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Raised growth on scalp: Bumps on the scalp: Causes, symptoms, and treatments

Bumps on the scalp: Causes, symptoms, and treatments

A variety of health issues can cause bumps to form on the scalp, including sweating, folliculitis, acne, head lice, and eczema.

Many causes of bumps in this area are harmless, but receiving a prompt diagnosis and treatment can address any concerns and resolve the issue quickly.

In this article, learn about the health conditions that can lead to bumps on the scalp and when to contact a doctor.

Acne that forms on the scalp can be similar to acne in other areas. A person may have raised bumps, whiteheads, or blackheads, which may be itchy, sore, or tender.

Scalp acne occurs when pores or hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cells or oil. If a person has oily hair or adds certain products to their hair, they might be more susceptible to scalp acne.

Factors that may contribute to scalp acne include:

  • a buildup of hair products
  • washing the hair infrequently or ineffectively
  • sweating in a hat, hood, or beanie
  • regular delays between working out and washing the hair

Treatment

If scalp acne develops consistently, wash the hair more thoroughly, and try hypoallergenic hair products.

If the issue persists or gets worse, contact a dermatologist for specific guidance.

Learn more about treatments for scalp acne.

Folliculitis is a common infection that develops in hair follicles. It can look similar to acne and causes raised, round, inflamed, and itchy bumps.

The infection develops when bacteria enter damaged follicles, and the underlying cause may involve:

  • shaving, plucking, or waxing,
  • spending time in an improperly maintained hot tub
  • wearing tight clothing or headwear
  • taking certain medications
  • gaining weight

Treatment

To relieve any pain and help the skin heal, apply a warm compress to the area three or four times a day, for 20 minutes at a time.

If the issue worsens, or the cause is unclear, contact a dermatologist.

Itchiness is the most common symptom of head lice, but bumps on the scalp can also indicate their presence.

Have someone closely examine the area for white eggs or moving lice.

Treatment

Treatment for head lice typically involves using medicated shampoo and combing the area to kill and remove the bugs and their eggs.

Learn more about treatment for head lice here.

There are many types of eczema, and two that can affect the scalp include:

Atopic dermatitis

This type of eczema can develop anywhere on the body, including the scalp.

It causes the skin to become inflamed. On a person with darker skin, the affected areas may become darker, grayish, or purplish. On a person with lighter skin, the areas may redden.

In children, it typically affects the hands, backs of the knees, insides of the elbows, scalp, and face.

Seborrheic dermatitis

Adults with this chronic form of eczema on the scalp may notice color changes such as redness, as well as swelling and greasy scaling.

Beyond the scalp, seborrheic dermatitis can affect the:

  • nose, and sometimes just the sides
  • upper back
  • eyebrows
  • armpits
  • groin
Treatment

For eczema on the scalp, try medicated shampoos, creams, or ointments.

Learn more about the treatments for scalp eczema.

Scalp psoriasis is a common issue that causes inflamed, sometimes thickened patches of skin covered with silvery-white scales.

Treatment

A combination of care strategies, medicated shampoos, and topical ointments can help.

Learn more about the treatments for scalp psoriasis.

Contact dermatitis occurs when the skin comes into contact with an allergen or irritant.

When this issue develops on the scalp, hair products containing fragrances or specific chemicals may be responsible.

When the scalp reacts to an irritant or allergen, such as a chemical, it can cause itchiness, a burning sensation, and sometimes blistering.

The reaction can occur within minutes of contact with the irritant.

Treatment

It is important to avoid further contact with products that may be responsible. Also, a doctor may prescribe topical steroids.

These fluid-filled cysts most commonly develop on the scalp. They form in the hair follicles and contain excess keratin, a protein that occurs in the hair, nails, and skin.

The cysts are typically large and smooth, and they may be tender. Sometimes, more than one occurs in one area.

Treatment

Pilar cysts typically go away on their own. To reduce the swelling and any tenderness, try applying a warm, clean washcloth to the area.

If a cyst becomes infected, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Also, a doctor may recommend the surgical removal of a cyst.

