Hair Removal and Hirsutism

Hirsutism (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)
Hirsutism (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

Hirsutism  (Photo Credit:  Wikipedia)
Hirsutism (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

“Smooth as silk” is how people describe women with very smooth skin.  However, while some are born with silky smooth skin, there are those who, unfortunately, have thicker hair which they want removed especially if the hair are dark and thick especially on the arms, legs, and face; those parts that are fairly visible.

Women usually have fine hair on their body, but some areas grow darker and thicker hair.  Hence, many women go and have those excessive hair removed, usually on their armpits, legs, arms and face; either temporarily or permanently as much as possible, through depilation (removal of hair above the surface of the skin) or epilation (removal of the entire hair, roots included).

Hair removal is possible through:

  • Shaving or trimming manually or with electric shavers, cutting the hair off at the skin surface
  • Tweezing which involves pulling hair out with tweezers or with fingers
  • Epilators which are mechanical devices that rapidly grasp hairs and pull them out
  • Depilatory creams or “shaving powders” which chemically dissolve hair, like Vaniqa which is a  topical cream that has been FDA-approved for lessening and preventing the growth of excessive facial hair
  • Waxing treatment which removes large amounts of hair at one time by applying layers of wax on skin and removed with porous strips
  • Sugar waxing treatment similar to waxing but with a sticky paste
  • Electrolysis procedure which actually burns the hair root to prohibit it from growing more hair
  • Laser treatment which involves emitting of light at various wavelengths, energy output, and pulse widths targeting melanin.  However, laser hair removal is found to work best for light-skinned people with dark hair.
  • Bleaching is the choice of less hairy women who prefer  to make the hair less noticeable especially on the arms, face, or neck.

With so many kinds of treatment available, hair removal has become a regular thing.  However, if hair still grows excessively despite treatments, especially on women, there is a cause for alarm.

Women generally have fine hair although the normal amount of body hair varies; however, if women  develop coarse, dark hair above the lips (on the moustache area of men), on their chest, abdomen, back part, arms and/or legs, they may  have the condition called HIRSUTISM.  It is typical with men, but certainly not with women!  (Omg!)

Normally, women produce low levels of androgens or male hormones; but when their body produce too much of androgens, there would be excessive and unwanted hair growth, which usually affects the personal and psychological well-being due to the worrisome and embarrassing state of the hairy physical appearance not expected in women.

Other than being suspected as hereditary in some cases because it tends to run in families, hirsutism is also commonly found to be caused by PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and/or other hormone conditions that cause unwanted hair growth.  Other symptoms may include acne, menstrual problems and irregularities, trouble with losing weight and  diabetes; such that if these symptoms take place in a woman’s body, it might indicate a tumor or some other serious medical condition that leads to release of male hormones, hence, excessive hair growth.

If the hair grows rapidly, and acne develops, her voice deepens, there is a considerable increase in muscle mass and breast size appears to be decreasing… whoa!  Do not be dependent on just hair removal treatments.  Go and see a medical professional immediately!


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