Hypertrichosis is excessive hair growth over and above the norm for the age, sex, and race of an individual, in contrast to hirsutism, which is excess hair growth in women and children following a male distribution pattern. The latter is caused by the presence of excessive male hormones. Hypertrichosis can develop all over the body or can be isolated to small patches. Rare forms of hypertrichosis are present at birth in contrast to acquired hypertrichosis which develops later in life.
There are various causes of acquired hypertrichosis including localized irritation of the skin, medications, underlying malignancy, and possibly anorexia. New onset of hypertrichosis or hirsutism should be evaluated by a physician. Treatments for hair removal include bleaching, trimming, shaving, plucking, waxing, chemical depilatories, electrolysis, and laser hair removal.