Hypertrichosis

Hypertrichosis
Other namesWerewolf syndrome
Joris Hoefnagel - Animalia Rationalia et Insecta (Ignis)- Plate I.jpg
Petrus Gonsalvus, "The Hairy Man", as illustrated by Joris Hoefnagel in his Elementa Depicta
SpecialtyDermatology

Hypertrichosis is an abnormal amount of hair growth over the body.[1][2] The two distinct types of hypertrichosis are generalized hypertrichosis, which occurs over the entire body, and localized hypertrichosis, which is restricted to a certain area.[1] Hypertrichosis can be either congenital (present at birth) or acquired later in life.[3][4] The excess growth of hair occurs in areas of the skin with the exception of androgen-dependent hair of the pubic area, face, and axillary regions.[5]

Several circus sideshow performers in the 19th and early 20th centuries, such as Julia Pastrana, had hypertrichosis.[6] Many of them worked as freaks and were promoted as having distinct human and animal traits.

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