How Can I Help a Friend Suffering From Hirsutism?
If a friend or a loved one tells you about their problems with excess body hair, which is also called Hirsutism, then you will probably want to learn a little more about the condition, and how best you can support them.
One of the first things you can do is exactly what you have already started to do by researching online for ways to help them; the second and most important is to understand just how hard it is for someone to admit to anyone that they have an issue with excess hair growth on their body.
Your friend will most likely have already been through a long and drawn out process with their condition, and you may or may not be the only or the very first person they have told about their problems.
Supporting a Friend with Hirsutism
While you might think there is nothing you can do to really help your friend, the very fact they have shared what it a highly personal piece of information with you about their health means that you have already started to help them cope with their condition.
Excess hair growth on any part of the body is often psychologically tough to deal with. Because Hirsutism will affect your friends face, chest or back; it is very often the case that their symptoms will be noticeable. Depending on the severity of their condition, they may have been trying to treat it on their own, or they might be looking into the different ways to get treatment for the issue. We will talk about the different treatment options for your friend’s Hirsutism in this article shortly.
While you might not be able to help with the symptoms of Hirsutism, there are things that you can suggest to your friend; more importantly, just being that ‘someone’ they can talk you and open up with about their issues has already helped them to form a solid support structure, and one which is integral for their mental well-being.
What Can Cause Hirsutism?
There is a range of reasons a person can develop a problem with excess hair growth, most of which are completely outside of their control:
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Cushing’s Syndrome
- Androgen Secreting Tumours
- Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
- Some Medications, such as Corticosteroids and Prozac
- Irregular Hormone Levels
As you can see, some of the causes of excess hair growth can be serious, which is why it’s important that your friend visits a doctor. The doctor can then identify what causes it, and discuss with your friend what the best treatment approach would be for them. It can be very difficult to talk about these symptoms with others, but it’s important to do so.
What Treatment Is Available for your Friend with Hirsutism?
The Hirsutism your friend is experiencing may be caused by different things, which are also called the underlying cause. It is key that the underlying cause is identified by a doctor, so it is important that your friend goes and sees a doctor about their symptoms.
Once the doctor has identified what causes the hirsutism, they can they suggest treatment options for your friend to try. Depending on the cause, these treatment options can include:
- Medical Treatments for Hirsutism
There are a number of medications available that your friend’s doctor will discuss with them after a diagnosis is made. It is key that your friend follows the advice of their doctor. As some medications may take time until your friend sees an effect on their body hair, many women also use physical methods for the removal of their excess hair.
- Hair Removal Methods
There are a number of practical ways your friend can remove their excess hair, at home or in a semi-permanent or permanent way. These methods include:
The most cost-effective and easiest way to remove excess hair growth is to pluck, shave, wax or use a type of depilatory cream. The hair grows back quickly, and because the hair removal process will need to be completed on a very regular basis, this is something that people who only have a mild level of Hirsutism will choose to do.
Semi-Permanent and Permanent Removal
With more severe cases of Hirsutism, or where the growth pattern of the hair is very noticeable, which is very often the case, there are semi-permanent and permanent hair removal methods available.
Three of the most popular treatments include IPL, Laser Therapy, and Electrolysis. All of these treatments require the use of specific medical equipment, and they all need to be carried out by qualified professionals. Each of the treatments will require a series of visits, and there are some side-effects, including the potential for redness or irritation of the treated area. Once a course of these treatments occurs, the results can be long-lasting, as many of them will work to destroy the hair at the root, and prevent regrowth or at the very least, it will lighten and/or make the hair less obvious. Cost is also another key factor to consider as getting permanent hair removal is not cheap.
More information about these methods for semi-permanent or permanent hair removal is available here.
- Supplements for the Treatment of Hirsutism
Many women also want to know if there is any natural supplement that they can take that helps with the hair growth. Unfortunately, for most there currently is little to no scientific evidence available to confirm that they have an effect on Hirsutism. However, for some like spearmint tea, small early studies have found that it may have an effect on hair growth. Learn more about natural supplements for Hirsutism here.
Remind your friend that in case they want to start a supplement, they should discuss it with their doctor before starting, as some supplements can interact with other medications that they may be taking.
Talking about the symptoms of Hirsutism can be very difficult, and it’s a big sign of trust that your friend has discussed this with you. Now that you understand more about the condition, you will be able to support them along their journey and their doctor’s visits. It is key that your friend sees a doctor, so they can get diagnosed and get the right treatment. You can support them along their journey with Hirsutism by being there for them.