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What causes excessive growth of body hair?

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Practicing since : 2006
Answered : 2016 Questions
Hi, My daughter is 3 years old. She has a lot of body hair. In her arms the length of hair is nearly 1 inch long. She didn't have this long and thick hair till last year. Suddenly after August it started increasing and the density and length of hair increased. I am quite worried because she might face low self-esteem in few years from now when she would wear sleeveless clothes. Can you suggest if it could indicate some medical problem that needs to be taken care of ? Is there anything else that can be done now. Thanks, XXXX
Posted Wed, 26 Mar 2014 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Kalpana Pathak 45 minutes later
Brief Answer: details below Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXXX Thanks for writing to us. The cause for this hypertrichosis could be many. It could be hereditary, due to use of any medicine, endocrinal disorders like thyroid abnormality or any other hormonal imbalance, malignancy etc. So firstly the cause needs to be ruled out.This can be done by appropriate blood investigation and also if required radiological intervention. For the same, I would advise that you meet a qualified endocrinologist. If there is an underlying cause it should be treated first as that would help in preventing further growth and would also lead to regression in hair growth. Later on, when she is grown up, excessive hair growth can be managed by laser hair reduction. Hope this helped. Should there be any other doubt,please write back
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Follow-up: What causes excessive growth of body hair? 3 minutes later
Hi Doctor, Thanks for the reply. Just couple of doubts : 1. What is the optimum age for anyone to start the laser hair reduction therapy. Does it have any side effects ? 2. Laser guns are available in US these days for personal use. Are they safe to use or one must use services of some professional ? 3. In my family I have had a history of leukoderma (my maternal grand father and his mother suffered from quite a lot of white patches after aprox 40 yrs age in their lives), does it increase the chances ? Thanks, XXXX
Answered by Dr. Kalpana Pathak 24 hours later
Brief Answer: Details below Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXXX Thanks for writing back. I will answer the questions specifically 1) We prefer doing lasers when the teenager has been through puberty. As during this phase hair follicles and hair grow. It could range from 13 to 18 years. I usually prefer doing it after 17 or 18 years. 2) Laser guns are low powered devices which are meant to be used at home. As such these guns are designed to be safe when used by non professionals but results are not satisfactory. So it is always better to get it done by a trained doctor. 3) Leucoderma or vitiligo can be sporadic as well as familial. So if you have history of vitiligo in your family, it increases the risk of having vitiligo. However the risk is 10 to 20 percent only. Hope this answered your query. Should there be any other clarification required, please write back. Regards
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