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-> Hypertrichosis

Dealing with Hypertrichosis

Hypertrichosis is a medical condition which results in the excessive growth of terminal hair in areas where hair does not normally grow. Hypertrichosis should not be confused with hirsutism which is a condition where women have excessive thick and dark hair growth in areas typically reserved for males.

Hypertrichosis may be present over the entire body, or it could be confined to isolated patches. Some cases of Hypertrichosis are congenital (you are born with it), and other cases may appear any time during your lifetime (acquired).

Facts about Congenital Hypertrichosis
Congenital Hypertrichosis is so rare that there have been only 50 verified cases since the Middle Ages. When a fetus is developing in the womb, it is usually covered by a fine layer of uncolored hair called "lanugo". This hair usually falls off after the eighth month of development and it is replaced by a layer of "vellus" or body hair and the traditional terminal scalp hair.

In the case of Congenital Hypertrichosis, the lanugo hair continues to grow and it remains on the body after birth and throughout the patient's lifetime. A variation of this condition is called Congenital Hypertrichosis Terminalis. In this instance, the lanugo hair becomes colored, or pigmented, and remains on the body after birth. People who have this condition resemble werewolves or ape-men.

Another variation of Congenital Hypertrichosis is called Naevoid Hypertrichosis. In this instance there is usually one area on the body where the excessive hair is found. This condition has also been known to occur after birth, so it is not always congenital.

Facts about Acquired Hypertrichosis
Acquired Hypertrichosis occurs after birth at any point. Symptoms may include the presence of unpigmented vellus hair or it may manifest itself as pigmented terminal hair. In either instance, the excessive hair may cover the entire body, or it could be localized to one area such as the eyebrows.

What causes Hypertrichosis?
No one is quite sure. Some theories say that it is a genetic disorder which is either inherited, or results from the spontaneous mutation of genes. There are many instances where acquired Hypertrichosis Lanuginosa is found in people who are later diagnosed with cancer. Cancer-related Hypertrichosis usually appears as a fine growth of hair which is normally confined to the face, nose, and eyelids. Researchers also think that Hypertrichosis may be caused by certain metabolic disorders and by drugs such as oral phenytoin and ciclosporin.

Hypertrichosis Treatments
Like hirsutism, hair removal techniques are the best available treatment. These hair removal treatments include:

Shaving the affected areas regularly to remove the hair and to avoid stubble.

Using Depilatories, or hair removal creams after testing your skin's reaction by applying a small dab to the inside of your wrist and waiting for at least 24 hours to see if you have an allergic skin reaction.

Using bleaching products to make the hair less visible. Like depilatories, you could experience a reaction, so apply a small amount as a test and wait 24 hours.

Electrolysis treatments which use small charges of electricity to kill the hair follicles, or laser treatment which uses a laser beam to kill the follicles. Both of these treatments are expensive and should be only administered by trained professionals. Known side effects may include rash, skin discoloration, and scaring. Home electrolysis kits are generally ineffective.

Radio Frequency Hair Removal Methods - While most are not effective one system does actally work. Company has been proven as effective as electrolysis but without the pain - we would recommend this method for Acquired Hypertrichosis.

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