hair growth

Excess body hair growth is also known as hirsutism. This is a condition in women where they develop excess hair growth on their body which is normally seen in men and not women. This condition may have various underlying causes. It’s worth noting that somebody’s hair development is normal and can be impacted by genetics, ethnicity, and hormonal variables. When hair growth becomes much more than what is expected in women then it might be due to various factors.

Causes of excess body hair growth:

  1. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): PCOS is a common hormonal condition that mostly affects women. It causes an abnormal synthesis of androgens, which are male hormones. This hormonal imbalance can cause a variety of symptoms, such as excessive hair growth, irregular menstruation periods, and the formation of cysts on the ovaries.

    Excess androgens can stimulate hair follicles, resulting in hirsutism, or the growth of coarse and dark hair on parts of the body where males traditionally grow hair, such as the face, chest, and back.

  2. Cushing’s syndrome: Cushing’s syndrome is caused by chronic exposure to excessive quantities of the hormone Cortisol. This can be caused by a variety of circumstances, including adrenal gland problems or the use of certain drugs. Excess Cortisol levels can cause hirsutism, as well as weight gain, a rounder face (“moon face”), and skin changes.
  3. Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia: Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia is a collection of hereditary illnesses that affect the ability of the adrenal glands to generate hormones. As a result, testosterone levels rise, resulting to hirsutism and other symptoms of masculinization. This illness is typically present from birth and can cause a variety of hormonal and physical abnormalities.
  4. Adrenal Tumors: Adrenal gland tumours can induce overproduction of hormones, particularly androgens. Excessive androgen production can cause coarse hair to develop in areas not normally associated with female hair growth patterns, such as the face and chest.
  5. Ovarian cancers: Some cancers on the ovaries have the ability to manufacture androgens. When androgens enter the bloodstream, they can cause hirsutism as well as other symptoms such as irregular periods and changes in body composition.
  6. Medication: Certain drugs, most notably anabolic steroids and anticonvulsants, have the potential to upset the body’s delicate hormonal balance. As an unexpected consequence of this disruption, hirsutism may develop. Anabolic steroids, which are commonly used for muscle training, can cause excessive hair growth, particularly on the face and body.
    hair growth
  7. Hypertrichosis: Hypertrichosis is a hereditary disorder that causes excessive hair development in locations where it doesn’t normally occur for terminal hair to form. Contrary to hirsutism, which has hormonal roots, hypertrichosis has no such hormonal roots and can affect anyone, regardless of gender.
  1. Hyperthyroidism: A thyroid gland that is overactive can cause an increase in metabolism and, in certain situations, hirsutism. Thyroid hormones control a number of biological processes, including hair growth.
  1. Hypothyroidism: On the other hand, a thyroid gland that is underactive can cause hormonal abnormalities and hirsutism. The body’s regular hormonal levels and metabolic rate depend heavily on thyroid hormones.
  1. Acromegaly: Acromegaly is a condition in which the body produces too much growth hormone, typically as a result of a tumor on the pituitary gland. Acromegaly can result in increased hair growth in unexpected places, in addition to other signs such aberrant bone development and expansion of facial features.
  1. Androgen-Secreting Tumors: The growth of hirsutism may be aided by tumors that release androgens, such as those that are present in the ovaries or adrenal glands. The bloodstream’s excess androgens encourage the growth of coarse hair follicles.
  1. Insulin Resistance: Elevated androgen levels can result from insulin resistance, which is frequently linked to PCOS. Given that insulin plays a part in controlling the synthesis of androgens, this hormonal imbalance can make hirsutism worse.
  1. Obesity: Adipose tissue can help to convert some hormones into androgens. As a result of increasing androgen levels, overweight people may experience increased hair growth
  1. Idiopathic Hirsutism: When the exact cause of hirsutism cannot be determined, it is referred to as “idiopathic.” This implies that, regardless of hormone imbalances, underlying diseases, or heredity, the precise cause is unknown.
  1. Congenital Generalized Hypertrichosis: Congenital generalized hypertrichosis is a rare hereditary condition that causes excessive hair growth throughout the body. Unlike hirsutism, this disorder is caused by genetic mutations rather than hormonal reasons.
  1. Adrenal Hyperplasia: Adrenal hyperplasia is a collection of hereditary illnesses that affect the function of the adrenal gland, resulting in aberrant hormone production. This imbalance can result in hirsutism and other hormonal-related problems.
  1. Hyperprolactinemia: Elevated prolactin levels can disrupt normal hormone balance and contribute to hirsutism. Prolactin is generally involved in lactation and reproductive health.
  1. Danazol Use: Danazol, a synthetic androgen, is occasionally used to treat a variety of medical disorders. However, because of its effect on hormonal balance, it can cause hirsutism as a side effect.
  1. Porphyria Cutanea Tarda: Porphyria Cutanea Tarda is a rare genetic illness that affects heme production and can cause photosensitivity, skin fragility, and hirsutism. Multiple body systems, including hormones, are affected by the illness.
  1. Malnutrition: Severe malnutrition alters hormone balance, affecting insulin, androgen, and estrogen levels, potentially causing excessive hair growth (hirsutism) as the body prioritizes critical tasks over non-essential ones such as hair development.
  1. Anorexia Nervosa: Anorexia’s excessive calorie restriction stresses the body, resulting in hormone imbalances that lower sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone. Stress-induced cortisol release impacts insulin and glucose levels, worsening hormonal difficulties and potentially causing hirsutism due to increased testosterone levels and disturbed hair growth patterns.
  1. Hypopituitarism: A pituitary gland that does not function properly can affect hormone synthesis and cause hirsutism. The pituitary gland regulates many hormonal activities in the body.
  1. Virilizing Ovarian Tumors: Ovarian tumors that release androgens can cause masculinization symptoms such as excessive hair growth. These tumors emit androgens into the bloodstream, resulting in a variety of symptoms associated with male hormone levels.
  1. Genetic Mutations: Certain genetic abnormalities can result in hormonal imbalances and excessive hair growth. These mutations have the potential to interfere with the body’s normal hormone control mechanisms.
  1. Inflammatory Skin Conditions: Inflammatory skin disorders, such as lichen planus and psoriasis, can stimulate hair follicles, leading to increased hair growth in affected areas. Hair growth patterns can be influenced by inflammation and immunological responses.
  1. Use of Certain Creams or Ointments: Some steroid-containing topical products can disturb normal hormone balance and contribute to hirsutism. Steroids in these items can have an effect on both local and systemic hormone levels.
  1. Autoimmune disorders: Certain autoimmune disorders can cause hormonal abnormalities and excessive hair growth. The immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own tissues, particularly those involved in hormone manufacturing, in certain situations.
  1. Hormonal Contraceptives: Hormonal contraceptives, such as birth control pills, can help manage excess hair growth in some circumstances, but particular formulations may contribute to hirsutism. Hormonal contraceptives affect hormone levels in the body and can have various impacts on hair growth.
  1. Aging-Related Hormonal Changes: Hormone levels can alter as a person ages, perhaps contributing to increased hair growth in specific locations. Changes in hormone production with age can have an impact on a variety of biological functions, including hair growth patterns.
  1. Pituitary Tumors: Pituitary tumors can impair hormone production and cause hirsutism, among other symptoms. The pituitary gland is responsible for several hormonal activities in the body.

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