some women find that opting for permanent hair removal methods is most practicable because of the amount of hair involved. Some women find that a hair inhibitor such as the new drug Vaniqa, or proprietary Kalo in conjunction with waxing or another hair removal method provides adequate hair removal convenience.
Help! I think I may have hypertrichosis…what shall I do now?
If you believe you may suffer from hypertrichosis, you should see a doctor who can check for underlying conditions. You should also educate yourself as much as possible about hair removal options in order to choose one that is ideal for you. In today’s world there are so many ways to get rid of unwanted hair (waxing, sugaring and laser treatment – to name a few) that there is no reason why anyone should suffer from excess hair if they want to be hair-free.