Some young girls and women suffer from unwanted hair growing on face and body. This skin condition called “HIRSUTISM” which means the presence of terminal hairs in females in a male-like pattern. Hirsutism in general affects 5% – 10% of women. Some causes of hirsutism are well known – in most cases it is a result of hormonal dysfunctions, mainly increased production of male hormones in women body (produced by ovaries and/or adrenal glands).
Idiopathic means that the cause of the condition is not completely known. It is suspected that this type of hirsutism may be inherited (genetic) as there is often a family history of the condition. Other than the excessive growth of hair, women with this type of hirsutism show none of the symptoms associated with the other type of hirsutism.
It is very important to check Ferriman-Gallwey score for correct identification of hirsutism constitutional and/or hirsutism idiopathic.
In most cases of hirsutism idiopathic, the affected person is healthy till puberty and during puberty the excessive hair grow (hypertrichosis and/or hirsutism) could be noted. In this category the hirsutism is usually genetic (family related). In most cases clients have normal regular menstrual cycles with ovulation.
Sometimes these clients could have associated obesity and/or insulin resistance. Most clients with hirsutism idiopathic have normal blood androgen levels. In these cases the main cause of hypertrichosis and/or hirsutism is explained by increased sensitivity of the skin to normal androgens. Scientists discovered increased 5 alpha-reductase action in skin and hair follicles.
Familial hirsutism is both typical and natural in certain populations, such as in some women of Mediterranean or Middle Eastern ancestry.
Sex steroids (androgens) are the most important in determining the type and distribution of hairs over the human body. Under the influence of androgens hair follicles that are producing vellus-type hairs can be stimulated to begin producing terminal hairs. The activity of local 5a-reductase (5a-RA) determines to a great extent the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and consequently the effect of androgens on hair follicles.
The pathophysiology of the hirsutism idiopathic is presumed to be a primary increase in skin 5a-RA activity and possibly an alteration in androgen receptor function. Therapeutically, these patients respond to antiandrogen or 5a-RA inhibitor therapy. Pharmacological suppression of ovarian or adrenal androgen secretion may be of additional, albeit limited, benefit. New therapeutic strategies such as laser epilation or the use of new biological response modifiers may play an important role in offering a more effective means of treatment to remove unwanted hair.
HIRSUTISM IDIOPATHIC – SYMPTOMS
Primary symptoms of idiopathic hirsutism are excess terminal hair growth in androgen-sensitive body areas. The average of Ferriman-Gallwey Score is about 1-9.
In most cases menstrual cycle is normal regular with normal ovulation which means women with idiopathic hirsutiam are perfectly fertile.
Circulating androgen levels remain unaffected.
Increased activity of local 5a-reductase. Experts suggest that it is probable that genetic modifications of the androgen receptor function and possibly 5a-reductase functions can alter the manifestation of hirsutism.
HIRSUTISM IDIOPATHIC – TREATMENT
The treatment of any kind of hirsutism must aim to stop or at least slow down the formation of new terminal hair growth without destroying the existing hair follicles. For a comprehensive treatment plan, the hirsute patient must first get rid of terminal hairs. The treatment span will be determined by the rate of check of hair growth according to the anagen, catagen and telogen phases of the life cycle of hair. Approximately, at least 6 months of therapy is necessary to see some positive results.
In general hirsutism treatment should include 3 steps:
Androgen suppression if any increased production is discovered.
Local and/or peripheral androgen blockade.
Mechanical and/or cosmetic removal and destruction of the unwanted hairs.
In many cases natural remedies can be pretty effective in treatment of hirsutism idiopathic – discover Hirsutism Home Remedies Hirsutism Treatment with Spearmint tea on next pages.
Here are some effective methods which can be used during idiopathic hirsutism:
Hair removal – Shaving
How It Works: Using a razor, a person removes the tip of the hair shaft that has grown out through the skin. Some razors are completely disposable, some have a disposable blade, and some are electric. Women often shave their underarms, legs, and bikini areas.
