Monday, August 13, 2012


The Weekly World News was a constant source of amusement for most of us during the nineties and the early part of this decade, providing us with such headlines as "Psychic Dogs!" (Boston Terriers that allegedly read their owners' minds), Hillary Clinton Visited By Aliens", accompanied by a pic of our Secretary of State, walking on a beach with an ET-like creature, and my personal favorite, which I bought, "Half-Man Half-Dog Baffles Doctors".  I have to admit, I WAS baffled.  How did they get him into a suit?  Did he tie his own tie, and if so, did he have opposable thumbs or only paws?  The questions just run on and on...

Which brings us to a not-so-baffling question.  What are some of the causes of hypertrichosis?

Well, there are of course many, many causes of hypertrichosis, but here are just a few:

Congenital hypertrichosis: rare, but reported with baby covered with lots of fine hair, which persists later in life.

Congenital hypertrichosis terminalis: same as above, but thicker, termianl hair. "Wolf men"

Nevoid Hypertrichosis:  Circumscribed hair growth, may, if on the lower back, indicate spinal dysraphism

Drug induced hypertrichosis: Too numerous to name here, but one of the most famous is Minoxidil, which later was used to grow and help maintain hair in alopecia syndromes

Metabolic syndromes: e.g. Porphyrias

NAR: (No Apparent Reason)

Please note the difference between hypertrichosis and hirsutism.  Hirsutism is the inappropriate growth of hair in a localized, male pattern area on a female.  Hypertrichosis is not limited to the male pattern areas, and can be on both genders.

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