Women’s body hair volume often varies. Most of the time, a woman only has fine hair, or peach fuzz, above the lips and on the chin, chest, abdomen, or back.

If a woman has coarse, dark hairs in these areas, the condition is called hirsutism. In general, hirsutism is a harmless condition. But many women find it bothersome, or even embarrassing.

 

Causes

 

Women normally produce low levels of male hormones (androgens). If a woman’s body makes too much of this hormone, she may have unwanted hair growth. In most cases, the exact cause is never identified. It tends to run in families.

There are many medical conditions that can cause hair growth. If you are concerned about this, you should contact your doctor. Particularly if:

  • The hair grows rapidly
  • You also have male features such as acne, deepening voice, increased muscle mass, and decreased breast size
  • You are concerned that medication may be worsening unwanted hair growth

 

Medicines that can increase hair growth include testosterone, danazol, anabolic steroids, glucocorticoids, cyclosporine, minoxidil, and phenytoin. Talk to your Burkes Pharmacist if you are concerned about this.

 

How to treat:

 

There are a number of ways to remove or treat unwanted facial hair. Some treatment effects last longer than others.

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

 

Temporary hair removal options:

 

  • Shaving does not cause more hair to grow, but the hair may look thicker.
  • Plucking and waxing are fairly safe and are not expensive. However, they can be painful and there is a risk for scarring, swelling, and skin darkening.
  • Hair Removal Creams and Hair Reduction Creams or Serums offer are widely used by women to temporarily remove or permanently reduce facial and body hair.

 

Permanent hair removal options:

 

Electrolysis uses electrical current to permanently damage individual hair follicles so they do not grow back. This method is expensive and multiple treatments are needed. Swelling, scarring, and redness of the skin may occur.

Laser hair removal uses laser aimed at the dark colour (melanin) in the hairs. This method is best if a very large area needs to be treated, and only if the hair is particularly dark (does not work on blond or red hair).