Many women have fine, barely noticeable hair on the face, and it's completely normal.
The problem is, if dark thick hair begin to grow on the upper lip, chin, chest, back and oher areas, where men usually have hair.
This abnormal male-pattern hair growth in women is called hirsutism.
Nearly 7-10% of American women have this cosmetic and health problem.
Like in many other disorders, the main reason is about hormones.
Your body normally secretes scanty amount of male hormones androgens. Increased levels of these chemicals in female organism may lead to polycystic ovary syndrome and hirsutism. Other common PCOS symptoms include irregular menstruation, acne, weight gain and fertility problems.
Insulin resistance, which was recognized as underlying reason for type 2 diabetes, can trigger excessive production of male hormones. In fact, most women with polycystic ovary syndrome have reduced cell sensitivity to insulin.
Sometimes hirsutism may be a result of increased production of hormone cortisol, created by the adrenal glands.
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In rare cases androgen-producing tumor may be a culprit of excessive hairiness.
Specialists say that certain medications, like danazol, corticosteroids, carbamazepine and progestins can boost levels of male hormones in woman's body, causing unattractive signs.
However it's not always possible to identify exact cause of unwanted hair growth. If no underlying condition is found, doctors call it idiopathic hirsutism.
Besides intense male-pattern hair growth, increased levels of testosterone and other androgens may become apparent in deeping voice, baldness, skin oiliness, and enlarged clitoris.
Your doctor will recommend you blood test to determine androgen levels. If they appear high, ultrasound or CT scan will be a good option for finding ovarian cysts or tumor in adrenal glands.
It's also a good idea to test your blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
Depending on the results of diagnostic procedures, medical professional can prescribe you anti-androgen medications, like oral contraceptives, spironolactone, finasteride etc.
There is also wide variety of methods, which can help you get rid of unwanted hair. Shaving, chemical depilation, plucking and waxing are the most popular ways for temporarily removal of facial and body hair. However all of these self-care methods can cause allergy and skin irritation.
Laser therapy and electrolysis can help put away excessive hair permanently by damaging hair follicles and preventing hair growth in this way.
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