Best Treatments And Medications To Deal With Hirsutism
“There exists two ways of treatment to remove hair permanently. One is laser and the other is electrolysis”
Often seen in up to 10 per cent of women, hirsutism is the excessive growth of hair on face or other body parts. It is indicated by the growth or dark, coarse hair which commonly appears on the chest, face, abdomen, upper arms, back or upper legs and the common cause of hirsutism is PCOS, a medical condition whereby the ovaries overproduce and rogens.
The scoring system of Ferriman Gallwey is used to quantify hirsutism. According to this method, a score ranges from zero to four, indicative of no growth to extensive terminal hair growth. It is also used to assess hair growth on body areas like:
- Upper lip
- Upper arms
- Upper back
- Upper abdomen
- Lower back
- Lower abdomen
Excessive hair growth on the body or face is depressing for PCQS patients and it also alters their appearance. It fosters feelings of rejection and leads to social withdrawal. Thus, it has to be handled carefully. The situation can be eased with the aid of many medical or cosmetic treatments, so it’s best to consult your doctor for the treatment suitable for your case.
- Androgen receptor blockers Eflornithine
- Oral contraceptives or Birth control pills
- GnRH analogues only for severe forms
- Depilatory agents
Birth Control Pills
The use of contraceptive pills is commonly recommended for treating hirsutism as it inhibits ovulation and increases globulin, which binds the sex hormone and decreases androgens.
Water pill or diuretic by the name spironolactone is often prescribed with contraceptive pills as it is known to help the hair follicles by blocking the androgens’ effects. Some side effects of this medicine are headaches, fatigue. heartburn, dry skin and irregular vaginal bleeding.
Women who use this drug experience a significant decline in hirsutism.
The other medicine like flutamide is known for blocking androgens receptors, and tinasteride is known for creating more active androgens by converting testosterone. Side effects are inclusive of harmful, yet rare effects on the liver.
Hair removal treatments that remove hair temporarily include plucking, waxing, bleaching, and usage of external chemicals like depilatories for dissolving the shafts of hair. Facial creams which contain eflornithine is known to slow the growth process of excess facial hair but the side effects of this cream is worsening cases of acne. Shaving is the only hair removal treatment without any medical side effects.
There exists two ways of treatment to remove hair permanently. One is laser and the other is electrolysis. The electrolysis process involves the use of mild current that is used to abolish the hair follicles’ reproduction abilities successfully and permanently. It is advisable for small parts of the human form.
Laser involves the use of a beam of light that is passed through the skin for the destruction of the follicles of hair. However, it is important to note that these treatments may or may not completely reduce the hair growth or may cease to have a permanent effect without a follow-up medical treatment.
Hirsutism And Hormone Therapy
Hormone therapy is normally used to prevent the growth and development of terminal hairs. It also slows the process, An individual needs an average of six months’ time to witness a decrease in hair growth, with the use of hormone treatment. The treatment can go on for an indefinite period of time and is usually followed by laser or electrolysis to remove the remaining hair post the hormone therapy. Also, a constant medical treatment is required to manage the hormonal issue that triggers hirsutism and the external hair removal methods will not be effective if the medication is discontinued.
Dealing with PCOS and hirsutism is an emotionally disturbing experience as it invokes feelings of masculinity, making an individual feel self-conscious and uncomfortable about the excessive weight or hair growth accompanied with the fear of infertility. It is usually difficult to admit these feelings to others, but it is essential to talk to your doctor and explore the best cosmetic or medical treatment. It may also help you to acknowledge and realize that you are not the only one going through this disorder and it is a common problem that many women experience.
Hirsutism can be successfully treated so, you should watch out for early signs of hirsutism in yourself, other female family members and your children, especially during adolescence. Hirsutism is frequently a result of PCOS but both hirsutism and PCOS are easier to treat when diagnosed at a young age.