Supatra Sasuphan is celebrating after being inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's hairiest girl.
The 11-year-old, from Thailand, used to be teased about her looks and was often reduced to tears by jibes including “wolf girl” and “monkey face.”
But now Supatra, who has thick hair growing all over her face, ears, arms and legs says she delighted after her new-found fame helped her become one of the most popular girls in school.
Supatra's title was confirmed after a quick grilling from Guinness World Record executives.
"A lot of people have to do a lot to get in," she said. "All I did was answer a few questions, and then they gave it to me."
Supatra, nicknamed Nat, is one of only 50 documented cases of Ambras Syndrome since the Middle Ages.
Before the disease was understood, sufferers were branded 'werewolves,' but the rare genetic condition is actually caused by a faulty chromosome.
"There were a few people who used to tease me, and call me monkey face, but they don't do it anymore,” Supatra said."I'm very used to this condition. I can't feel the hair as it has always been like this. I don't feel anything.”
Other Causes Of Excessive Hair Growth
While Ambras Syndrome is extremely rare, there are other more common conditions that can cause excessive hair growth in females. One condition is hirsutism, which is categorized as unwanted male-pattern hair growth in women, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Typically, a woman will only grow fine hair – like peach fuzz – on her lips, chin, chest and abdomen, but someone who suffers from hirsutism will have excessive amounts of coarse dark hairs in these areas.
About half of the cases of hirsutism are the result of a woman producing excess amounts of male hormones called androgens.
Conditions that can cause high levels of this hormone include:
- Tumor or cancer of the adrenal gland;
- Tumor or cancer of the ovary;
- Cushing's syndrome (exposure to high levels of the hormone cortisol);
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (a family of genetic conditions affecting your adrenal glands);
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (the most common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age);
- Hyperthecosis (a condition in which the ovaries produce too much male hormones);
- Medications (testosterone, danazol, anabolic steroids, glucocorticoids, cyclosporine, minoxidil, phenytoin);
This condition tends to run in families, and in other cases, there is no identifiable cause.
It’s important to call a doctor if the hair grows rapidly, if the hair growth is associated with male features such as deepening voice, or if you’re concerned that medication may be causing unwanted hair growth.