Hypertrichosis is generally used to denote an increase in non-androgen dependent hair.
There are many types:

  • congenital hypertrichosis lanuginosa
    a rare generalization of lanugo hairs

  • hypertrichosis lanuginosa acquisita
    see separate discussion

  • nevoid hypertrichosis
    hypertrichosis in association with a smooth, muscle hamartoma, congenital nevus, Becker's nevus, or as a faun-tail associated with an underlying abnormality of the spine

  • endocrine hypertrichosis
    secondary to hypo- or hyperthyroidism

  • metabolic hypertrichosis
    secondary to porphyria, or malnutrition including that secondary to anorexia nervosa

  • drug-induced hypertrichosis
    secondary to steroids, dilantin, minoxidil, diazoxide, cyclosporine, streptomycin, penicillamine, and others


  • Diagnose and treat the underlying cause, if possible.
  • Increased hair itself responds to shaving, cream depilatories, plucking and, for permanent clearing, electrolysis. This latter therapy is rarely practical in the face of generalized hypertrichosis.

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