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The growth of coarse unwanted hair (sometimes called "superfluous hair") is considered by some people not only a physical burden but can become a psychological one too if not treated.
From social pressure on young women to have smooth legs and armpits, to competitive bodybuilders who shave most areas of their body, hair removal can be a regular part of their grooming activities.
Hirsutism, which is increased growth of body hair in areas outside the usual female pattern, can be particularly concerning for women affected. In a study of women in the United Kingdom, figures suggested that up to 10% of women aged between 18 and 38 had some form of hirsutism.
Hirsutism can be caused by excessive production of androgens (male sex hormones) in women, or it can be caused rarely by certain drugs.
If you think that you suffer from hirsutism and you are concerned about excessive hair growth, you should seek advice from your G.P. who may, in some instances, recommend drug treatment to help reduce unwanted hair growth.
The market demand for specialist hair removal treatments is now greater than ever. Much of this renewed interest is due to the extensive marketing of newer light-based hair removal methods. There is, however, a great deal of confusion regarding claims and terms used in the marketing of various hair removal treatments.
Well known and widely used temporary methods of hair removal include: Shaving, depilatory creams, tweezing or plucking, waxing and sugaring.
Permanent hair removal has been established as the complete destruction of a hair follicle`s ability to regenerate and grow hair. This has only been clinically proven and demonstrated for methods using electrolysis.
Several lasers and light based machines have demonstrated permanent hair reduction in clinical studies and are allowed to make this claim.
The definition of "reduction" for clinical purposes is a stable reduction in the number of coarse dark hairs. In some patients, this reduction appears to be permanent, but as yet, the manufacturers of these machines cannot claim this.
The Alkaline Wash system, available through the Danne Montague King product range is designed to reduce fine, downy hair on the face and other parts of the body.
The first recorded use of electricity for epilation or hair removal was in 1875. Currently, needle-type electrolysis is the only method which can guarantee permanent hair removal. Advanced techniques are used to also remove lumps and bumps such as moles and warts.
Many different types of Laser and IPL, or LHE devices have been developed to remove body hair to a significant degree. This section contains more info on treatment cost, side effects and UK clinics.