Women care a lot about hair. One recent survey even that 44% of women find it troublesome when men’s eyebrows, nose hair, or ear hair is left untouched, 71% prefer men to trim their back hair, and 53% think that men should trim their chest.
Fortunately for them, women don’t have to worry about so much body hair removal, unless of course they suffer from a disease called Hypertrichosis, as eight-year-old Xiao Ling does.
Hypertrichosis, also known as Ambras syndrome or Werewolf syndrome, causes Xiao to grow an abnormal, excessive amount of hair all over her body, including her face. Because of the condition, from which she’s suffered since birth, Xiao is often teased. She doesn’t swim, or even wear shorts or dresses, for fear of the negative reactions she’ll get.
Now, she’s asking for help from charities so that she can pay for a laser treatment to cure her condition.
Hypertrichosis is so rare that there are only 34 recorded cases. It isn’t typically an illness in and of itself, but is rather a response to a more serious medical problem. The underlying cause is a genetic mutation in which cells that normally switch off hair growth in unusual areas — such as the forehead and eyelids — allow hair to grow.
However, doctors aren’t entirely sure what’s wrong in Xiao’s case.
Although there’s no actual cure for the condition, the abnormal hair caused by hypertrichosis can be removed through such treatments as bleaching, trimming, shaving, plucking, waxing, chemical treatments, or electrosurgical epilation.
Laser hair removal treatments are considered the most effective way to get rid of the abnormal hair. These treatments, however, are exorbitantly expensive — and Xiao’s family just doesn’t have the money.