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Hypertrichosis

Hypertrichosis is a very specific medical terminology referring to unwanted condition of excessive body hair. Hyper-trichosis can be generalized, symmetrical (affecting symmetric parts of the body) or localized (affecting specific parts of body – never symmetric). The intensity of hypertrichosis can be mild and/or severe.

In modern society severe hyper-trichosis could be observed very rare – usually it is very special condition developed because of unknown genetic defects and observed as excessive animal-like hair grows on all parts of body and face.

In most cases people with severe hypertrichosis are not accepted by society and are forced to have “hidden” life (staying indoors during the day and going out only at night avoiding humiliations).

Hairy Woman - Julia Pastrana

Hairy Woman – Julia Pastrana

Julia Pastrana and Annie Jones are well known examples of severe hypertrichosis.

Esau Woman - Annie Jones

Esau Woman – Annie Jones

In 1982 the American scientist Frank Greenberg discovered one Mexican family with a rare genetic mutation that causes fur like hair to grow all over their bodies. As Mexican society could not accept this family, they were forced to hide in their home. This family was working in the circus.

Hypertrichosis

Hypertrichosis

Most famous members of the family were acrobat brothers Victor “Danny” Ramos and Gabriel “Larry” Ramos – these brothers have excessive hair on their face and chest (looking like fur); the only visible hair-free places were around their eyes, mouth, upper ears and hands.

Hypertrichosis

Hypertrichosis

It should be mentioned that there are two types of excessive hair grow in women:

  • HIRSUTISM
    According to Wikipedia, hirsutism is defined as excessive and increased hair growth in women in locations where the occurrence of terminal hair normally is minimal or absent. Hirsutism could be constitutional and/or could be a symptom of several hormonal diseases.
  • HYPERTRICHOSIS
    Hyper-trichosis is defined as excessive hair growth on all body parts (including face) that occurs beyond the accepted (by society) limits of normal for a particular age, race and sex.

Hypertrichosis Types

There are different types of intensive hair grow but all could be included in two main categories:

Generalized hypertrichosis

Generalized hair grow

Generalized hypertrichosis
During generalized type women suffer from excessive hair grow all over the entire body.

Localized hypertrichosis

Localized hair grow

Localized hypertrichosis
During localized type women have excessive hair growth only on specific restricted areas of the body (on neck, on back, on shoulders, etc.).

Congenital hypertrichosis

Usually Congenital type defined as a condition with not-pigmented, fine, soft hair that grows excessively and persists through life but always appear since birth. Main cause of congenital hair grow is genetic mutation – the occurrence of this disorder in successive generations shows autosomal dominant inheritance.

Congenital Hyper-trichosis is very rare type of described condition and there were only 50 cases registered since the Middle Ages.

Nevoid hypertrichosis

Nevoid Hyper-trichosis can occur during birth or later in life and it is characterized as an abundance of hair grows thickly in one spot or place with normal hair surrounding it.

Acquired hypertrichosis

During acquired hypertrichosis affected areas include face segments – the upper lip, chin and the cheeks. Usually acquired hyper-trichosis occurs on women after birth.

Possible causes of the acquired hypertrichosis include drugs (side effects of some medical drugs), cancer, trauma, local irritations, metabolic and hormonal diseases. Medical doctors noted generalized hyper-trichosis during treatments with Phenytoin, Cyclosporine and Minoxidil. In most cases the hair growth disappears within a year on discontinuation of mentioned drugs.

Causes

Main causes include the following:

  • Genetic factors
  • Cancer
  • Eating Disorder (metabolic disorders)
  • Trauma, localized irritations and/or injuries
  • Exposure to chemicals (hexachlorobenzene, mercury)
  • Drugs that affect hair growth and can change hormonal balance (Phenytoin, Psoralen, Minoxidil, Acetazolamide)
  • AIDS was reported as a cause of acquired localized hyper-trichosis of eyelashes, eyebrows and ears.

Treatment & solutions

All possible hair removal methods are introduced on next page.


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