Monday, May 16, 2011

hEALTH maTTerS: Getting out of a "HAIRY"situation

How can I control my life when I can’t control my hair? ~Author Unknown
Hair growth and shedding is a continuous cycle through 3 phases. The anagen phase is the growth phase, the catagen phase is a transitional state, and the telogen phase is the resting phase. Hairs spend a variable amount of time in each phase determined by genetics, hormones, and area of the body. Hair in the anagen phase is more susceptible to injury than hair in the telogen phase.
Beautiful hair is considered attractive by both sexes and is usually an considered an asset. But there is such a thing as too much hair . The scalp, genital region and the armpits have coarse hair usually while the rest of the body has fine hair. When coarse hair is found on areas of the body where fine hair is supposed to be, this is hypertrichosis as distinct from hirsutism defined as a woman has a male pattern hair distribution.
Causes of hypertrichosis include physical and chemical trauma, steroid application, chronic diseases like multiple sclerosis, anorexia nervosa and other disorders like starvation, porphyria, acquired hypertrichosis lanuginosa (marker of malignancy) and drugs like diazoxide, minoxidil etc.
Hirsutism can be found to be idiopathic i.e the cause is unknown and there is no underlying disease. There is often a family history of hirsuitism and racial factors may also play a role.Family history of similar hair distribution, normal menstrual history, no recession of scalp hairline, no deepening of voice, no increase in muscle mass and normal pelvic examination are prerequisites for labelling a case as idiopathic hirsuitism. Secondary hirsuitism is mainly caused by disorders like Cushing’s syndrome, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, adrenogenital syndrome, adrenal adenoma or carcinoma, Stein-Leventhal syndrome, ovarian tumours and acromegaly. Drugs associated with hisutism include systemic corticosteroids, ACTH therapy, progestins, anabolic steroids and testosterone.
Treatment options for excess hair include:
a. Find the underlying cause- this should be done in a hospital under the care of a physician
b. For idiopathic causes, hair can be removed via different methods
The table below gives a brief summary of hair removal methods and their advantaged/disadvantages

Hypertrichosis or not, nobody wants to see the hair on your underarms matter, on the legs (ladies especially), genital hair or facial hair for that matter, regardless of how “sexy” it or you look.
Sing :
“Don’t Forget This Or You ‘ll Regret. Mother Knows Best”
Sung by Mother Gothel, (Tangled 2010)

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