Bad Hair Day: 3 Causes Of Hirsutism In Women – And The Treatments That Really Work
When hair on your face and body starts to grow out of control, you might be tempted to actively hide the problem in embarrassment. There is no reason for shame, however, as hirsutism, or male-pattern hair growth in women, commonly occurs due to medical conditions, genetic factors, and medication side effects. Furthermore, talking about the problem with your general practitioner can help you discover the underlying cause and find a suitable treatment option. Learn more about hirsutism causes and treatment options to ready yourself with the knowledge you need to go to your doctor for help solving this issue.
Causes Of Hirsutism
Your doctor will need to identify the main cause of the excess hair growth to provide you with the best treatment option for your condition. The three main causes of hirsutism are high male hormone levels, genetic factors, and prescription medication side effects.
Circulation of excess male hormones, called androgens, can throw your bodily processes out of whack and cause a host of symptoms, such as hirsutism and acne. The increase in production of these hormones often results from the development of women's health conditions, including polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS. In many cases, doctors can control the identified condition using weight loss or medications that balance the production of male and female hormones.
Prescription medications that alter your hormone levels can trigger the onset of hirsutism. If possible, you can talk to your doctor about replacing the medication with a similar formula that lacks this distressing side effect. If you cannot stop taking the causative prescription, you can talk to your doctor about oral or topical medications that inhibit the hirsutism side effect.
You just have to look to your grandmother, mother, or sisters to see if a genetic link spurred the onset of excess hair growth. Unlike the other two potential causes, doctors cannot reverse this link. Fortunately, you can still inhibit excess hair growth using topical medications and remove the remaining hairs using manual methods.
Upon identifying the cause of your hirsutism symptoms, your doctor will attempt to mitigate the underlying issues to treat this condition. You can also take matters into your own hands by actively removing the unwanted hair growth.
To eliminate excess hair growth caused by hormones, your doctor will help you regulate your hormones to reach a healthy balance. If you are overweight or obese, the first step in hormone regulation is weight loss. Weight loss can also help control the underlying hormone-induced disease processes. If PCOS is an underlying factor, for example, losing just 10% of your body weight can eliminate the majority of the symptoms caused by this condition.
If the hirsutism symptoms continue after reaching a healthy weight, your doctor may want to try prescribing birth control pills. The extra female hormones can keep the male hormones from overloading your body and causing hair to grow out of control. Your doctor can also prescribe medications that block the production of androgens altogether.
To control the excess hair growth, you can actively remove the unwanted hair using a variety of techniques. The most common ways to remove hair on your face and body include:
- Laser treatments
Your doctor can also prescribe a hair-growth-inhibitor cream that you can apply to problematic areas on your face. The prescription cream can reduce growth by nearly half within six months.
You must weigh the various hair removal options by considering a multitude of important factors, including your skin sensitivity level and overall pain tolerance. Consider trying out a couple different methods before settling on the one that works best for you.
Scheduling An Appointment With Your Doctor
You do not need to see a specialist to get your hirsutism under control. Just make an appointment at your family health clinic and speak to your general practitioner about the issue. Your doctor will help you find the exact cause of the excess hair growth and discuss the treatment options best suited for your condition.