How many times have you looked at a hairy person and remarked that he or she looks like a bear? We use many animal references for people, but did you know that a particular disease in humans derives its name from an animal? Wondering which animal this is?
It’s the werewolf.
Yes you read that right.
A condition of excessive hair growth on the face or body called Hypertrichosis is also called the Werewolf syndrome where growth of hair is triggered all over the body, especially the face.
By definition, Hypertrichosis is a condition which is a condition distinguished by unrestricted growth of hair anywhere on a person’s body. It is a very rare condition and can occur in both men and women.
In most cases, abnormal hair growth can cover the body, the face or even appear in small patches on the skin.
Even though many tend to make fun of people with excessive hair growth, one cannot even imagine how somebody with this condition would feel.
What are the types of Hypertrichosis?
Congenital Hypertrichosis Lanuginosa: In this type, the fine hair which appears at birth(Lanugo), is found. Instead of disappearing through the years, the growth of hair appears in other parts of the body.
Congenital Hypertrichosis Terminalis: In this case, abnormal growth of hair begins at birth and continues through a person’s life. The hair is long, thick and grows on the face and all over the body.
Nevoid Hypertrichosis: This case is one where excessive hair growth appears in patches in defined areas.
Hirsutism: This is the type of hypertrichosis which only limited to women. Abnormal hair growth appears in areas where usually women have no hair growth such as face, chest etc.
Acquired Hypertrichosis: In this case, the condition does not appear at birth but later in the life of a person. Hair can grow in excess all over the body or also appear in specific patches.
Since Hypertrichosis has varied types, the causes of the condition is usually constant for each type. Many researches has brought about the conclusion that this condition is of hereditary origin and tends to run in the family.
The causes of Hypertrichosis are:
- Skin sensitivity to light
- Diet or even Eating disorders
- Certain drugs such as steroids for hair growth, minoxidil etc.
Symptoms of Hypertrichosis
This condition, as pointed out earlier, can develop at birth and may also develop later in life of a person. The symptoms as such have to be diagnosed to know the exact type of Hypertrichosis which is affecting the condition.
There are primarily three types of hair which is produced due to hypertrichosis:
- Vellus: The follicles of this kind of hair are usually short. They can be located anywhere from the soles of the feet, the lips, palms and even the scar tissue.
- Lanugo: This type of hair is soft and fine. It has no pigment and is seen within a few days post the birth of the baby.
- Terminal: This kind of hair is long, thick and in most cases very dark.
In 90 percent of the cases, hypertrichosis is an untreatable condition. Prevention cannot be done for a congenital disease or a condition.
Even though there are quite a few temporary measures which can be taken to reduce the growth of hair even though due to the condition, it always grows back.
Some of the treatments are:
- Chemical epilation
- Hair bleaching
Some of the more permanent or long term treatments which have been proven effective are:
Electrolysis: This process involves the destruction of the hair follicles with controlled electric discharges.
Laser Surgery: Laser surgery is mainly the application of laser light over several hair follicles at one time.
Even though these procedures have proven effective in the past, they eventually cause several skin complications, but hair loss can be permanent if these measures are taken up by the person.
Hypertrichosis is a tough condition to live with and no temporary solution can become a permanent one for the person suffering from this. The only proven and effective measures which have helped is laser surgery, but this should be done post consulting a reputed doctor or a hospital who specialise in hair treatments.
About The Clinic:
HairSure is one of the leading hair clinics at Habsiguda, Hyderabad and we have the best hair transplant surgeons in Hyderabad practising at HairSure. Trichologists at the HairSure clinic are experts in hair transplantation and PRP treatment etc. Two of our leading doctors are known to be the best trichologists in Hyderabad.