Hirsute women have no reason to feel helpless

April 17th, 2009 - 3:00 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Apr 17 (ANI): Excessive hairiness can be more than just a cosmetic problem, but women shouldn’t feel helpless because of it.

British doctors have warned that hirsutism is likely to be a sign of an underlying medical condition. But, worry not, for help is at hand.

The docs said that five to 15 percent of women have excess hair, and a hormone disorder the most likely cause in many cases.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the cause in 70 percent to 80 percent of cases.

Report author, Dr Rebecca Swingler, a specialist registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology at St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol, said the condition can be particularly upsetting for young women.

In addition to PCOS, rarer causes of excessive hairiness include certain tumours and thyroid dysfunction, as well as the use of certain drugs.

According to Swingler, mild cases can be treated cosmetically, but in moderate to severe cases, hormone therapy, such as the oral contraceptive pill and other treatments are present.

Weight loss may also help reduce high levels of the male hormone testosterone which can be an underlying factor in cases of excess hair.

“Often women have spent many years trying to cope with their hirsutism before they seek professional help,” The BBC quoted Swingler, as saying.

“Women need to look at themselves in the context of their family and ethnicity and what is ‘normal’ for them.

“If they notice a change in the pattern of hair growth or they notice they having to wax more often then they should seek help,” she said. (ANI)

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