Learn more about the treatments for pilar cysts here.

Hives are a rash consisting of itchy, raised bumps. The rash forms as part of an allergic response, and it can affect any part of the body, including the scalp.

Treatment

Hives usually go away on their own within a few days. However, a doctor can prescribe antihistamines or corticosteroids.

Learn more about the treatments for hives.

Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin, and it can form on the scalp. Healthcare professionals may refer to this as tinea capitis.

Symptoms include:

  • itchy skin
  • a ring-shaped rash
  • inflamed, scaly, cracked skin
  • hair loss

Tinea capitis is more common in children than adults.

Treatment

Creams, powders, and lotions do not work for ringworm on the scalp. Instead, a doctor prescribes an oral antifungal medication that a person must take for 1–3 months.

Melanomas can appear on the scalp, as can:

  • Squamous cell carcinoma: These lumps can be flesh-colored with varying degrees of scaling, crusting, ulceration, and thickening of the skin.
  • Basal cell carcinoma: This type of cancer can cause a smooth, pearly bump to form.
  • Merkel cell carcinoma: This rare form of skin cancer can appear as a raised, red or violet patch of skin that is fast-growing, painless, and firm.

Unlike the other bumps or blemishes described above, lumps caused by skin cancer continue to change shape and size.

Treatment

If any bumps on the scalp may indicate cancer, contact a dermatologist immediately.

After making a diagnosis, the doctor will describe the treatments, including surgical and nonsurgical options.

A person can treat most of the health issues that cause bumps on the scalp at home, with care strategies, such as using warm compresses or switching shampoos, and over-the-counter medications.

However, contact a healthcare provider about any unusual growths or symptoms of ringworm or atopic dermatitis.

Also, if any scalp issue persists or worsens, consult a dermatologist.

Bumps on the scalp can result from a variety of health issues, such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, pilar cysts, hives, or ringworm.

Some causes of bumps, such as skin cancer, require urgent medical attention. But often, a person can address the issue at home.

If any lump, bump, or blemish on the scalp is concerning, or if home care is ineffective, contact a dermatologist or another healthcare professional.

Bumps on the scalp: Causes, symptoms, and treatments

A variety of health issues can cause bumps to form on the scalp, including sweating, folliculitis, acne, head lice, and eczema.

Many causes of bumps in this area are harmless, but receiving a prompt diagnosis and treatment can address any concerns and resolve the issue quickly.

In this article, learn about the health conditions that can lead to bumps on the scalp and when to contact a doctor.

Acne that forms on the scalp can be similar to acne in other areas. A person may have raised bumps, whiteheads, or blackheads, which may be itchy, sore, or tender.

Scalp acne occurs when pores or hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cells or oil. If a person has oily hair or adds certain products to their hair, they might be more susceptible to scalp acne.

Factors that may contribute to scalp acne include:

  • a buildup of hair products
  • washing the hair infrequently or ineffectively
  • sweating in a hat, hood, or beanie
  • regular delays between working out and washing the hair

Treatment

If scalp acne develops consistently, wash the hair more thoroughly, and try hypoallergenic hair products.

If the issue persists or gets worse, contact a dermatologist for specific guidance.

Learn more about treatments for scalp acne.

Folliculitis is a common infection that develops in hair follicles. It can look similar to acne and causes raised, round, inflamed, and itchy bumps.

The infection develops when bacteria enter damaged follicles, and the underlying cause may involve:

  • shaving, plucking, or waxing,
  • spending time in an improperly maintained hot tub
  • wearing tight clothing or headwear
  • taking certain medications
  • gaining weight

Treatment

To relieve any pain and help the skin heal, apply a warm compress to the area three or four times a day, for 20 minutes at a time.

If the issue worsens, or the cause is unclear, contact a dermatologist.

Itchiness is the most common symptom of head lice, but bumps on the scalp can also indicate their presence.

Have someone closely examine the area for white eggs or moving lice.

Treatment

Treatment for head lice typically involves using medicated shampoo and combing the area to kill and remove the bugs and their eggs.