How Long It Lasts: 1 to 3 days
Pros: Shaving is fairly inexpensive, and you can do it yourself. All you need is some warm water, a razor, and if you choose, shaving gel or cream.
Cons: Razor burn, bumps, nicks, cuts, and ingrown hairs are side effects of shaving. Ingrown hairs can happen with close, frequent shaving. When the hair begins to grow, it grows within the surrounding tissue rather than growing out of the follicle. The hair curls around and starts growing into the skin, irritating it.
Tips: You’ll get a closer shave if you shave in the shower after your skin has been softened by warm water. Go slowly, pulling looser areas of skin taut before running the razor over them. Change razors often to avoid nicks. Using shaving cream may also help protect sensitive skin, like the skin around the genitals. If you’re nervous about cutting yourself, you can try an electric razor instead.
Hair removal – Plucking
How It Works: Using tweezers, a person stretches the skin tightly, grips the hair close to the root, and pulls it out.
How Long It Lasts: 3 to 8 weeks
Pros: Plucking is inexpensive (all you need are tweezers). But it can be time- consuming because you can only remove one hair at a time.
Cons: Plucking can be painful. If the hair breaks off below the skin, a person may get an ingrown hair. After plucking, you may notice temporary red bumps because the hair follicle is swollen and irritated.
Tips: Make sure you sterilize your tweezers or other plucking devices with rubbing alcohol before and after (to avoid infection).
Hair removal – Waxing
How It Works: A sticky wax is spread on the area of skin where the unwanted hair is growing. A cloth strip is then applied over the wax and quickly pulled off, taking the hair root and dead skin cells with it. The wax can be warmed or may be applied cold. Waxing can be done at a salon or at home.
How Long It Lasts: 3 to 6 weeks
Pros: Waxing leaves the area smooth and is long lasting. Waxing kits are readily available in drugstores and grocery stores. Hair re-growth looks lighter and less noticeable than it is after other methods of hair removal, such as shaving.
Cons: Many people say the biggest drawback to waxing is the discomfort: Because the treatment works by pulling hair out at the roots, it can sting a bit as the hair comes off — luckily that part is fast. People may notice temporary redness, inflammation, and bumps after waxing. Professional waxing is more expensive than other hair removal methods. Teens who use acne medications such as tretinoin and isotretinoin may want to skip waxing because those medicines make the skin more sensitive. People with moles or skin irritation from sunburn should also avoid waxing.
Tips: For waxing to work, hair should be at least ¼ inch (about 6 millimeters) long. So skip shaving for a few weeks before waxing. Waxing works well on the legs, bikini area, and eyebrows.
Hair removal – Electrolysis
How It Works: Over a series of several appointments, a professional inserts a needle into the follicle and sends an electric current through the hair root, killing it. A small area such as the upper lip may take a total of 4 to 10 hours and a larger area such as the bikini line may take 8 to 16 hours.
How Long It Lasts: Intended to be permanent, but some people have re-growth of hair
Pros: Some people have permanent hair removal.
Cons: Electrolysis takes big bucks and lots of time, so it’s usually only used on smaller areas such as the upper lip, eyebrows, and underarms. Many people describe the process as painful and dry skin, scabs, scarring, and inflammation may result after treatment. Infection may be a risk if the needles and other instruments aren’t properly sterilized.
Tips: Talk to your doctor if you’re interested in this method.
Hair removal – Laser Hair Removal
How It Works: A laser is directed through the skin to the hair follicle, where it stops growth. It works best on light-skinned people with dark hair because the melanin (colored pigment) in the hair absorbs more of the light, making treatment more effective.
How Long It Lasts: Intended to be permanent, but people often need to return every 6 months to a year for maintenance.
Pros: This type of hair removal is long lasting and large areas of skin can be treated at the same time.
Cons: A treatment session could be expensive. Side effects of the treatment may include inflammation and redness.
Tips: Using cold packs may help diminish any inflammation after treatment. Avoiding the sun before a treatment may make results more effective.
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Disclaimer: It is strongly recommended to consult your doctor for professional advice. Above mentioned information and recommendations are just general and should be adapted to each person according to personal health indicators and status.