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Female Facial Hair

Female facial hair isn’t a medical problem in itself, it's more an issue that causes sufferers distress because of how it makes them look.

Approximately 5-10% of women produce excess facial hair and choose to remove it for aesthetic purposes.

At Pharmacy Online, our selfcare methods and effective treatments include clinically proven creams to remove unwanted facial hair.

The problem with facial hair growth in women is that it tends to be a symptom of an underlying disorder caused by an increase in hormones called androgens. So while the condition itself isn't dangerous, the hormonal imbalance can impact a person's health.

Let's explore the reasons for excessive hair growth before we delve into the solutions to get rid of it.

Why do women get facial hair growth?

Humans are covered in a fine layer of hair called vellus hair (also known as peach fuzz). This light, short fine hair typically covers the entire body - men, women and children have this type of hair.

Vellus hair exists to keep the body warm and provide a layer of protection to the skin. This type of all over body hair is normal.

Hirsutism

Hirsutism, on the other hand, is a medical condition where women grow excess body hair - course, dark hair, where women don't ordinarily have hair growth. This hair grows in a male-like pattern on their face, chest and back.

Hirsutism tends to be genetic, running in families, so if your mother or sister suffers with unwanted hair, there's a strong chance you will too. Mediterranean women, and women of South Asian heritage and Middle Eastern heritage are also more likely to suffer with the condition.

This unwanted hair growth is often a result of too high levels of male hormones (androgens), in particular testosterone.

While all women naturally have androgen production, the normal level of this hormone is low.

Certain medical conditions can cause women to have a hormonal imbalance.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is one of the most common causes of unwanted hair growth on women, accounting for 85% of all cases.

PCOS causes cysts to grow on the ovaries, which in turn affects normal hormone levels. This then leads to an irregular menstrual cycle, which decreases fertility.

People who are obese or those with a family history of PCOS are more at risk of developing the condition.

Adrenal gland disorders

The adrenal glands are responsible for hormone production.

Issues with the adrenal glands i.e. adrenal cancer, or Cushing disease, or congenital adrenal hyperplasia, can cause the overproduction or underproduction of certain hormones, resulting in excessive hair growth.

Idiopathic hirsutism

Sometimes women spontaneously develop unwanted hair for no apparent reason, there is no underlying cause. In these cases, the condition is known as idiopathic hirsutism and it's usually a chronic condition making it harder to treat.

Symptoms of excessive hair growth (hirsutism)

Symptoms of abnormal hair growth include the appearance of coarse, dark hair growth on the face or the body, where women don't ordinarily have hair.

For example, the hair follows a typical male pattern of hair growth on the face, torso - including chest and lower abdomen, thighs and back.

Diagnosing hirsutism in women

If you're concerned about new hair growth, or you believe you have more body hair than you should, family physicians should be your first port of call.

Your healthcare provider will take a detailed medical history to pinpoint the exact cause of your excessive growth, they'll ask what medication you are on, and they may need to order blood tests to measure your hormone levels.

If they believe you have polycystic ovary syndrome, they'll likely carry out an ultrasound of your ovaries or adrenal glands to see if there are tumours or cysts present.

What treatments are available for excess hair growth?

Hormone man