Learn more about treatment for head lice here.

There are many types of eczema, and two that can affect the scalp include:

Atopic dermatitis

This type of eczema can develop anywhere on the body, including the scalp.

It causes the skin to become inflamed. On a person with darker skin, the affected areas may become darker, grayish, or purplish. On a person with lighter skin, the areas may redden.

In children, it typically affects the hands, backs of the knees, insides of the elbows, scalp, and face.

Seborrheic dermatitis

Adults with this chronic form of eczema on the scalp may notice color changes such as redness, as well as swelling and greasy scaling.

Beyond the scalp, seborrheic dermatitis can affect the:

  • nose, and sometimes just the sides
  • upper back
  • eyebrows
  • armpits
  • groin
Treatment

For eczema on the scalp, try medicated shampoos, creams, or ointments.

Learn more about the treatments for scalp eczema.

Scalp psoriasis is a common issue that causes inflamed, sometimes thickened patches of skin covered with silvery-white scales.

Treatment

A combination of care strategies, medicated shampoos, and topical ointments can help.

Learn more about the treatments for scalp psoriasis.

Contact dermatitis occurs when the skin comes into contact with an allergen or irritant.

When this issue develops on the scalp, hair products containing fragrances or specific chemicals may be responsible.

When the scalp reacts to an irritant or allergen, such as a chemical, it can cause itchiness, a burning sensation, and sometimes blistering.

The reaction can occur within minutes of contact with the irritant.

Treatment

It is important to avoid further contact with products that may be responsible. Also, a doctor may prescribe topical steroids.

These fluid-filled cysts most commonly develop on the scalp. They form in the hair follicles and contain excess keratin, a protein that occurs in the hair, nails, and skin.

The cysts are typically large and smooth, and they may be tender. Sometimes, more than one occurs in one area.

Treatment

Pilar cysts typically go away on their own. To reduce the swelling and any tenderness, try applying a warm, clean washcloth to the area.

If a cyst becomes infected, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Also, a doctor may recommend the surgical removal of a cyst.

Learn more about the treatments for pilar cysts here.

Hives are a rash consisting of itchy, raised bumps. The rash forms as part of an allergic response, and it can affect any part of the body, including the scalp.

Treatment

Hives usually go away on their own within a few days. However, a doctor can prescribe antihistamines or corticosteroids.

Learn more about the treatments for hives.

Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin, and it can form on the scalp. Healthcare professionals may refer to this as tinea capitis.

Symptoms include:

  • itchy skin
  • a ring-shaped rash
  • inflamed, scaly, cracked skin
  • hair loss

Tinea capitis is more common in children than adults.

Treatment

Creams, powders, and lotions do not work for ringworm on the scalp. Instead, a doctor prescribes an oral antifungal medication that a person must take for 1–3 months.

Melanomas can appear on the scalp, as can:

  • Squamous cell carcinoma: These lumps can be flesh-colored with varying degrees of scaling, crusting, ulceration, and thickening of the skin.
  • Basal cell carcinoma: This type of cancer can cause a smooth, pearly bump to form.
  • Merkel cell carcinoma: This rare form of skin cancer can appear as a raised, red or violet patch of skin that is fast-growing, painless, and firm.

Unlike the other bumps or blemishes described above, lumps caused by skin cancer continue to change shape and size.

Treatment

If any bumps on the scalp may indicate cancer, contact a dermatologist immediately.

After making a diagnosis, the doctor will describe the treatments, including surgical and nonsurgical options.

A person can treat most of the health issues that cause bumps on the scalp at home, with care strategies, such as using warm compresses or switching shampoos, and over-the-counter medications.

However, contact a healthcare provider about any unusual growths or symptoms of ringworm or atopic dermatitis.

Also, if any scalp issue persists or worsens, consult a dermatologist.

Bumps on the scalp can result from a variety of health issues, such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, pilar cysts, hives, or ringworm.

Some causes of bumps, such as skin cancer, require urgent medical attention. But often, a person can address the issue at home.

