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2001, 2002, 2003,
2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
Tony Walsh
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For Doctors

Welcome Doctors, Nurses, and other health professionals. You may be visiting us out of curiosity, for research purposes, or by chance. The question we are asked the most about bearded babies is "Isn't this a simple case of hypertrichosis?"

The answer is a resounding "NO!" Let us never see pictures like these again.

It is a fact that every human fetus grows a soft layer of thin hair in the womb. As Dr. Stephen Juan tells us, this hair forms on the upper lip when the fetus is about 5.3" long and 6 ounces in weight. The hairy coating, called "languo," is usually gone by the time the baby is born--with beardlings, it is simply shed in all places other than the facial area.

The phenomena of bearded babies is not to be confused with the condition of hypertrichosis or hursutism. Hypertrichosis treatments, such as laser therapy or depigmentation, are sometimes used to cover up baby beards, but these treatments have undesirable side-effects, such as skin rashes and even lesions. In an over-zealous effort to comply with parental wishes, many doctors have been quick to inflict these cover-up treatments on tender babies.

Consider the alternatives to rough medical treatments: let the beard grow. This seems radical in the face of tradition, but with the dawning of this new millenium, a new attitude towards bearded babies must be developed.

A beardling will almost always be gifted with facial hair. In some cases, male beardlings lose their beards much later in life, as a consequence of androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness. Female beardlings may also suffer from facial-hair loss during their later years, although this is rare.