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Excess body hair growth in women
15 Feb 2022
Excess body hair growth in women image

Excess body or face hair growth in women is termed Hirsutism. Most women have facial and body hair, but the hair is usually very fine and light in color. Hirsutism is a medical condition in which hair grows excessively in locations where women’s hair does not normally grow and these hairs are darker and rough in texture.

This disorder causes women to exhibit traits that are often linked with male hormones.

Between 5% and 10% of women suffer from hirsutism because it tends to run in families. So if your mother, sister, or other female relative has it, you may be more prone to experience unwanted hair growth.

What does excessive body hair growth mean?

Female body hair is thin and silky due to the female sex hormone estrogen. Androgens, which include testosterone, are male sex hormones that are responsible for masculine features including facial hair and coarse body hair. Excessive hair growth in women is because of the comparatively higher presence of male hormones like androgen and testosterone 

Symptoms of hirsutism in women

Common signs of hirsutism are:

  • Sudden change in hair colour, growth and texture
  • Excessive hair growth in body parts like in men.
  • Hair loss
  • Skin conditions like acne
  • High levels of insulin in body
  • Irregular periods
  • Infertility

What causes excess hair growth in women

  1. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome is a cause of excess hair growth in women. Studies show that about nine in 10 women with hirsutism are dealing with PCOS.

  1. Use of anabolic steroids or corticosteroids

Usage of steroids or other such substances can trigger excess hair growth in women.

  1. Cushing’s syndrome

Cushing syndrome is a term used to describe several hormonal imbalance disorders in the body. Hormonal imbalances are another cause of hirsutism.

  1. Adrenaline gland disorders 

Adrenal cancer, adrenal tumor, and other disorders in the adrenaline can cause hirsutism.

  1. Medications 

Hirsutism can be caused by some drugs like minoxidil (Rogaine, Rogaine), danazol (for endometriosis), testosterone (Androgel, Testim), and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).

Treatment for unwanted hair growth

  • Hormone management : If you’re overweight, your doctor would likely advise you to lose weight in order to slow down hair development. Obesity can alter how hormones are produced and used in the body. Maintaining a healthy weight can help you reduce your androgen levels without resorting to medication. Drug therapies are also an alternative for the treatment. 
  • Hair removal : Basic hair removing techniques like shaving, waxing, laser treatment and electrolysis deal with the excess hair growth.

Since laser treatment and electrolysis can be expensive and thus may need multiple sessions for proper results.

  • Cream : However to minimise the growth of facial hair, doctors may prescribe the lotion eflornithine. After one to two months, the growth of your facial hair should slow down. Skin rash and itching are two of eflornithine’s side effects.

Excess body hair growth in women and its removal can be a long-term hustle. Insecurity is the main issue regarding Hirsutism. If you feel this condition is affecting you adversely in your daily life you can talk to your doctor about this condition and get proper advice regarding hair growth.
For more help and support, contact us on 1800 889 2559.

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