Unwanted hair can be a frustrating condition. In women, this can be caused by a condition known as hirsutism. Silver Falls Dermatology offers solutions for hirsutism patients in Oregon and Washington from our many convenient locations.
What is Hirsutism?
Hirsutism is a condition in which women grow excessive dark or coarse hair in male patterns. Women with hirsutism may experience dark hair on the face, chest or back. This condition is sometimes accompanied by other symptoms including a deepening voice, balding or acne.
What Causes Hirsutism?
Hirsutism is typically caused by imbalanced hormones. This can be due to a number of factors, including:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Cushing syndrome, in which the body is exposed to excess cortisol as a result of overactive adrenal glands or side effects from medications such as prednisone
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a genetic condition resulting in excess steroid hormone production
In addition, several medications can result in hirsutism as a side effect. These include:
- Minoxidil (Rogaine)
- Testosterone (such as Androgel or Testim)
- Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
Patients should be aware that frequent skin-to-skin contact with someone who uses topical products containing androgens can result in hirsutism.
Hirsutism Treatment Options
Several treatment options are available to resolve hirsutism. First, your provider will likely suggest treating the underlying cause if possible. This often includes oral medications such as contraceptives or anti-androgens.
Topical treatments are available to remove facial hair in women. Eflornithine (Vaniqa) is applied directly to the treatment area to slow new hair growth.
Laser hair removal is another effective option. This treatment damages hair follicles to prevent them from growing hair. Laser hair removal can be performed in areas including the face, back or chest.