What are hypertrichosis and hirsutism

The term hypertrichosis is used in scientific circles to indicate the excessive growth of voluminous and pigmented hairs on a body area commonly covered only by fluff (i.e. in places where the action of androgenic hormones is not exerted). Often, in the common language, this word is mistakenly used as a synonym for hirsutism, a term that instead indicates the anomalous and excessive presence of terminal hairs with an androgen-dependent aspect, with male distribution, in a female subject (more frequently if there is a clinical history of family hirsutism and menstrual irregularities). Both conditions, which typically affect the female sex, involve an aesthetic damage, sometimes objectively serious, from which can originate important socio-psychological consequences.

Hypertrichosis: diagnosis

Clinical examination of the patient (with evaluation of hair length and any signs of virilization) is essential for diagnosis, as is the acquisition of an accurate personal and family history, through which the presence of diseases such as ovarian polycystosis (frequent cause of hirsutism) can be verified; it is also useful to proceed to a detailed pharmacological history. Finally, all hormonal (gonadotropin, androgen and estrogen) and non-hormonal laboratory tests must be carried out in order to exclude or confirm a clinical suspicion of hypertrichosis.

Hypertrichosis: therapy

Normally the treatment is aimed at resolving the symptom through the adoption of cosmetic measures such as the discoloration of hair with hydrogen peroxide, periodic hair removal with razor or hot wax and permanent hair removal with the laser, may also be useful a psychological consultation.