If any lump, bump, or blemish on the scalp is concerning, or if home care is ineffective, contact a dermatologist or another healthcare professional.

What is hirsutism, causes and methods of correction

Question – answer
#clinic_kosmetomed

April 14, 2020

Ever since antiquity, women have been striving for a perfect and beautiful body, and all this time they have faced the problem of excessive growth of unwanted hair and their removal. It is no secret that excessive hair growth causes moral damage to a woman, reduces her self-esteem, and besides, this may hide an endocrine disease.

What is meant by excessive hair growth or hirsutism?

Hirsutism (from the Latin word hirsutus) – shaggy, hairy – this is the growth of hair in women in a male pattern in typical places : upper lip, chin, sternum, white line of the abdomen, upper back, inner thigh surface . In this case, thin and fluffy hair is replaced with hard, long and pigmented – terminal. Quantitatively, hirsutism is assessed on the Ferriman-Gallway scale as 8 or more points.

What is hypertrichosis and how is it different from hirsutism?

Hypertrichosis is the transformation of thin vellus hair into coarse terminal hair and their excessive growth in places where only vellus hair should normally be. Hypertrichosis, unlike hirsutism, can be observed in both women and men , taking into account national characteristics and age. So the growth of vellus hair on the shins in women is the norm. In the case of excessive growth of terminal hair, this situation is called hypertrichosis. In men, hair growth on the chest is considered normal. However, the appearance of too much hair on the male chest would be called hypertrichosis. But the appearance of terminal hair on the chest in women is called hirsutism.

Endocrine causes of excessive hair growth on the face and body in women

The reasons for the development of hirsutism can be both endocrine – due to hormonal imbalance, and non-hormonal.

Endocrine causes include excessive production of male hormones – androgens in a woman’s body (in the ovaries or adrenal glands) with various dysfunctions and polycystic ovaries. Hirsutism can also appear with insulin resistance, Itsenko-Cushing’s disease, hypothyroidism and obesity.

Non-hormonal causes of hirsutism in women:

  • familial hirsutism (constitutional) is hereditary, often occurs in women – residents of certain geographical areas,
  • exogenous hirsutism occurs due to the additional intake of drugs containing androgens, corticosteroids and other drugs, or under the influence of stress, prolonged hunger, etc.
  • idiopathic hirsutism – this is excessive hair growth in women of the male type of an unclear reason, when the endocrine nature of the disease was excluded during the examination, the influence of exogenous factors was excluded and there are no hereditary causes.

Idiopathic hirsutism may be associated:

  • with increased sensitivity of hair follicles to the action of male sex hormones-androgens,
  • with increased number of hair follicle androgen receptors,
  • with increased activity of the enzyme (5-α reductase), which enhances the transition of the male sex hormone testosterone to its active fraction – dihydrotestosterone.

Ovarian dysfunction (often polycystic ovaries) and idiopathic hirsutism account for approximately 90% of all cases of excessive hair growth in women .

Why is hirsutism dangerous?

Excessive hair growth in itself does not threaten life and health, however, hirsutism can be the result of various endocrine diseases. It is important to correctly examine in order to exclude or confirm a particular endocrine disease.

Our clinic – the National Medical Research Center for Endocrinology of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation – is the leading medical institution in Russia, where complex treatment of hirsutism is carried out, taking into account the endocrine causes of the disease and their elimination.

With such a comprehensive approach to the treatment of hirsutism, we can guarantee the patient the achievement of effective results in the radical elimination of excess hair growth.

Algorithm for the treatment of hirsutism and hypertrichosis in our clinic:

  • Your call to +7 (495) 500-00-97
  • Consultation with a dermatologist
  • According to indications (according to complaints) consultation with specialists: gynecologist-endocrinologist, endocrinologist, etc.
  • Examination and clarification of the cause of the disease
  • Prescribing treatment based on examination results
  • Choice of epilation method taking into account the causes of the disease and contraindications
  • Hair removal procedures

Our specialists have the maximum possible number of professional hair removal methods :

Waxing is a hair removal procedure using wax at a certain temperature. The advantages of the method are the absence of contraindications, the possibility of treating any part of the body or the whole body in a short time, and the low cost of the procedure. The main disadvantage is that hair removal is performed without destroying the hair follicle and has a temporary aesthetic effect. In addition, there is a risk of ingrown hairs.

