Sunday, March 4, 2012

Causes of Facial Hair in Women

Having a small amount of facial hair is normal for most women. The normal amount of body hair for women varies. However, If you have coarse, dark hairs growing on the face particularly on the upper lip, chin, and neck area, the condition is called hirsutism. This type of hair growth is more typical in men.

Androgens, the causes of such hair growth patterns are male hormones that include testosterone and are found in both men and women. Women normally produce low levels of male hormones (androgens). If your body makes too much of this hormone, you may experience unwanted hair growth that is coarse and dark. Most often, excess facial and body hair is the result of these abnormally high levels of androgens or male hormones in the blood. High levels of androgens causes hairs to grow faster and thicker. Both the ovaries and the adrenals produce androgens.

Causes of facial hair in women is not always easy to find. However, the most common cause of hirsutism seen is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Cysts on the ovaries might cause excessive facial hair in women. Women who have polycystic ovary syndrome also suffer from high levels of androgens and irregular menstruation. Other symptoms include acne, weight gain, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and infertility. Women who have polycystic ovary syndrome are usually treated through birth control pills, anti-androgen hormones and surgery.

Other causes of unwanted hair growth may include:
Cushing syndrome, which is a condition caused by having too much cortisol in the bloodstream that also causes excessive facial hair. Cushing's syndrome may also be caused by a tumor in the body, which would be treated through surgery and radiation. This condition may also be a side effect of corticosteroid medications.

Obesity and genetics also plays a role in unwanted face hair. Women who are overweight may also see an increase in facial hair. Fat traps androgens, creating a hormonal imbalance. Because weight gain and facial hair are a sign of other conditions and disorders, women should be thoroughly examined by a doctor to make certain that there are no other underlying medical issues. Along with other physical characteristics, ancestry and genetics plays a role in whether women have facial hair. If your grandmother and mother had to pluck their chins, chances are you will, too.

Finding the best treatments depends on the undying cause of the excessive hair growth. If the cause is hormone related then hormone treatments may be administered to help prevent new hairs from developing and to bring hormones back into balance.

For temporary hair removal, many women with mild hirsutism tend to pluck the unwanted hairs. Bleaching or lightening hair may make it less noticeable. Depilating agents are chemicals that dissolve the hair shafts on both facial and body hair and may also be used to remove unwanted hair. Electrolysis is another way to remove unwanted hair. Weight loss in overweight women can help to stop hair from growing as well. Shaving is another option, but is not recommended because the hair may appear thicker each time it grows back.


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