Hypertrichosis (Werewolf Syndrome) Causes, Prevention and Treatment?


Hypertrichosis is an abnormal amount of hair growth all over the body (also known as Werewolf Syndrome). Hypertrichosis are of two types one is generalized and another is localized. Hypertrichosis may congenital or acquired by some kind of underlying disease.

Though isn’t a true allergy because it does not trigger a histamine response, there is few patients who can develop the itchy hives and welts even after some mere minutes of water exposure. Hypertrichosis is the growth of thick hair on the face, and on other parts of the body.

In human a prenatal coat of fine, unmedullated hair (lanugo) is normally shed towards the end of gestation. Postnatal hair follicles produce either soft, unmedullated vellus or long, medullated and pigmented terminal hair. Most cases of acquired hypertrichosis lanuginosa reported in the literature have been associated with underlying malignant tumors, the majority of which have been colonic and rectal carcinomas. Production of a humoral factor by the tumor has been postulated as a mechanism for the increased hair growth, but to date there has been little evidence to support this theory.

In human beings various forms of hair growth of widely varying aetiology have been described, many of which occur preferentially in the facial area. Such conditions are not mentioned in any of the reviews of pathology of non-human; primates considered here and may not have been recorded previously for non-human primates.

Congenital Hypertrichosis: When a fetus is developing in the womb it is covered in a fine layer of uncolored hair called lanugo. Lanugo fall off after eight months of development and is replaced by vellus, body hair and the terminal hair.

Naevoid Hypertrichosis: This is when there is only one area of hair growth instead of multiple. This has been known to occur after birth.

Causes: Scientist has found that the cause of Hypertrichosis is an extra gene chunk found on the X chromosome. Pragna Patel of the University of Southern California says that the gene SOX3 is the cause of this growth of hair. Patel also says that the gene could help cure baldness, or hirsutism (excessive hair growth) in the near future. The main cause for acquired hypertrichosis is cancer, anorexia and hyperthyroidism. There is no cure for any forms of hypertrichosis.

Treatments for Hypertrichosis: Electrolysis treatments, laser treatments, hair removal cream, shaving the areas of hair growth daily, or bleaching products to make the hair less noticeable.

Prevention: BCG vaccine, the only proven effective vaccine for the prevention of tuberculosis, is routinely administered in developing countries. There are many well known side effects reported in the literature. However, as far as we are aware, the development of hypertrichosis at the injection site has not been reported before.

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