Causes of Hirsutism
Hirsutism is a term known for excessive growth of hair in women. Hirsutism is the growth of dark long hair in women as seen in men. It refers to a male pattern of hair growth like moustache, beard, hair growth in the chest and back area.
Hirsutism is caused by hormonal disorder. An increase in the male hormones (androgens) leads to thick hair growth in women in areas where women do not generally have thick hair. It is normal for females to have thick hair growth in the armpits, pubic area, around the nipples, and sometimes to an extent on arms and legs. But if thick hair growth presents itself on the chin, upper lip, abdomen, chest or ears, it may be hirsutism and treatment should be started immediately. Hirsutism is a major cause of embarrassment to women. Androgens are present in high levels in men, but when the same androgens are produced by women at an abnormally high level, it leads to male-pattern growth of body hair.
An increased level of insulin may also lead to a problem of hirsutism. If the level of insulin is high there is excessive hair growth and as the insulin level comes down the hair growth also comes down.
Irregular periods may also lead to hirsutism. Many women notice irregular periods at the same time as they suffer from thick and unwanted hair growth. There may also be small cysts formed on the ovaries. Certain medicines that treat epilepsy and other contraceptive pills may also lead to a condition of hirsutism.
Treatment for hirsutism is divided into two categories. One is the temporary treatment for the hair growth that treats the problem topically. The other deals with treating the cause of the problem, whether it is an increase in androgens or irregular menses or some sort of reaction to some medication. Temporary topical treatment would include laser hair removal, electrolysis, waxing, threading, plucking, shaving etc. Treating the root cause of the problem should always be taken up along with the topical treatment. Hirsutism is essentially the symptom of an underlying disease which needs to be treated.
Treatment for hirsutism is basically to stop the production of hormones like androgen. It is a hormonal disorder so it is important to consult a doctor and take necessary medication for controlling the abnormal growth of androgen. A gynecologist would be able to correctly gauge the root cause of the problem through various tests. Irregular periods and ovarian cysts will have be treated appropriately.
Excessive insulin can be cured by consulting the respective physician as to the medication to be taken for the control of insulin levels in the body.
Therapies like laser techniques and electrolysis which remove hair permanently are very time consuming and expensive. Temporary and easier techniques such as waxing, bleaching, shaving are less time consuming and not very expensive either.