Photoepilation is one of the most effective and radical methods of hair removal. From the very first procedures, the hair becomes thinner and becomes almost invisible, and in 6-8 sessions the hair follicle is completely destroyed. In our center, the procedure is performed on a high-tech multifunctional laser system – Quantum, with a working emitter of intense pulsed light (IPL) – Quantum HR.

The method is effective, BUT it has many disadvantages: it removes only dark hair on light skin, it requires mandatory application of a contact gel during the procedure, photoepilation procedures are not performed in summer.

Laser hair removal is the most effective modern method of radical removal of unwanted facial and body hair in women and men. During the world clinical practice, this method has been recognized as the safest for health and the most effective in the treatment of hirsutism and hypertrichosis. In our clinic, laser hair removal procedures are performed on the most advanced professional diode laser Palomar Vectus , USA. Any area of ​​the skin – the face (upper lip, chin, eyebrow line), armpits, thighs, bikini area, arms and legs, acquire a well-groomed appearance for many years.

It is important to remember that even with full-volume hair removal, it is necessary to carry out complex therapy hirsutism and hypertrichosis in women when endocrine problems are detected in order to achieve the most effective result in eliminating unwanted hair growth.


Federal State Budgetary Institution National Medical Research Center
Endocrinology
Ministry of Health of Russia

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causes, symptoms and treatment of hair growth

What is hirsutism

With hirsutism on the body and face, instead of vellus, almost imperceptible hair, coarse and dark hair grows abundantly. Traditionally, it is considered to be a female pathology.

Hirsutism is not an independent disease, but a symptom of some hormonal disorders. In women with this feature, the menstrual cycle is often disturbed and infertility develops.

Hirsutism occurs in 2-10% of women worldwide. Many patients consider this problem to be cosmetic and do not go to the doctor.

“Extra” facial and body hair was not always considered a fault. “Her pretty, with a slightly blackened mustache, her upper lip was short in teeth, but it opened all the more cute …” – this is how Leo Tolstoy described the appearance of Lisa Bolkonskaya, the heroine of the novel “War and Peace”.

Portrait of M. S. Voeikova. Painting by Karl Bryullov

Harnaam Kaur is one of the most famous bearded women of our time

The first image of a woman with perfectly smooth armpits was published in the American magazine McCall’s in 1917. Around the same time, the first advertisement for a women’s razor was published. Since then, the problem of excessive hair growth has received more and more attention. Over time, it became clear that it was not only about aesthetics.

Most often, excessive hair growth in women is associated with a high level of androgens, male sex hormones. If the hormonal balance is radically disturbed, the menstrual cycle is disrupted, ovulation does not occur.

Occasionally, coarse hair over the upper lip, on the chin, abdomen and arms begins to grow in women with a normal hormonal background. Then they talk about idiopathic hirsutism. Usually, this form of hirsutism does not affect the ability to conceive and bear.

But whatever the reason, unwanted hair often leads to low self-esteem, quality of life and psychological state.

How hair grows normally

Hair grows all over the body. They are completely absent only on the lips, palms and feet. In all other areas under the skin, there are hair follicles in which two types of hair develop – vellus and terminal.

There are about 50 million hair follicles on the human body, of which no more than 150 thousand are located on the scalp.

Vellus hair does not have a keratin shaft, it has little pigment, so it is thin, soft and barely noticeable. Such hair grows on the body from birth – they are on the arms, legs, stomach, even on the face.

Terminal hair coarse, highly pigmented and most often thick. These are the same hairs that grow on the head, in the armpits, in the groin, in the beard and mustache, on the eyelashes, eyebrows and nostrils.

