Unwanted facial hair in women, also known as 'hirsutism', is a common problem. It is usually characterized by the presence of hair on the upper lips and chin area.
The main causes are heredity and ethnicity. In some cases, it may be a result of excess production of androgen hormones called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), or other underlying medical conditions. DHT is produced when an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase interacts with the hormone testosterone. Irregular menstrual cycles, increased body hair, acne, and alopecia are some of the symptoms that indicate the overgrowth of this androgen. Following are the causes of excess androgen production that results in unwanted facial hair growth:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): It is a hormonal disorder, wherein the ovaries produce excess amounts of androgen.
- Ovarian tumors (androgen secreting)
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia: A condition where the adrenal gland gets inflamed.
- Use of steroids or other medications
- Cushing's disease: A hormonal disorder caused due to high levels of cortisol hormone in the body.
- Threading, tweezing, plucking, shaving, etc., are a few common ways to get rid of mild facial hair growth. Cold wax and depilatory creams are also available in the market. These methods can be tried at home only if your hair growth is very fine.
- If the hair growth is thick, then electrolysis or laser treatments with intense pulsed light (IPL) is the right choice. It is a permanent treatment since it destroys the hair follicles from the roots, and therefore the growth of new hair is curbed.
- There are various lotions and gels available which recede the hair growth by inhibiting the action of the hair stimulating growth hormones.
- Some oral medications block the activity of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, which is responsible for converting testosterone to DHT.
- Topical cream called Vaniqa is a prescription medication which is often used in the treatment of hirsutism.
- Oral contraceptives which suppress the production of androgens can also be used.
These treatments are extremely sensitive, and therefore you must seek advice from a skin expert before opting for any of them.
Disclaimer: This BeautiSecrets article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.