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Excessive or unwanted hair in women

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Hypertrichosis; Hirsutism; Hair – excessive (women); Excessive hair in women; Hair – women – excessive or unwanted

The normal amount of body hair varies widely among women. Usually, a woman will only grow fine hair (peach fuzz) on her lips, chin, chest, abdomen, or back. When women grow coarse, dark hairs in these areas, the condition is called hirsutism. This pattern of hair growth is more typical of men.

Hair in women is not usual but Unwanted hair growth in female is mostly caused by disorders or any diseases. This is very embarrassing and uncomfortable situation for female. There are lots of reason for this from disease to genetics. Treatment is possible after knowing the underlying cause. There is treatment temporarily or permanently to get rid of this problem. Detail examination and history may be needed to access the cause. Blood test, Ultrasound , Hormone level, CT-Scan, X-ray may be needed to diagnose the medical condition under supervision of medical specialist.

Common Causes

Androgens hormone is the men hormone producing hairs. All women normally produce low levels of male hormones (androgens). Unwanted hair growth (hirsutism) in women may occur when the body makes too much male hormone.

The exact reason is never identified but this patterns run in family. It may not be harmful condition but it is bothersome or embarrassing.

A common cause is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Women with PCOS and other hormone conditions that cause unwanted hair growth may also have acne, problems with menstrual periods, trouble losing weight, a deeper voice similar to that of men, and diabetes. In such symptoms there may be tumour in ovary releasing this hormone excess.

The following other causes of unwanted hair growth are rare:

  • Tumor or cancer of the adrenal gland
  • Tumor or cancer of the ovary
  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • Hyperthecosis (a condition in which the ovaries produce too much male hormones)
  • Medications (testosterone, danazol, anabolic steroids, glucocorticoids, cyclosporine, minoxidil, phenytoin)

Rarely a woman with hirsutism will have normal levels of male hormones, and the specific cause of the unwanted hair growth cannot be identified.

Home Care

Hirsutism is a chronic problem. There are many treatment methods for this which may take long time also or effects last longer than other. Some of them are

  • Weight loss in overweight women can decrease hair growth.
  • Bleaching or lightening hair may make it less visible.

Temporary hair removal options include:

  • Shaving may cause hair grow thicker.
  • Plucking and waxing may be painful and risk of scarring, swelling and darkening.
  • Chemicals may be used, but most have a bad odor and side effects.

Permanent hair removal options include:

  • Electrolysis hair removal method permanently damage hair follicles. But this method is expensive and multiple treatments are needed. Side effects like swelling, scarring, darkness may occur.
  • Laser hair removal method aimed to melanin in the hairs. This is very advanced method to large area needs to be treated and works well in dark and thick hair

About the author

Dr. Ram Mani Bhandari

Experienced holistic doctor, healer, teacher, and writer
Specialized in Ayurvedic detox (Panchakarma)
Trained in India and Nepal, the original lands of Ayurveda
Graduate in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (B.A.M.S.) from the Institute of Medicine at Tribhuwan University in Kathmandu.
Professional member of Australasian Association of Ayurveda (AAA)
Owner of Sunshine Ayurveda

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