Hair follicles are located under the skin and look like sacs or capsules – hair is formed in them

The development of any hair on the body stimulates growth hormone and thyroid hormones. Hair is also affected by male sex hormones androgens – testosterone and its derivatives. In a small amount, they are also in the body of women.

Free testosterone is converted by enzymes into the male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). If there is too much DHT, vellus hair can degenerate into terminal hair.

The hair follicles most sensitive to DHT are in the armpit, pubis, forearms and legs. Hard hair in these areas appears during puberty, when testosterone begins to be actively produced in the adrenal cortex.

If the level of DHT is very high or the hair follicles are especially sensitive to it, terminal hair grows profusely on the face, abdomen, chest, shoulders, back, inner thighs. This type of hair growth in women most often indicates a hormonal imbalance.

Severity of hirsutism

The main symptom of hirsutism is the appearance of coarse hair on those parts of the body where soft vellus hair usually grows. The activity of androgens and the sensitivity of hair follicles to these substances in all women is different, therefore, the severity of hirsutism may be different.

Back in 1922, the American anthropologist Mildred Trotter tried to determine what degree of hair in women should be considered normal. Together with colleagues, she described the appearance of 350 female students aged 18 to 24, paying special attention to the pattern of hair growth in girls. Hair on the face and body, with the exception of the pubic area and armpits, scientists called excess. Throughout the 20th century, other researchers supplemented these conclusions.

Today, the Ferriman-Gallway scale is most commonly used for visual diagnosis of hirsutism. American endocrinologists David Ferriman and John Gallway proposed to assess the degree and nature of hair growth in androgen-dependent skin areas: upper lip, chin, chest, abdomen, hips, pubis, shoulders, back and lower back.

Each of the nine zones is assigned a certain number of points, depending on the amount of hair on them – from 0 (absence of terminal hair) to 4 (abundant hair). For example, if one of the most famous bearded women in the world, Harnaam Kaur, used such a scale, she would receive 4 points in at least two categories – upper lip and chin. The sum of points from 8 and above indicates hirsutism: the higher the hirsut number Hirsut number, the indicator used to assess the severity of hirsutism, the more pronounced the pathology.

The Ferriman-Gallway scale does not assess hairiness on the shins and forearms – terminal hair in these areas is not considered a sign of hirsutism.

This visual method seems convenient, but it does not take into account important nuances. In some women, terminal hair grows in only 1-2 areas. At the same time, the total score on the scale may not exceed 6-7. This will erroneously mean that there is no hirsutism – a dangerous illusion may appear that there is no need to see a doctor.

In addition, the scale offers the same assessment of hair in different parts of the body, which is not entirely correct. Indeed, even a small accumulation of coarse hairs on the outer edge of the upper lip causes a woman more discomfort than the same amount of hair, for example, around the navel. Therefore, it is advisable to use the Ferriman-Hollway scale only as an addition to more accurate methods for diagnosing hirsutism – laboratory studies.

Types and causes of hirsutism

Globally, this condition has two explanations: an excess of male sex hormones or a high sensitivity of hair follicles to these substances. In the first case, hirsutism is a serious endocrine pathology, in the second, it is just a genetically determined feature.

Depending on the reasons for the appearance of unwanted hair, it is customary to distinguish several types of hirsutism.

Familial hirsutism

Abundant growth of facial and body hair may be genetically determined. Such hirsutism is called familial or constitutional. Most often, girls are born with this feature in the countries of the Mediterranean, Central Asia and the Middle East – already in early childhood they have noticeable dark hair between the eyebrows, on the temples and arms.

In women with hereditary hirsutism, hair follicles are particularly receptive to male sex hormones. So even a slight concentration of androgens is enough to start the active growth of coarse hair where they should not normally be.

Usually, familial hirsutism does not affect the ability to conceive and bear children.

The nature of excessive hair growth can be accurately determined by laboratory tests for androgens. If mom and grandmother also had mustaches, this does not always mean that hirsutism is a harmless genetic feature. It may hide hormonal pathologies, many of which are inherited.

