Hirsutism is the scientific term for excessive hair production, for both men and women, but usually refers to women. It can be a result of multiple factors and, as you can imagine, is a significant cause of emotional distress and self-esteem issues.
It commonly affects 5-10% of women and is usually a lifelong problem. We offer a range of treatments to help address hirsutism, so please contact us today to discuss your needs.
Very simply, hirsutism describes excessive hair growth. This usually refers to growth patterns and locations considered unusual, such as on the top lip, chin, chest, abdomen and back. Women usually have light “fuzz” hair growth, but hirsute women will experience the dark, coarse hair growth usually seen in men.
Hirsutism can be of genetic origin (i.e. it runs in families) or as a result of an underlying condition, which is usually hormonal. However, there are some cases of unknown origin. This can, of course, be very frustrating and emotionally distressing for sufferers. Treatment can still be offered to remove excessive or unwanted hair, even in cases of unknown origin.
Hirsutism is often associated with underlying hormonal conditions such as Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), congenital adrenal hyperplasia, and Cushing syndrome. There are also a number of tumours (including adrenal, ovarian, lipoid, and pituitary) and diseases (such as thyroid conditions) which may rarely cause hirsutism.
Use of certain pharmaceutical drugs, including steroids and male hormones, are also responsible for a small number of cases.
Treatment needs to consider the symptoms as well as any underlying causes of excessive hair growth. It is therefore important to consider a specialist diagnosis to ensure that other conditions are treated, in conjunction with hair removal.
For hirsutism caused by hormonal conditions, treating the underlying cause may immediately reduce growth. However, it is common for regrowth to occur, and therefore regular monitoring, and consistent treatment is important. In these cases hormone treatments such as the oral contraceptive pill, or anti-androgen drugs, may be prescribed.
There are a number of temporary and semi-permanent hair removal options available:
1. Tweezing – usually last around 3-4 weeks and may cause ingrown hairs.
2. Shaving – lasts 2-3 days, so requires regular attention. May cause ingrown hairs.
3. Waxing – lasts up to 6 weeks and usually causes inflammation around the hair follicles.
4. Depilatory creams – last from a few days to weeks, depending on the location of the hair. These may cause inflammation and pain on skin, especially sensitive areas.
5. Laser treatment – At Ocean Cosmetics we have varying options for excessive hair treatment. Our Dermal Therapists can perform BroadBand Light therapy. BBL destroys the roots of the hair, making this a good semi-permanent option for hair removal. More than six treatments, 4-8 weeks apart is the recommendation for best results, with results dependent on the area & hair being treated. Alternatively, our Cosmetic Doctors offer LightSheer hair removal. Multiple sessions 4-12 weeks apart are required but a personalised treatment plan will be determined by your treating Doctor.