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Hypertrichosis: What Causes “Werewolf Syndrome”?

Hypertrichosis: What Causes “Werewolf Syndrome”?
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Hypertrichosis

werewolf syndrome


Hypertrichosis is a rare condition that results in excessive hair growth, either all over the body or in one generalized area. It most often occurs on the face, back, or chest. Hypertrichosis is commonly referred to as the “Werewolf Syndrome,” and individuals affected by it were often used in freak shows during the 19th and early 20th century.

What Causes Hypertrichosis?

Hypertrichosis can be hereditary, meaning it has been passed down from a parent. It can also be acquired, meaning it begins later in life as the result of an underlying condition or certain medication use.

Types of Hypertrichosis

Generalized Hypertrichosis

This type of hypertrichosis is characterized by excessive hair growth on various areas of the body, including the face, arms, legs, chest, back and stomach.

Localized Hypertrichosis

This type of hypertrichosis is characterized by excessive hair growth in one localized area of the body.

hypertrichosis

Hypertrichosis Symptoms

  • Excessive hair growth in various areas of the body
  • Excessive hair growth in one localized area of the body

Diagnosing Hypertrichosis

Hypertrichosis can be diagnosed through a thorough physical examination by a primary care physician. They may want to order bloodwork panels to check hormone levels. They will also consider any medications that the patient is on to see if they could be causing excessive hair growth.

Treating Hypertrichosis

While hypertrichosis cannot be cured, the hair growth can be managed in various ways. Shaving and waxing can provide temporary hair removal, and will need to be repeated frequently. Methods such as laser hair removal and electrolysis may yield more permanent results by directly targeting hair follicles to prevent further hair growth.

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