Hypertrichosis: what is it?

What Is Hypertrichosis?

Severe hypertrichosis can result in a person being covered from head to toe in hair, including their hands and face. The extent of hypertrichosis can vary from a few minor areas of excessive hair growth to the entire body. Because of its distinctive appearance, acute hypertrichosis has historically been referred to as “werewolf syndrome.”

Due to the small number of diagnosed cases, study on hypertrichosis is fairly limited; some studies are almost a century old. Even though the cause may be difficult to pinpoint, cosmetic technologies, particularly hair removal, can provide a cure.

Diagnosis of Hypertrichosis

Hypertrichosis is quite uncommon. According to the diagnosed instances, it appears to evenly affect both biological genders except for hirsutism, which affects only females. Congenital hypertrichosis can be very easily diagnosed if the irregular hair growth characteristics are quite severe and start in childhood, especially if there is a family record of the same symptoms.

Doctors can examine a patient’s hair samples under a microscope in many more subtle cases to determine whether the excessive and aberrant hair development patterns are comparable with hypertrichosis. It may take longer to pinpoint the cause and choose the best course of action for treating acquired hypertrichosis that develops later in life.

Imaging examinations like ultrasounds are used when a doctor detects an underlying health concern like thyroid illness or cancer. Blood tests may aid the detection of aberrant testosterone levels or other hormonal abnormalities. The common reason for hirsutism, PCOS, can be detected via transvaginal and pelvic ultrasounds.

Genetic testing may be required to look for certain mutations used to diagnose hypertrichosis in patients whose doctors feel it may indicate an underlying inherited disorder, such as Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome or Cornelia de Lange syndrome.

Treatment of Hypertrichosis

Treatment of Hypertrichosis

Although there is no permanent cure for hypertrichosis, doctors might pick a course of action based on whether it is acquired or congenital. Taking care of the underlying health condition is the first line of treatment if excessive hair growth is brought on by another condition, like thyroid disease or PCOS.

If a medicine is the source of hypertrichosis, changing the dosage or removing the prescription may be sufficient to stop excessive hair growth. An expert can also prescribe a medicine to stop or reduce hair growth for such a person.

Hair Removal Creams

These are depilatory creams and can be used for body hair on the legs and other body parts. Their cost is comparable to the expense of shaving. To get rid of hair, wipe it away. Your body will benefit from the cream after five minutes of application. Reapplying hair removal treatments will be necessary roughly every few days.


Online and at some retailers, you can get razors with handles that extend to all parts of your body. It can be among the cheapest methods for getting rid of body hair. Remember that for maximum effects, you must continue shaving regularly. Additionally, freshly shaved hair may get darker and rougher with each pass.

Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy may be helpful for those with hirsutism. It may be challenging, upsetting, expensive, and uncomfortable for people with serious hypertrichosis to regularly get their abnormal hair growth shaved, bleached, plucked, or waxed. These solutions are only temporary, even for persons whose hair growth is typical. They often only last a few weeks at most.

Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is the most expensive and successful method to eliminate excess body hair. Although laser hair removal often takes over one session, it can be costly and may not always be successful.


The FDA has approved electrolysis as a method of permanent removal of hair. Although the process permanently eliminates hair, electrology therapy can be uncomfortable and expensive. People with extensive hypertrichosis may have to employ multiple hair removal techniques for effective therapy regularly.

Certain techniques might not effectively or safely remove the hair from a particular body area. Additionally, certain body parts can be too delicate for various treatments or more susceptible to infection.

The research on therapies for severe cases of hypertrichosis is scarce due to the relatively few examples of the condition that have been identified. Even those with milder cases and hirsutism may typically find a hair treatment technique that meets their requirements and preferences, but it could take considerable trial and error.

How to Manage Hypertrichosis

The social life of a person may suffer from hypertrichosis. Children with the illness, more so than adults, may avoid activities like changing their outfits in the sports hall or swimming out of concern for their appearance.

Due to their nervousness, these kids could miss out on fun occasions with their friends in the neighborhood or at school, like birthday celebrations and athletic events. Adolescents with hypertrichosis generally undergo social and hormonal changes associated with their age, making them more vulnerable to low self-esteem, poor mental health, and other problems.

Resources for medical, social, and emotional health might be helpful for families and children with hypertrichosis. Individuals with hypertrichosis who find living with the illness unpleasant can find support groups, counseling, and antidepressants very beneficial. However, young people and children will find it particularly helpful to acquire coping mechanisms they can utilize throughout their lives.

There is no known cure for the condition; however, many management techniques are based on the underlying reason. Identifying underlying medical causes of abnormal hair development, like PCOS or medication, is the first step in treating them.

The hair growth is typically resolved by addressing these factors, whether by treating the underlying condition or switching drugs. There is rarely a single treatment for hypertrichosis in newborns, especially for severe cases.

With this issue, some people remove extra hair periodically by shaving or waxing, while others choose more permanent techniques like electrolysis. These techniques might be unpleasant and expensive, but the results endure longer.


Children with hypertrichosis must have emotional support because the disorder can cause depression and anxiety in those with it. People with hypertrichosis can get support through support groups, counseling, and medication to help them deal with the difficulties of having the condition.

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