Unwanted Hair

Why’s There Hair There?

If a woman produces excessive amounts of male hormones known as androgens (the principal being testosterone) the result is often patches of prickly hair. If you’re plagued by stiff, pigmented prickles in places like the face, chest, and back, it’s possible you may have a common condition known as hirsutism. What’s the cause? Sometimes it’s unidentifiable, but there are a few things that are known to spur hirsutism. Below are three of the most common.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

If your unwanted hair is coupled with irregular periods, it might be an indicator that you have PCOS. The condition, caused by an imbalance of sex hormones, may also result in obesity, infertility, and ovarian cysts.

Cushing’s Syndrome

This syndrome occurs when your body is exposed to a high level of the hormone cortisol. This can happen in two ways – through adrenal glands producing too much or from taking certain medications that mimic the action of the body’s natural hormone cortisol over an extended time. The excess cortisol is sometimes caused by a tumor of the adrenal gland or a tumor elsewhere in the body that produces hormones.

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia

This collection of genetic conditions limits adrenal glands’ ability to make certain hormones. Often, those with congenital adrenal hyperplasia will not be able to produce enough cortisol. This is an inherited condition.

What You Can Do

If hirsutism is caused by any of the conditions outlined here, it’s important to work closely with your doctor to find the treatment that is best for you. To reduce hair growth, medications such as birth control pills or hormonal contraceptives may be prescribed. Additional solutions include anti-androgen drugs and prescription topical cream, which helps slow new hair growth. Shaving, waxing, and other hair depilation options have been used by women for decades. But if you’re looking for a more permanent solution, electrolysis and laser therapy might let you banish your razor and wax strips for good.

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