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Hypertrichosis Diagnosis 2

Page history last edited by Kiran Bassi 14 years, 8 months ago

Diagnostic Testing for Hypertrichosis


     Because there are many causes for excess hair growth, it is sometimes hard to see underlying medical conditions that may affect it.  Doctors must distinguish the difference between hair growth that is purely a cosmetic issue from hair growth caused by a more serious medical condition.  This is done by very few tests and examining family medical history. [1]


·         There is no laboratory test done for congenital hypertrichosis.  The diagnosis is done with clinical and histologic findings.  Laboratory testing may be done to rule out other causes for hypertrichosis that are not congenital.

·         Hair biopsies are done to find out the type and positions of hair follicles that can rule out other diagnoses and also for histologic classification.

·         With histologic findings you can determine the type of hair affecting an area.  Lanugo hairs are nonpigmented, while vellus hairs can be pigmented or nonpigmented.  Because vellus hairs fall under both categories, differentiating between the two types of hairs can be difficult with histologic testing.

·         Doctors will ask about history of excess hair in the family and also about drug use to try to find if there is a medical condition causing the hair growth.

·         Women can have blood tests done to measure hormone levels and also CT scans to check for tumors in the ovaries or adrenal glands. [2]


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  1. Levinbook, Wendy. "Hirsutism and Hypertrichosis ." Ther Merck Manuals Online Medical Library. Home Edition. Merck & Co, 2008. Web. .
  2. Taylor, Sarah. "Congenital Hypertrichosis Lanuginosa: Differential Diagnoses & Workup." (2009): n. pag. Web. 29 Oct 2009. .

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