Idiopathic hirsutism

In the idiopathic form, the problem of unwanted hair appears at puberty or even later. As a rule, ovulation is maintained in women, the hormonal background and the menstrual cycle are not disturbed, and laboratory tests confirm the normal level of androgens. As with the familial form, the active growth of terminal hair in this case is not associated with an excess of these hormones.

Idiopathic hirsutism occurs in 10% of women with unwanted facial and body hair.

The exact cause of this type of hirsutism is unknown. Most researchers agree that the point is the high activity of the enzyme that converts testosterone to its more active form, dihydrotestosterone.

Secondary hirsutism

Secondary hirsutism is said to be when excess hair on the body and face appears due to hormonal disorders. This is always indirectly or directly related to an excess of male sex hormones. Hirsutism develops if testosterone levels are at least twice as high as normal – then the hair on the legs, arms, groin and underarms grows more actively. If the concentration of this hormone in the blood increases tenfold, mustaches and beards begin to grow.

Most often, secondary hirsutism occurs in women under 30 years of age.

If a woman’s androgen levels are consistently elevated, so-called androgenic symptoms develop. In addition to hirsutism, these include acne, oily seborrhea or dandruff, alopecia Alopecia Partial or complete hair loss on the head. , Sweating. They appear individually: due to an excess of male hormones, someone has only “extra” hair, and someone is faced with all the symptoms at once.

Hirsutism related diseases

In most cases, hirsutism is caused by an excess of androgens. This hormonal disorder can be both a cause and a consequence of a number of diseases.

Infertility often develops due to high levels of androgens in women. Hirsutism and other symptoms of excess male sex hormones occur in 60% of women who, due to hormonal imbalance, do not ovulate, which means that conception is impossible.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is also often associated with hirsutism. This is a disease in which the eggs do not mature. There are four types of PCOS – three of them are characterized by an excess of androgens and hirsutism: in patients with polycystic ovaries coarse hair grows over the upper lip, around the nipples, on the thighs and abdomen.

Congenital dysfunction of the adrenal cortex is a group of diseases in which, due to a deficiency of the hormone cortisol, a chain reaction of hormonal disorders is triggered. As a result, androgens accumulate in the blood. As a rule, girls with this pathology are distinguished by a large physique, a rough voice, male-type hair on the face, chest, abdomen, arms and legs.

Hypothyroidism – decreased thyroid function. With this disease, the concentration of globulin protein in the body decreases, which should regulate the action of androgens. As a result, a large amount of free testosterone enters the bloodstream and androgenic symptoms occur.

Hyperprolactinemia – an excess of prolactin as a result of malfunctioning of the hypothalamus. The disease makes itself felt by frequent delays in menstruation. With this disease, hirsutism is especially pronounced.

Hypothalamus – part of the brain that regulates the production of hormones

Obesity is another common cause of excess facial and body hair. The accumulation of excess fat entails a cascade of metabolic and hormonal imbalances. Adipose tissue can itself produce androgens. In addition, obesity develops insulin resistance, which also leads to increased production of male sex hormones.

For malignant tumors in the adrenal glands patients are rapidly developing the whole range of androgenic symptoms – hirsutism, acne, alopecia.

During menopause some women experience hirsutism. This is due to a natural change in the balance of female and male sex hormones.

Some medicines also affect testosterone levels. Unwanted hair is a possible side effect of taking antibiotics from the group of streptomycins, synthetic progesterone, and anabolics AnabolicsMedicines that mimic the effects of testosterone..

Diagnosis of hirsutism

If you suspect hirsutism, you should consult a doctor – a gynecologist, endocrinologist or dermatologist.

During the physical examination, the specialist will ask you to tell about when menstruation began and how they usually go, measure height, weight and waist and hip circumference, assess the condition of the skin and hair on the body.

To clarify the diagnosis, a complex of laboratory tests is carried out.

Hirsutism is most often associated with an excess of androgens. The main male sex hormone, testosterone, is also present in small amounts in women. They produce it in the ovaries, adrenal glands and adipose tissue. Normally, no more than 2% of the hormone circulates in the blood – this is free testosterone, it is he who actively affects the body.

