What is Hypertrichosis? Causes, Types, and Symptoms

Various skin conditions are either common or rare. One of these skincare conditions is known as Hypertrichosis. This skin condition causes abnormal hair growth that grows excessively. On severe occasions, thick hair growth happens almost anywhere in the body. This type of skin condition comes in different forms. One of them is that a person inherits through genetics, whey they are born. This type is known as the congenital form. One can also develop Hypertrichosis from another medical condition later in life. This is the acquired form of Hypertrichosis. 

Hypertrichosis also comes in several subtypes that will determine the symptoms and how it looks in the body. Once the doctor establishes the cause, he will suggest the type of good treatment for you. Unlike the acquired form of Hypertrichosis, the congenital form is extremely rare. Worldwide, there have been less than 50 reported cases which have been recorded. However, both the acquired and congenital forms have posed a big challenge to specialists and medical professionals. 

What is Hypertrichosis?

The first case of Hypertrichosis was documented in the medieval ages by individuals. In families, cases of this skin condition were recorded in Europe, North America, and Asia in the 20th century. Since the mid-2000s, only one case of congenital Hypertrichosis had been recorded. A person suffering from Hypertrichosis can have his or her body fully covered with hair or small patches, or abnormal hair growth. A person suffering from severe Hypertrichosis can have his or her body covered with full hair all over the body, including hands and face. 

People did not know what this skin condition was; therefore, they called it the “werewolf syndrome.” Very few studies have been done, with some of the studies being almost a century old. Fortunately, the few studies that have been done have enabled scientists to come up with various treatments. Even if you are suffering from a severe form of Hypertrichosis, you can still get affordable treatments. Beverly Hills Hair Restoration Clinic is one of the state of the art medical facilities in Los Angeles that offer hypertrichosis treatments. 

Symptoms of Hypertrichosis 

The type of Hypertrichosis that a person is suffering from will determine the type of treatment to be used. Each form of Hypertrichosis exhibits different symptoms or hair growth, including vellus, terminal, or lanugo. 

A soft, fine, light-colored layer of hair called lanugo covers the fetus while in the womb. Every child born has lanugo hair, and certain medical conditions may cause it to grow once a person becomes an adult. Compared to other hair growths, this type of growth is not quite noticeable. 

Vellus hair, on the other hand, is usually blonde and thin. It normally grows on arms/legs and cheeks if children, before they experience thick dark terminal hair, show up.

The type of hair that appears thicker, longer, and darker than other hair types is called terminal hair. Terminal hair usually grows in the scalp. During puberty, the vellus hair is turned into a terminal. Compared to lanugo and vellus hair types, the terminal hair type is quite noticeable. 

Types of Hair Structures and their Functions 

Like we mentioned earlier, a person can either develop Hypertrichosis or get it later in life. A person can either be born with three kinds of this hair growth condition. They include:

Congenital hypertrichosis lanuginosa

This condition occurs when the fine layer of hair formed in the womb continues to grow even after the baby is born. Normally, lanugo hair is supposed to disappear once the baby is born. 

Congenital hypertrichosis terminalis 

This form of hair growth is characterized by “werewolf syndrome.” The person will experience abnormal hair growth covering almost every area of the body. The hair is typically thick and dark, unlike lanugo hair. 

Nevoid Hypertrichosis

Compared to other conditions, this type is usually mild, forming small patches of hair growth that are isolated. Even though this type of hair structure may be present during the baby’s birth, it may also develop later in life leading to some form of the condition. A good example is a unibrow. 

Other medical conditions that may lead to Hypertrichosis include the following:

Acquired Hypertrichosis

The cause of this type of Hypertrichosis will determine whether the form will be mild or severe. A person suffering from this hair growth condition can either get terminal or vellus hair growth. 


This abnormality in hair growth usually occurs in females, where patterns and thickness of facial hair that usually happens in men appear in women. If you have this condition as a woman, you will experience coarse, dark hair growing in particular body areas, such as the back, the chest, or the upper lips. 

Besides experiencing abnormal hair growth, many people who have this condition may also have oral health problems. A condition called gingival hyperplasia may occur in people who have a congenital form of Hypertrichosis. With this condition, the gums enlarge, which leads to bleeding. Children born with this hair growth condition may have late teeth growth, or their teeth may not come in at all. 

Ambras syndrome or Hypertrichosis Universalis congenital is a condition that causes bad dental health, which is another abnormal body characteristic brought about by Congenital Hypertrichosis. 

Causes of Hypertrichosis 

Researchers are finding it hard to pinpoint exactly what causes the various types of Hypertrichosis. However, extensive research is pointing in the direction of genetics. A team of researchers in 2011 implied that a particular hair growth controlling gene controls hair growth during fetal development. Genes are the main culprits since many cases of Hypertrichosis have involved families. 


It is a hair growth disorder that is quite rare. It sometimes causes excessive and abnormal hair growth that makes a person feel or look weird. Fortunately, there are various treatments at Beverly Hills Hair Restoration clinic that you can use to get rid of it. Consult your doctor first to get to the bottom of the condition and get proper treatment. 

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