Hypertrichosis

QUESTION:  What is it called when a woman or child has male-pattern hair growth?
A)  Werewolf Syndrome
B)  Hirsutism
C)  Manimalism
D)  Hairiness
ANSWER BELOW

The American Treasure Tour has many wonderful pieces in its collection, including reproductions of the classic banner art used to advertise the classic circus sideshow.  Painted by Joan Fay, an artist out of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, these are faithful recreations of works originally created by masters including Fred Johnson, Snap Wyatt, Jack Cripe and numerous others. Today, we would like to highlight one of these classic images of the "Lion Face Girl." The malady this woman had is called hypertrichosis, and there are two types of it:  generalized and localized.  Generalized hypertrichosis would likely cover the entire body of a person with hair while, true to its name, localized hypertrichosis would have concentrations of hair in certain parts of the body.  The woman advertised in the poster would most certainly have the localized version.

Hypertrichosis can be a congenital disorder, meaning it is passed along through genetics so that one generation receives it from their parents.  This is a very rare form, and is generally evident from the moment a baby is born.  It can also be acquired, which means a person may develop the malady due to some outside influence, possibly a reaction to an eating disorder, use of certain types of drugs, or to cancer.    

There is no known cure for congenital hypertrichosis.  And the cure for acquired hypertrichosis tends to focus on what may have triggered the original reaction in the body.  It is always important to remember that people with hypertrichosis, as well as people with any sort of malady, are first and foremost people, and deserve the same respect you yourself expect. Fortunately, hypertrichosis is not a life-threatening ailment.

ANSWER:  B)  Hirsutism.  Werewolf syndrome is the informal description of hypertrichosis.