Female with male pattern hair(Hirsutism)
Normally in human body hair grow in chin, chest, axilla, pubic and thigh region and also in the breast these all are related to androgen hormone. The amount of body hair and pattern are determined by our genetic makeup. Sometimes we may see some women with excess growth of terminal hair as male pattern ,if it is due to excess secretion of androgen then the term is known as Hirsutism. It should be distinguished from hypertricosis which is the excessive growth of terminal hair in either sex in a non endrogenic distribution. After menopause some degree of Hirsutism is common. Most of the cases of Hirsutism is unknown and demonstrable hormonal abnormality is seen in a small minority.
Causes of Hirsutism
Hirsutism without virilization
Hirsutism with virilization ( *virilization include-decreased breast size, Increased muscle mass, deep voice, enlargement of clitoris, acne, baldness)
Hirsutism without virilization
- Drugs ( steroid, phenytoin, androgen etc )
Hirsutism with virilization
- Ovarian cause-PCOS(Polycystic ovarian syndrome, Androgen secreting ovarian tumour, Arrhenoblastoma
- Adrenal cause-adrenal carcinoma, androgen secreting adrenal tumour, congenital adrenal hyperplacia, Cushing’s syndrome
Good History is main in this case because history of drugs and family history may properly guide what to do. If the onset is shortly after menarche then the tumour is unlikely. so If the menstruation regular then it is more likely to be constitutional rather than tumour or other pathology, greater the menstrual abnormality more likely there are serious ovarian or adrenal related diseases.
After taking all the history we may go for some investigations according to history –
- Blood for testosterone
- USG of abdomen to see adrenal mass or ovarian tumour
- Other-CT scan, MRI, Laparoscopy if required
- Treatment of primary Cause eg- if it is due to drug then it should be stopped
- Local therapy-
Temporary-Plucking ,Bleaching, Depilatory cream, waxing, Shaving.
Permanent- Two types
One is Electrolysis in where fine needle is inserted in the hair follicle then an electric current is sent through the needle to hair follicle and the production of hair is destroyed. Follicls are treated one at a time so it is not useful for large areas of the body.
Laser treatment is is used for large areas. In those who have darky pigmented hair laser therapy may helpful. During laser hair treatment a beam of light is passed through the skin to the hair follicle and destroy it. These are very painful procedures.
- Systemic Therapy-Estrogen and Antiandrogen drugs are helpful after proper diagnosis.
Hirsutism does not cause any physical complication but emotionally distressing for women. They feel depressed about having unwanted hair .Those who have hirsutism who might have ovarian tumour which can inhibit fertility .during treatment some drugs may cause birth defect in pregnancy so precaution should be taken.
Importance of food-
Food containing plenty of chromium, Vit-B and magnesium are helpful in Hirsutism .
Generally it is not preventable. But in case of Polycystic Ovarian syndrome overweight patient may get help if they lose weight. please more info you need contact with us.