Hirsutism is a condition, where in excessive body hair growth is seen in men and women, in areas of the body, where hair is normally absent or minimal. This is more of a problem in women, where hair growth pattern follows that of a man. Hirsutism is more common in South Asian women.
Excessive hair growth can lead to serious emotional problems, low self-esteem and reduced confidence. Women with hirsutism tend to reduce socialising and interacting with people. Hirsutism can be a serious cosmetic problem. However before cosmetic intervention to reduce hair growth is attempted, underlying reason for excess hair growth should be ascertained.
What causes Hirsutism?
There are several reasons for excess hair growth. Some of the hormonal or endocrine causes are mentioned below:
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Cushing’s Syndrome
- Androgen (Male home) producing adrenal tumours
- Androgen (Male home) producing ovarian tumours
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
- Male hormone injections/medications
Investigations and management
Investigation includes several blood tests to check for hormone abnormalities and also scans to find out why and from which organ excess male hormones are being produced. Once the source is identified, appropriate treatment is initiated.
Sometimes the source of increased male hormones is not known or there is no excess of male hormones. Treatment depends on several factors. There are several medications and creams (vaniqa) which can reduce hair growth. Laser is commonly used to reduce excess hair growth. Surgery may be indicated when an excess male hormone secreting tumour is identified.
Dr Chinnadorai Rajeswaran is a consultant Physician specialising in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity. As a private endocrinologist he has private endocrine, diabetes and weight loss clinics in Harley Street, London, Chennai (India), Claremont Hospital, Sheffield, Nuffield Hospital, Leeds and Simplyweight, Bradford.
He has face to face consultations with people from Barnsley, Rotherham, Chesterfield, Doncaster, Wakefield, Huddersfield, Bradford, Harrogate, Leeds, Sheffield, London and Chennai (India). He also offers video consultations.