All women have peach fuzz, clinically known as vellus hairs, all over our bodies. But they’re not a big deal because they are very fine and usually light colored.
But what’s up with the dark coarse hairs that have been showing up on the places men usually get hair: the upper lip, chin, chest, stomach, or back?!!
You can blame it on your hormones, your genes, or certain medications you’re taking. And you can call it hirsutism.
There’s not much you can do about changing hormones, but at least at Beaty Facial Plastic Surgery we can help you get rid of these unsightly hairs your unruly hormones are fostering. As we talked about in this month’s first blog, we can use our normal laser hair removal to get rid of these abnormal dark coarse hairs caused by hirsutism.
Here’s a little more about why they’re showing up on your body.
What’s behind those unwanted hairs?
Hirsutism is thought to affect around 5 percent of women. The growth pattern of these unwanted hairs is associated with virilization. That means the hairs have characteristics and locations commonly associated with men because they are fueled by androgens, which are male hormones. That’s also why these yucky hairs are dark and course.
Women develop these unwanted hairs on the face and body due to higher-than-normal levels of androgens, including testosterone. All women produce androgens, but they are typically at very low levels. But certain medical conditions can cause an increase in production of androgens, and with it those pesky, ugly dark hairs. Here’s what’s behind the increased androgen production:
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) — PCOS causes a woman to form benign cysts on the ovaries, which can affect hormone production. This leads to irregular periods and decreased fertility. And it is behind about three quarters of hirsutism cases.
- Adrenal gland disorders — Your adrenal glands are located just above your kidneys and they are responsible for hormone production. Different conditions affecting the adrenal glands, such as Cushing’s disease, can also affect the way your body produces androgens.
- Medications — If you’re taking testosterone to correct a deficiency, Minoxidil for thinning hair, or anabolic steroids, these can all cause androgen elevation and hair growth.
What should you do about it?
OK, so you have these unwanted dark, coarse hairs. You can shave them, wax them, pluck them, or give them the harsh depilatory cream treatment. And this will make them go away…for a little while. But if you have hormone issues caused by PCOS, for instance, the imbalance can be treated, but it may always be with you. And so will the concurrent hirsutism and these ugly hairs.
A better way to show these hairs who is the boss is to come see us at either of our two Beaty Facial Plastic Surgery locations for laser hair removal. Lasers are very effective at permanently removing these hairs. Why? We match the frequency of the laser wavelength to the melanin in the hair, which gives it the dark color. We then direct laser energy onto the area with the unwanted hair and the melanin in the hair shaft absorbs the light energy and it instantly converts to heat. That heat travels down the hair shaft into the hair follicle and it destroys the follicle, preventing it from growing future hair. Laser energy works best on dark, thick hair, which sounds exactly like those funky hairs that have been popping up in all the wrong places.
If your hormone issues continue, you may create more of these hairs in new places, but laser hair removal can keep up with them and permanently remove them.
If you’ve been finding some of these dark, coarse hairs on places like your chin or lower abdomen, come see us at Dr. Beaty’s and let our laser energy get rid of them for good. Call us at (770) 753-0053 to schedule an appointment.