Bay Harbour Med Spa.: Our Skin and Laser Hair Removal Services

Informative articles about skin care topics, issues and treatments

Are you hairy(suffer from hirsutism), but your blood work comes back normal?

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Hirsutism in simple words is excessive hair growth. At Laser Hair Removal Miami, we see a growing number of young ladies plagued by this problem, a problem they describe as an embarassing nuisance. One of the causes to this condition is hormones. More and more women seeking permanent laser hair removal have facial hair, the problem is also plaguing many young ladies in their early teens.

So let’s take a look at hirsutism. Hirsutism comes from the Latin word for shaggy or hairy and is a condition of excessive hairiness. Basically, when one thinks of hirsutism, one thinks of a hair pattern associated to be normal for men, to be a pattern of hair growth on women which should not be there (e.g., hair on face,neck,chest, back,fingers, toes,back-mainly lower back,buttocks and so on). For years, women have been told that this is a hereditary problem. Many doctors fail to conduct a battery of blood work testing for hormones beyond testosterone level. If you live in the South Florida area, we recommend Dr. James Cennamo, located in Fort Lauderdale.

Many women, young ladies and teens are led to believe, well at least in the past, that hirsutism is a condition that one would have to live with. Laser Hair Removal Miami, LLC., would like to share some good news- there is a legitimate cause to hirsutism and there is something that can be done about it.

So what causes hirsutism?

One word, androgens. Androgens are knows as male hormones. It’s a myth that only men have active testosterone, women do too. The difference is that women only have 5-10% of active testosterone levels as compared to men. When young menand women reach their teens, they develop pubic and under arm hair.

What amount of hair constitutes hirsutism?

A few hairs on the following locations are expected for women who do not suffer from hirsutism- outer corners of the upper lip, maybe a few chin hairs, around the nipples, between the naval and pubic region and the upper thighs. If a young lady or woman has more than a light growth of hair in these places or other regions of the body such as the face,lower back,stomach,chest,buttocks,fingers, toes. If you have excessive hair growth coupled with irregular periods or weight problems, there more than likely is a medical problem. You should seek the help of a gynecologist and an encronologist. We know of many women who suffer from hirsutism who also suffer from endometriosis– there definitely is a link between the two. You should be checked for polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, Cushing’s disease, have your adrenal glands checked, as well as your ovaries.

Is there a test for hirsutism?

Yes. Your testestorone levels should be checked to measure the “free testosterone”. This is the portion of the hormone which is not attached to protein in the blood and therefore, can actually travel in the tissues. Dehydropiandrosterone sulfate can be converted to testosterone, and should be measured. If one or more of these androgens is more than mildly elevated, more tests need to be done to determine the cause and find out which gland and extra testosterone is coming form- whether it be the ovary, adrenal, or both.

What if my periods are irregular, which tests should I ask my doctor about?

If your period is irregular, you should have the FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and prolactin, these test for pituitary or ovary issues.

I know I have hirsutism (excessive hair growth on my face,back,stomach,nipples,buttocks,fingers, toes and so on), but my doctor tells me my blood work is normal?

Hirsutism will always be  due to testosterone stimulating the hair follicles. Why, then, do many women with hirsutism have normal levels of testosterone? The answer is that some women have hair follicles, which are extremely sensitive to testosterone. So do some men. Don’t believe it? At Laser Hair Removal Miami, LLC., we’ve noticed that some of our male clients have less hair than other men. Some cultural groups such as Asians have very little body hair because their hair follicles are insensitive to testosterone too.

Sadly, once testosterone levels are stimulated in women, their hair follicles stay overactive. The testosterone levels for women are highest in their teens and twenties. Levels after that point begin to decline until after menopause. If years late into the over production of hair becomes an issue, the testosterone levels bay be quite normal. However, the hair follicles have not forgotten to keep an over production of hair.

Another cause of test results which may show normal hormonal levels, is that testosterone levels fluctuate and therefore, testosterone may be only occasionally high. But the hair follicles are stimulated every time the testosterone level goes up. These peeks in testosterone may be missed during the time the blood tests are run. These peeks in testosterone may be missed during the time the blood tests are performed.

Is there hope for women who suffer from hirsutism?

While lab tests are crucial in evaluating the medical condition of hirsutism, they do have limitations. A negative test does not mean there is not a problem simply that the test has failed to provide the cause. For a long time, oral contraceptives were given young women suffering from hirsutism. Most women we’ve spoken who were prescribed birth control pills for hirsutism, did not feel their condition improved. Hormone replacement therapy should be looked into as an alternative.

What are some other common prescribed medications for the condition of hirsutism?

Spironolactone ( a diuretic) is combined with oral contraceptives. Under no circumstances should you take any medications without getting blood work done and having a physician supervise your treatment/s. Another common prescribed drug is Finasteride, also known as Propecia.  This drug blocks the enzyme that converts the testosterone to a more active form of DHT.  It can be dangerous for childbearing women due to possible abnormalities in fetal male genital development. There are studies which show improvement within four months, but it may take longer to fully notice significant reduction.

Often hair removal specialists are the first to encounter clients with hirsutism because clients coming in for hair removal services are seeking solutions to remove excess hair. At Laser Hair Removal Miami, LLC., we provide permanent hair removal services to our hirsutism clients, but we oftern refer them to a physician specializing in hormone therapy, which can help find the right diagnosis of the hormone connection and help them find a treatment.

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3 Comments»

[…] has written a very informative article about hirsutism and the treatments available to treat hirsutism. We hope you find our article to be useful and informative: https://skinblogs.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/hirsutism/ […]

  Shelly wrote @

this is by far, the best and most informative article i have found that covers hirsutism and pcos. bravo!!!!!!

  Bay Harbour Med Spa wrote @

Thank you soooo much. We really appreciate your kind of feedback. We put a lot of time and effort into writing and including articles which we think may be beneficial for our visitors.

Laser Hair Removal Miami, LLC


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