Hypertrichosis is a condition characterized by excess hair growth on any area of the body. Both men and women may be affected by the condition, but its impact on self-esteem and a healthy self-image can be particularly devastating to women. In one form of hypertrichosis known as hirsutism, women develop excess hair growth on areas of the body more commonly associated with men, such as the face, chest, back, and abdomen.

While the condition is often hereditary, it can also be caused by pituitary or adrenal disorders. Women may also develop hypertrichosis after menopause, or after the prolonged use of anabolic steroids or corticosteroids, and certain medications.

Effective Removal of Excess Hair

Excess hair can be upsetting and embarrassing. At ColumbiaDoctors, our dermatologists will explore all safe and effective methods for hair removal, since no one method is perfect for everyone. Some common over-the-counter methods for managing this condition include:

  • Shaving
  • Plucking
  • Waxing
  • Depilatories
  • Hair bleaching

However, long term results with these methods can be time-consuming or ineffective. For severe cases, treatment may include:

  • Electrolysis
  • Laser surgery

Your dermatologist may also explore oral medication options if an underlying endocrine disorder may be contributing to your condition. After discussing your family history and focused exam to determine the type of excessive hair growth, laboratory tests may be necessary in order to provide an accurate diagnosis. Your ColumbiaDoctors dermatologist will then discuss treatment options available to address your excessive hair growth, and to temporarily or permanently remove your excessive hair.


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