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Excess Facial Hair: Blame It on Your Hormones and Other Triggers

Dr. Rasya Dixit 95% (152 ratings)
MD - Dermatology, MBBS
Dermatologist, Bangalore  •  16 years experience
Excess Facial Hair: Blame It on Your Hormones and Other Triggers

In most cases, you can easily blame excess hair on your face on your hormones. Male hormones called androgens are responsible for the development of certain 'manly' features like deepening of voice or production of sperm. And the one hormone behind all this is called testosterone. But women produce testosterone too, albeit in smaller quantities. If, for some reason, this hormone level increases in women, it leads to increased sex drive, irregular menstrual cycle and yes, excessive facial and body hair.

One of the main causes of high levels of male sex hormones in premenopausal women is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition which causes cysts to grow around the edge of the ovaries (the organs which produce eggs and sex hormones). PCOS also results in excessive hair growth, acne and weight gain. Some women are stuck with this condition in the post menopause stage too, when the hormonal imbalance fails to rectify itself after menopause has passed.

Besides blaming it all on the hormones, here are some other causes you should know about:

  1. Blame your genes for cushing's syndrome or acromegaly as they are rare hormonal disorders and ovary tumors and they too can a cause of such a condition. However, cosmetic remedies are enough to get rid of unwanted or excess hair. So you may not have to go out of your way to handle this problem unless you have a special case.
  2. Being obese (weight gain is a side effect of PCOS too, so this is a slightly tricky one)

Most cases can be treated with:

  1. Waxing: This is a pretty much standard procedure
  2. Bleaching: Can work for areas you don't want to shave
  3. Hair removal creams: Try and test out to see which one suits you
  4. Shaving: Not the most womanly thing to do, but it is quick and easy. Mind the stubble between the shaves
  5. Laser treatment: A powerful beam of single color light is used to destroy the hair from its root
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