Hirsutism is a condition that manifests itself as an excess growth of thick, dark hair in women in a pattern similar to that of men on the chest, face and back.
This extra hair growth is due to excess male hormones (androgens), mainly testosterone. One way to treat this condition is through self-care methods and other effective hair treatment options.
To learn more about this condition, we invite you to read this article, where we will talk about the causes, treatment and some recommendations for female hirsutism.
What causes hirsutism in women?
Next, we will talk about some causes that can produce hirsutism in women:
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: it is a syndrome that starts at puberty, although the cause is really unknown, it is possible that the Luteinizing Hormone (LH) is increased compared to Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH).
It is a phenomenon that does not allow the proper development of ovarian follicles, causing immature follicles to chronically anovulate and also produce excessive androgens.
- Some symptoms may include: acne, lack or alterations in menstruation, hirsutism, infertility, etc.
- Familial or idiopathic hirsutism: it is an increased sensitivity of the skin to androgens, of an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase, due to the propensity to have more hair follicles per unit of skin area.
- It is a pathology that begins at puberty, although circulating hormones, fertility and menstruation are not affected.
- Ovarian hyperthecosis: on this occasion we will talk about a disease that occurs specifically in the ovaries. There, there is a proliferation of the different islands of the follicular theca.
- In this case and unlike polycystic ovary, the Luteinizing Hormone and Follicle Stimulating Hormone show normal values; however, the androgen levels are higher.
- Hypothyroidism: this condition usually reduces the levels of the protein that transports testosterone, resulting in a free increase of testosterone.
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia: this is a pathology that causes an increase in pituitary hormone, due to the lack of enzymes that synthesize Cortisol. This process in turn stimulates the production of androgens.
- Cushing's disease: this disease usually increases Cortisol production and causes hirsutism.
- Use of medications: treatments with corticosteroid drugs and some oral contraceptives can cause hirsutism.
Hirsutism in girls
This disorder is also associated with girls under eight years of age who have thick, dark hair, a condition known as precocious pubarche.
One of the most obvious clinical signs is the presence of dark, coarse hair in the areas of the chin, mustache, chest, back and upper legs and arms.
These aspects are helpful to establish a more accurate diagnosis and thus initiate early treatment.
Taking into account that adolescence is a delicate stage, in this way it can be avoided that girls feel belittled, begin to isolate themselves and feel embarrassed when they receive invitations to social events, especially when it comes to going to the beach or to the swimming pool.
Recommendations for parents of girls with hirsutism
- In case the girl begins to have increased body hair in areas that at her age should not appear, it is best to consult a trichologist.
- It is necessary to know that the appearance of pubic hair in girls before the age of eight is not normal.
- It is important that, if a 15 year old adolescent has not yet had her first period, or if a girl after her first menstruation, stops having it for a period of time longer than three months, especially if her period has been normal in recent years, see a specialist to treat these situations.
Treatment of female hirsutism
In case of suffering from hirsutism, there are different measures and treatments that can be carried out to counteract the symptoms and effects of this disorder, among which it is recommended:
- Taking certain physical measures, including depilation and dyeing, in addition these processes can be done in conjunction with a pharmacological treatment.
- Reducing weight and excess fat is a very effective therapeutic measure, as long as a healthy lifestyle is adopted, as well as adequate hygienic and dietary habits.
- Another option is by symptomatic treatment of hirsutism, with anti-androgen drugs, such as cyproterone acetate in combination with estrogenic preparations, thus facilitating the menstrual period and increasing the effectiveness of the treatment.
- Hirsutism and other pathologies such as adrenal hyperplasia can be treated with corticosteroids. Androgen-producing tumors should be removed and hyperprolactinemia, acromegaly or Cushing's syndrome should receive specific medical treatment.