8 Reasons for Unwanted Hair on Hirsutism

8 Reasons for Unwanted Hair On Hirsutism
Have you ever questioned why you may have excess hair? Sometimes there is a medical reason and below we explore some of these reasons. Laser Hair Removal At The Bay & On Unley have an advantage of recognising these symptoms as all our laser operators are nurses. If you feel like you relate to any of the below descriptions, make sure you talk to your doctor.

If you’re tired of trying to get rid of those unwanted, unsightly hair on your face or on your body, you need to get to the bottom of it all. This distressing, but thankfully, not a life threatening problem of unwanted and excessive hair growth is termed hirsutism. Scientists define hirsutism in women as excessive growth of long, stiff and sometimes curly hair in a pattern commonly seen in men.
Places where you typically find this type of hair growth are –
• Upper lips, chin, temple (sideburn areas) and jawline
• Chest and areole (the pigmented area around the nipples)
• Upper and lower back
• Linea alba (the white line that runs down the middle of the abdomen)
• Inner thighs and buttocks
Hirsutism may also be accompanied by signs and symptoms such as irregular periods, acne, and virilisation in the form of male pattern baldness, deepening of the voice, loss of female fat distribution and decreased breast size.
Excessive unwanted hair growth is generally caused by abnormally high androgen (male sex hormone) levels or if your hair follicles are more sensitive to normal andogen levels. When a girl reaches puberty she produces both female and male sex hormones and these are in a balance. If the balance is disturbed because of an abnormality in ovaries, it results in over-production of androgen or underproduction of female sex hormones, or there is an abnormality in adrenal glands, and the consequence is hirsutism.
There are a number of causes for hirsutism.
Women from the Mediterranean countries and Indian subcontinent tend to be more hirsute than those from East Asian, sub-Saharan African, African-American, native American, and Northern European origin.
Solution: There is not much you can do about your race and ethnicity. So, the best way you can deal with it is by removing the unwanted hair through laser hair removal.

Family History
You may also have the gene for excess facial and body hair. If your mother and sister have hirsutism, you will be more prone to developing excess hair growth in places you don’t want. Family history of hirsutism commonly runs in the ethnic groups mentioned earlier, so it is considered normal and is not the sign of a disorder.
Solution: Well, if the excess hair growth affect you psychologically, get rid of them via laser hair removal.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
PCOS, as it is commonly known, can cause hirsutism along with other signs such as irregular or absent periods, increased body weight, infertility, and of course, multiple cysts in the ovaries (although the cysts may be present in women even without COS). One of the causes for PCOS is overproduction of the hormone LH that stimulates the ovaries to produce excess of androgens resulting in imbalance of sex hormones in the body. PCOS can also occur because of malfunctioning of the body’s blood sugar controlling system or the syndrome may also be inherited.
Solution: Birth control pills or hormone therapy depending on the age of the woman is suggested as treatment for PCOS. Spironolactone, a diuretic, is effective against hirsutism when administered in doses of 100-200mg daily, according to a study published in the International Journal of Women’s Health. The treatment however needs o be continued for more than 6 months to be really effective.

Cushing’s Syndrome
Another reason for hirsutism is women is Cushing’s Syndrome, a disorder characterised by a flabby hump between the shoulders, round face, and pink or purple stretch marks on the skin. This disorder where cortisol levels are present in excess in your body. Cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, plays an important role in how your body responds to stress, regulates blood pressure, and helps with metabolism. Long term use of corticosteroids could also lead to Cushing’s Syndrome.
Solution: Your doctor will guide you regarding treating your Cushing’s Syndrome. You may need a surgery, or radiation therapy, or mostly medication to control excess production of cortisol can serve the purpose. For hirsutism, your doctor may prescribe you anti-androgens mostly in combination with oral contraceptives. Laser hair removal can assist in managing the symptoms but will not provide a cure.

Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia or CAH is a rare genetic disorder in which there is a decreased cortisol production but increased adrenocorticotropic horome (ACTH) production. Along with hirsutism and irregular periods, women afflicted with this disorder show male pattern baldness termed alopecia, acne and rapid skeletal advancement and rapid growth.
Solution: In many cases you won’t be needing any treatment. If treatment is recommended, you will be given glucocorticoids to treat the symptoms of excess androgen production (hyperandrogenism). However, it is more difficult to manage hirsutism as it requires long term medication along with laser hair treatment to manage the symptom.

Hirsutism in women can be caused by benign tumour of the ovary or adrenal glands. But hirsutism can also be caused by adrenal cancer though it is difficult to identify. Researchers from Netherlands found that such cancers cannot be diagnosed with just the level of excess androgen production. They suggested that “the measurement of serum testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate is most suitable for an initial evaluation,’ since hyperandrogenism can also cause CAH, Cushing’s Syndrome, as well as idiopathic hirsutism.
Solution: If a tumour is detected, your doctor will recommend your next course of action.

Idiopathic Hirsutism
When hirsutism occurs with no known underlying medical condition it is called idiopathic hirsutism. In this type of hirsutism, you may not have any hormonal imbalance, an underlying disease, or even a family history. Scientists believe that you may have idiopathic hirsutism because your hair follicles are more sensitive to normal levels of circulating androgens.
Solution: Combination treatment by suppressing excess androgen production along with cosmetic methods like laser hair removal may help reduce or contain hirsutism.

Drug Induced Hirsutism
Some drugs can induce hirsutism in women because of their androgenic effects, others may have effects that have nothing to do with androgen. Here’s a list of some of these drugs-
• Drugs that can induce hirsutism because of androgenic effects such asdehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEA-S), testosterone, danazol, and anabolic steroids.
• Drugs that induce hirsutism without androgenic effects such as phenytoin, minoxidil, diazoxide, cyclosporine, streptomycin, psoralen, penicillamine, high-dose corticosteroids, metyrapone, phenothiazines, acetazolamide, and hexachlorobenzene.
Solution: Low dose oral contraceptives used these days are less likely to cause hirsutism. Look out for oral contraceptives containing ethynodioldiacetate, morgestimate, and desogestrel; these are less androgenic.
Do not agonise too much over hirsutism. Normally, a simple blood test, or an X-ray or ultrasound exam can identify the underlying cause. Seek advice from a reproductive endocrinologist and discuss the treatment options available to you. Most causes can be treated effectively and inexpensively. But prepare yourself for a long term therapy as it may take about 6 months for the effect to be seen.

Conclusion: Laser hair removal has been proven to assist in reducing and managing the facial hair which is usually a symptom of an underlying cause. Please do not hesitate to speak with any of our nurses if this is a concern for you.