Facial Hair in Women - What Can You Do About It?
By Barbara C. Phillips
Facial hair growth in women is something that many of us find concerning. Assuming that you are not genetically
inclined to facial air (Mediterranean, Jewish and Eastern European ancestry) or have a family history of facial
hair growth in women), it could be a number of things.
One of the most common is hormonal imbalance. Women have both estrogens and androgens (male hormones). As we
age, the levels of both hormones naturally decline. However, the ratio between the differences declines and it can
look as if we suddenly have more of the male hormones, and therefore stray hairs. In addition, there are some
medications that can stimulate the growth of stray, darker, coarser hair such as phenytoin, cyclosporine, anabolic
steroids, combination medications with testosterone such as estratest, and minoxidil (used for high blood pressure
as well as baldness in men).
Sometimes though, excessive facial/body hair can be a result of physical and medical issues. For example,
polycystic ovarian syndrome and obesity (adipose tissue can produce androgens). Occasionally it can be related to
adrenal tumors. In these cases one will see more than just the occasional stray hair on the face. If this is
happening to you, see your health care provider.
So what can do you about it? Women have been looking for ways to permanently remove hair for years. There does
not seem to be an easy fool-proof permanent way to deal with facial hair.
Makeup Radio frequency
Hormones (estrogen and progesterone)
Medications - Vaniqua - a prescription cream
According to many dermatologists, electrolysis seems to be the only method for permanent removal. Vaniqua, which
is relatively new in the past few years does not seem to work for all women. The long term effectiveness is unknown
at this time.
As with most things, there does not seem to be a one-size-fits-all solution to the problem of the stray facial
hair. You will most likely need to try various treatments and see what works for you. However, keep in mind if the
hair seems excessive or you have concerns, please speak with your health care provider for further evaluation.
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