Unwanted body hair, especially on the face, is very embarrassing and distressing for women. It is natural to have fine, light-coloured hair, but dark coarse hair on the face, back, abdomen, and chest occur due to a condition called hirsutism.
Around 5 to 10% of women have hirsutism. If you observe a sudden increase in facial hair, consult a doctor. It could be a sign of an underlying medical issue that necessitates treatment.
You can contact Dr. Anju Methil, an experienced dermatologist in Andheri West, Mumbai, for assessment if you notice rapid hair growth on your body over a few months.
She is the founder of The Skin & Shape Clinic, an ultra-modern skin clinic in Andheri West for advanced dermatology and cosmetology treatments.
Many women are puzzled by this unwanted facial hair growth. Let’s find out what causes hirsutism.
During puberty, the ovaries produce female and male sex hormones. PCOS, which develops during puberty, causes hormonal imbalance leading to hirsutism, irregular periods, infertility, obesity, and several cysts on the ovaries.
Dr. Anju Methil, a skin specialist in Andheri West, says, “Hirsutism affects 70 to 80 percent of women with PCOS. It is triggered due to the excessive production of androgens, male hormones.”
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia: This condition causes excessive production of steroid hormones by the adrenal glands, such as cortisol and androgen.
Crushing syndrome: When your body is exposed to high cortisol levels for an extended period, it develops Cushing syndrome. This condition causes irregular periods and excess facial hair growth in females. If you use corticosteroids for a long duration or if your body produces too much cortisol, this can happen.
Tumors: Tumor secreting androgen in the adrenal glands or ovaries can lead to excessive hair growth.
Medication: Some medications may cause the hormone levels to fluctuate as a side effect. It is common with medicines that promote hair growth, anabolic steroids, and drugs for endometriosis.
Family history: According to Dr. Anju Methil, one of the best cosmetologists in Mumbai, many conditions that can result in hirsutism run in the family, such as PCOS and adrenal hyperplasia.
Obesity: Increased production of androgen due to obesity aggravates hirsutism.
An accurate diagnosis is necessary for treatment. You will have to visit an experienced dermatologist or endocrinologist for examination.
The doctor may ask you to undergo a few tests to measure the androgen levels so as to determine whether it is the cause of hirsutism. The doctor may recommend a pelvic and abdominal ultrasound to rule out the tumor and assess the ovaries.
Now that you are aware of the different causes for hirsutism let’s check out the treatments available.
Hirsutism may not require any treatment in the absence of endocrine issues. But as said earlier, women feel embarrassed with excessive hair growth on their face and body and seek treatment to overcome it.
They will need to get treatment for the underlying causes and adopt a self-care routine for unwanted hair.
Dr. Anju Methil, a dermatologist, and cosmetologist in Mumbai, having over 15 years of experience, is an expert in treating hirsutism with medications and appropriate procedures that give long-lasting results.
You can discuss with your doctor about medications to deal with hirsutism. To notice a significant change in hair growth, it may take up to six months with medications, the average lifespan of a hair follicle.
Oral contraceptives: One of the most common treatments for hirsutism caused by androgen production is hormonal contraceptives and birth control pills that contain estrogen and progestin. However, this treatment is suitable for women who do not want to conceive.
Anti-androgens: These drugs are mainly prescribed if oral contraceptives are ineffective in treating hirsutism. They work by blocking the androgens from attaching to their receptors in the body. As these medications can cause birth abnormalities, it is recommended that you utilize contraception while taking them.
The below-given procedures offer a long-term solution from hirsutism.
Laser hair removal:
During this procedure, the dermatologist will apply abeam of highly concentrated light to hairy areas on the skin to damage the hair follicles and prevent hair growth.
For safe and effective results, it is advisable to visit a dermatologist skilled in laser hair removal. Please note you will need multiple sessions.
It involves inserting a tiny needle emitting an electric current pulse into each hair follicle to damage and destroy them. Electrolysis is a better option for people having white or blonde hair.
You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Anju Methil if you need more information regarding treatment for unwanted facial hair. She is one of the best skin doctor in Mumbai, having in-depth knowledge and extensive experience in treating all skin and hair disorders.