What are the cosmetic measures for the treatment of hirsutism?

Updated: May 01, 2020
  • Author: George T Griffing, MD; Chief Editor: Michel E Rivlin, MD  more...
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Cosmetic measures for hirsutism and their disadvantages are as follows:

  • Hydrogen peroxide bleaching is not suitable for severe hirsutism.

  • Plucking can cause skin irritation, folliculitis, and scarring.

  • Waxing can cause skin irritation, folliculitis, and scarring. The wax used has a low melting point.

  • Shaving may be psychologically unacceptable.

  • Chemical depilatories can cause skin irritation.

  • Electrolysis can be painful, and short-wave diathermy can cause scarring.

  • Laser therapy has been shown not only to reduce unwanted hair but also to improve depression and anxiety in women with hirsutism. In many patients, hirsutism can be controlled just with laser, without using any drugs. A study by Shrimal et al reported that idiopathic facial hirsutism can be more effectively treated with a long-pulsed neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) laser (1064 nm) than with intense pulsed light (IPL)–755 nm. After six sessions, 14 of the 15 women who underwent laser therapy (93.3%) experienced hair reduction of more than 75%, compared with three of the 18 patients treated with IPL (16.7%). Moreover, erythema, perifollicular edema, and hyperpigmentation occurred in 26.7%, 13.3%, and 13.3% of the laser group, respectively, compared with 50.0%, 16.7%, and 38.9% of the IPL patients, respectively. [18]

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