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Hirsutism: Laser Hair Treatments and Hormonal Imbalance

Hirsutism is a condition characterized by excessive hair growth, which is particularly noticeable on male-typical body parts including the face, back, and chest. Typically, an excessively high amount of androgens (testosterone) in the blood causes hirsutism. Although this is not always the case, PCOS is often related to it. A hormonal imbalance may result in increased hair regrowth after laser hair removal procedures. Alternatively, laser hair removal may remove existing hair, but excess male hormones will rapidly stimulate regrowth.

What is Hirsutism?

Hirsutism is described as the excessive growth of coarse, black hair in females in areas such as the face, back, and stomach. While hirsutism may be induced by a medication side effect, it is most often caused by a hormonal imbalance caused by an excess of androgens in the circulation. The hormonal imbalance associated with hirsutism may occur for a number of causes, but it is often related to (PCOS. Although PCOS affects about 70% of those who lose their hair, excessive hair growth alone is insufficient to diagnose the disease.

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Excessive Body Hair Growth Causes

The exact cause of hirsutism is often unknown, making therapy more challenging. However, many illnesses have been related to the development of hirsutism. Some of the causes are as follows:

It is a hormonal disease characterized by excessively high androgen levels in women. PCOS symptoms in women include irregular menstrual periods, acne, weight gain, diabetes, and infertility.

Production of Male Hormone Naturally: While female reproductive systems typically generate hormones, hirsutism may develop if a female’s androgen levels are abnormally high or hair follicles are more sensitive to this hormone.

Menopause: Menopausal hormone changes may cause increased facial hair growth (mustache or whiskers).

Endocrine disorders: In certain instances, hirsutism that develops suddenly coupled with other male characteristics like a deeper voice, increased muscle mass or acne may signal a more serious illness such as an adrenal gland or ovarian problem.

Medications: Some medicines like testosterone, steroids, and glucocorticoids may lead to hormonal imbalance which in turn results in hirsutism.

Is Laser Hair Removal Effective?

Hirsutism, or excessive facial or body hair, is a common and inconvenient disorder that affects many women. Excessive male hormones and hair growth in males may be hereditary or induced by medicine, but they are associated with women. Laser hair removal is currently the most effective method for removing dark hair from different areas of the face and body. However, laser hair removal is unsuccessful for women who have hormonal imbalances. These individuals will only feel transient effects until the underlying problem is addressed. Once the hormone imbalance has been addressed, laser hair removal treatments may begin, with long-term benefits.

Before undergoing laser hair removal, women with excessive facial or body hair should visit a doctor to determine if they are suffering from a hormonal imbalance. A medical examination is required to determine if growth began suddenly, whether there are underlying health issues such as acne or obesity, or if there is a family history of hirsutism. Since laser hair removal may cause adverse side effects including infertility, it is crucial to consult with a specialist.

Symptoms of hirsutism in Females

The most common hirsutism symptom is the growth of coarse, black hair in regions of the body where fine, thin hair would normally appear. As a consequence of hormonal changes, women’s hair on the lower abdomen, upper arms, face, chest, back, and upper legs may thicken and coarsen.

Excessive hair Growth Treatment

Medical professionals offer a few treatment choices for hirsutism. Treatment options may vary based on the source of hair growth and its effect on a person’s life.

A blood test may be done by a healthcare practitioner to determine hormone levels and the presence of a hormonal imbalance. Medications such as the birth control pill are occasionally used to assist individuals with hirsutism to regulate their hormones; other times, the hormonal imbalance is treated directly with androgen blockers.

The underlying cause will dictate the course of therapy and care. During pregnancy, additional specialists such as an endocrinologist (a medical doctor who specializes in hormone issues) and gynecologists may be needed in addition to your main care physician.

Some of the treatment possibilities are as follows:

  • Anti-androgen medicines, such as the oral contraceptive pill, insulin medications if hyperinsulinemia is present for reducing the hair growth
  • Surgical excision of an adrenal or ovarian tumor
  • Women who need contraception and assistance with their monthly cycle may use oral contraceptives as they reduce hair growth.

If you are overweight, even a 5% reduction in body weight may result in a substantial decrease in testosterone levels, which can be helpful. Mild hirsutism may also be treated with various hair removal techniques. They do not address the fundamental source of the issue; instead, they address the symptoms of excessive hair growth.

Hair removal option that is just for a short period of time is as:

  • Shaving is the most common method to remove unwanted hair. It is simple and safe but should be done often for preventing stubble.
  • Bleaching chemicals may be used to lighten unwanted hair. However, some products may cause skin irritation.
  • Waxing or plucking (tweezing) is an effective hair removal method, but if used often, it may irritate the follicle of hair and cause acne.
  • Depilatory treatments are used to remove hair from the skin’s surface. These products have the potential to irritate the delicate skin of the face while removing facial hair.

Hirsutism treatment that may be long-lasting includes:

  • Electrolysis: it is a technique for eliminating hair roots one at a time using a tiny needle and a mild electrical zap. It may be impractical for treating a wide region of the body at once due to the fact that each hair follicle must be treated separately. This may be a challenging, time-consuming, and expensive process. It is not appropriate for everyone.
  • Laser or Photo epilation therapies: this operates by causing hair follicles to be damaged with a concentrated beam of light. This technique is more permanent than the previous one and may be used on a larger area of the body. While photo epilation is an effective treatment, it is also inconvenient, expensive, and time-consuming.

How to Prevent Hirsutism?

The strategies for preventing hirsutism vary according to the cause. Weight loss via diet and exercise, for example, may benefit women with PCOS having PCOS hirsutism. Obese women with PCOS who follow a low-calorie diet are less likely to develop hirsutism.

Final Note

Long-term maintenance of excessive or unwanted hair is tough. While most women with hormonal issues react well to therapy, hair may regrow if your hormones go out of whack again.

Depending on the underlying reason and selected treatment method, hirsutism therapy may or may not be everlasting. Both electrolysis and laser hair removal may be more effective than shaving or depilatory lotions. Hirsutism is a long-term condition caused by illnesses including PCOS and adrenal gland dysfunction.

Laser treatments may promote greater hair regrowth or harm existing hair in certain individuals with hormonal abnormalities, but the presence of extra male hormones may accelerate regeneration. The good news is that hormone abnormalities can be treated chemically or surgically in rare instances. If you have any of these problems, you should learn more about hormone imbalance and excessive hair growth before undergoing laser hair removal.

– Disclaimer –
This blog is for informational & educational purposes only, and does not intend to substitute any professional medical advice or consultation. For any health related concerns, please consult with your physician, or call 911.

Medically Reviewed

Last reviewed by Dr. Syra Hanif, M.D. on 09/20/2021

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  • About The Author

    Dr. Syra Hanif M.D.

    Board Certified Primary Care Physician

Dr. Syra Hanif is a board-certified Primary Care Physician (PCP) dedicated to providing compassionate, patient-centered healthcare.

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