What Causes Superfluous Hair?
The generic blueprint you inherited from your ancestors determines the
amount, location, and timing of hair growth you will experience in your
lifetime. People who have come from areas around the Mediterranean and
the Middle East have greater tendency toward hirsutism than do those from
the Northern Europe and the Orient.
The male hormones called androgens, produced to a lesser degree in females,
are directly responsible for hair growth in both men and women. Normal
changes in the hormonal system occurring during puberty, pregnancy and
menopause may increase the level of androgens or decrease the level of
the female hormone estrogen, resulting in sudden new hair growth on the
body or face.
Abnormal Systemic Causes:
There are occasions, though rare, when a tumor or an inherited glandular
defect may stimulate the growth of superfluous hair. Menstrual irregularity,
abdominal pain, signs of virilism, and abnormal appearance of secondary
male sexual characteristics in a women, in combination with new hair growth,
signal a need for immediate medical evaluation.
Medications, such as steroids or birth control pills, or the surgical
removal of sex glands may stimulate abnormal hair growth.
What Can Be Done About My Unwanted Hair?
The method you choose for dealing with unwanted hair will depend on the
number and location of hairs and how great a problem you perceive them
TEMPORARY HAIR REMOVAL METHODS:
LASER is a new method of hair removal which is not considered permanent.
It can be costly and there is a risk for complications, such as, scarring
and pigmentary changes.
SHAVING is the fastest and most popular method and works best on
areas such as the legs and underarms, or for a mans beard. The razor or
electric shaver cuts the hair above the skin, so that the hair is eliminated
for only a short time. Regrowth will be determined by your individual
hair growth pattern.
TWEEZING is most popular for removing hairs from around the eyebrows.
The procedure may cause ingrown hairs. If you decide to tweeze, do it
after washing, and clean the tweezers thoroughly after each use.
DEPILATORIES are creams containing powerful alkaline agents that
break down the structure of the hair. They are most effective when used
on the legs and leave skin feeling smooth. A few individuals may react
to harsh chemicals, so it is advisable to test a small area of your skin
before treating the entire region.
WAXING pulls out a number of hairs at one time. Liquid wax is applied,
a cloth is laid on the skin and once set, is ripped off, removing the
hair with it. Waxing must be repeated every three to eight weeks.
PERMANENT HAIR REMOVAL:
ELECTROLYSIS: is a method of permanent hair removal first developed in
the United States in 1875 and later modified in France. Historically the
safest and most efficient method for permanently destroying hair is to
have and electrologist insert a sterile probe into the hair follicle.
In the generally used method, a very slight amount of electric current
is applied through this probe, which destroys the hair root, ending further
hair growth. Despite the initial investment of time and money required
there are several benefits of professional electrolysis. You will be saving
the hours and expense spent over a lifetime using temporary methods because
electrolysis removes hair permanently.
Can I Perform Electrolysis On Myself?
Do not confuse probe electrolysis with the electrified tweezers now being
marketed. It is also possible to purchase probe electrolysis instruments
for use in the home, but I do not recommend them. Since the removal process
depends on the angle of insertion, an unsteady hand can result in unnecessary
skin damage. For a permanent result, a good professional electrologist
is the best solution.
I Have a Heavy Growth of Hair on my Cheeks and Upper lip as well as other
parts of my body. It is very embarrassing, and it is also a nuisance.
Is this a serious problem?
The problem you describe is known as
HIRSUTISM, the condition of
superfluous body and facial hair. Your physician will help you determine
the seriousness of the problem by evaluating the answers the answers to
these questions. At what point in your life did the excess hair develop?
Is there a family history of excessive hair? Has the condition been progressive?
Have you been taking any medications? Have any other changes in your body
accompanied this development of hair? By understanding the causes of your
Hirsutism, your doctor can help you decide on a future course of action.
It is important that all sudden new hair growth be reported to your