The main volume of testosterone “clings” to the blood proteins albumin and globulin. They “turn off” it and thereby regulate the activity of androgens. If the level of these proteins is reduced, then there is more free testosterone – the balance of hormones is disturbed.

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It is also important to check 17-OH-progesterone. An excess of this hormone may mean that the adrenal glands are producing too many male hormones.

17-OH-progesterone

Code 2.17.

The study allows you to evaluate the concentration of a hormone that is involved in the synthesis of cortisol and testosterone. It is used for differential diagnosis of some autoimmune diseases, genetic pathologies and dysfunction of the adrenal cortex. It can be used in the diagnosis of pathologies of the reproductive system.

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Decreased thyroid function often results in scalp hair loss and unwanted body hair growth. You can assess the state of the gland by analyzing hormones.

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To exclude the connection of hirsutism with metabolic disorders, the doctor may recommend taking tests for glucose, insulin and checking the insulin resistance index.

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Diagnosis of diseases that may be symptomatic of hirsutism

Male sex hormones affect metabolism and contribute to the accumulation of visceral fat Visceral fat A type of fat that accumulates in the abdominal cavity affects metabolism and interferes with the normal functioning of internal organs. This, in turn, leads to an imbalance of high and low density lipoproteins – “good” and “bad” cholesterol. As a result, the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke is significantly increased. You can prevent the development of these dangerous diseases by monitoring your cholesterol levels.

Lipid complex

Code 27.3.

A complex of studies shows the level of “bad” and “good” cholesterol in the blood, allows you to assess the risk of developing atherosclerosis – one of the leading causes of heart attacks and strokes.

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Excess testosterone increases the risk of thrombosis. To prevent the development of this condition, a hemostasiogram is prescribed – an analysis that will help evaluate the blood coagulation system.

Hemostasiogram (Coagulogram)

Code 27.4.1.

Hemostasiogram (coagulogram) is a comprehensive study of the blood coagulation system.

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In addition, ultrasound of the reproductive organs, ovaries and uterus, may be required to diagnose diseases associated with hirsutism.

Treatment of hirsutism

Hirsutism can be treated in two ways – taking hormonal medications and removing unwanted hair. The most effective is an integrated approach.

Medical therapy

There is no universal remedy for hirsutism. The doctor selects medications, taking into account the causes of unwanted hair. Most often, these are combined oral contraceptives (COCs) – they regulate hormonal levels.

For hirsutism, the doctor may recommend a course of combined oral contraceptives

Usually a positive effect appears no earlier than six months of regular medication – about the time it takes for the hair follicles to respond to therapy.

If taking COCs does not lead to the desired result, in some cases antiandrogens are prescribed – drugs that reduce the level of male sex hormones.

If hirsutism is associated with congenital adrenal hyperplasia, hormone replacement therapy is performed.

It is important to remember that only a doctor can prescribe hormonal drugs, taking into account the history, symptoms and laboratory data.

Hair removal

There are no fundamental instructions on how to remove hair in hirsutism – everything is individual. Shaving and depilation with wax or sugar are available for most women, but they are ineffective: usually, under the influence of androgens, hair grows very quickly, so the procedure has to be repeated every 3-4 days.

Photoepilation and electrolysis are more expensive, but these methods are more effective. Hair follicles are destroyed under the influence of high temperature – it takes more time to restore them. And this means that the skin stays smooth longer.

Electrolysis is considered a more effective way to get rid of unwanted hair than shaving and waxing

A dermatologist or cosmetologist will help you choose the appropriate way to deal with unwanted hair, taking into account the patient’s hormonal status and skin characteristics.

Psychotherapy

Symptoms of androgenic disorders are visible to others. Hair on the face and body, acne, alopecia in most women can lead to a decrease in self-esteem and even depression. Psychotherapy does not eliminate the need for drug treatment, but a psychologist will help you learn to accept yourself, find inner support and take care of your health.