Excess Facial Hair in Women: Possible Causes and How Not to Make Things Worse

Excess facial hair in women can be a side effect of some medications. If this is your case, you should consult with your physician before changing anything on your own.
Excess Facial Hair in Women: Possible Causes and How Not to Make Things Worse

Last update: 16 December, 2019

The presence of facial hair is a subject that few of us are happy about, in spite of the fact that it’s completely natural. When this excess facial hair occurs in women, the situation is a little more complicated. After all, facial hair is more typical in men, and gives a more masculine appearance, so few women feel comfortable having it.

The worst part is that it is doesn’t completely have to do with aesthetics. Facial hair on women can be an indication of some chemical imbalance in the body. Keep reading and discover the causes of this problem, so that you can find a solution before it gets worse.

What is hirsutism and what causes it?

Hirsutism is the medical term for excess hair in women, according to this study carried out by the Sardinero Health Center in Cantabria, Spain. This hair growth can appear in different areas, including the face, legs, chest, back or stomach.

This situation tends to be due to uncontrolled levels of certain male hormones. Women do actually produce low levels of male hormones to maintain a balance, but not usually enough to cause any issues.

1. Genetic or racial factors as the principal cause of excess of facial hair

Excess facial hair in women can be a problem. It's not their case.

It is generally believed that women from the Indian subcontinent and Mediterranean countries are more prone to developing unwanted facial hair in comparison to women from other parts of Europe, Asia and North America. However, there is no scientific evidence to back this up.

If your family has a history of women with hirsutism, the probability of you also developing the condition increases, as suggested by this study by the Brazilian Society of Endocrinology and Metabology. 

Speak to the women in your family, especially those with excess facial hair. This is the best way to discover if it’s normal for them or if it’s due to a medical problem. If it happens to be due to a medical condition, try to find out what the condition is and keep it in mind.

2. Polycystic ovary syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome is one of the most common female health conditions. In some women, it can exist for years without causing problems or being detected. Other women can have fairly obvious symptoms, and one of them is the growth of hair on the chin.

If you already know that you have this syndrome but haven’t had a problem with excess hair up until now, its important to consult with a doctor to make sure that the condition hasn’t gotten worse. In this case, the best way to control hair growth is to:

  • Pay close attention to the advancement of the condition.
  • Go to all the appointments with your doctor to evaluate the situation.
  • Follow all of your doctor’s instructions.

3. Cushing syndrome

Pulling out hairs

Cushing syndrome is, according to information by the Hormone Health Network, a hormonal condition which develops from exposure to high levels of cortisol. It’s very common in women who take medication for arthritis and asthma.

This condition can provoke excess hair growth. Even though you can resort to hair removal, the best method is to talk with your doctor to find out if you can adjust your medication. 

What makes this more complicated is that asthma and arthritis both require ongoing treatment, so making changes to your medication or stopping it all together is not a good idea. If you’re really struggling to cope with the excess hair, talk to your doctor to find alternative medication, or change the dosage.

How do you stop facial hair getting worse?

If you have facial hair, it’s common to want to eliminate it, and to want to do anything to stop it. Though this is completely normal, there are some things you should avoid if you don’t want to make things worse.

1. Avoid taking or eliminating medications without consulting your doctor

Pink pills

Since excess facial hair is often related to hormones, many women stop taking the medications that are causing this problem. The most common medication is birth control pills.

However, remember that your doctor always recommends one or another medication based on your previous evaluation. To avoid complications or other problems, first discuss the problem with your doctor, so they can tell you what measures to take.

2. Avoid hair removal methods that can make the problem worse

We know that excess facial hair can make you feel insecure and less attractive. Because of this, you may be thinking of some options to eliminate it while your medical treatment takes effect.

  • In this case, we recommend choosing methods that don’t cause ingrown hairs or thickening, as these could make things worse.
  • Do not use a razor. Instead, try hair removal cream or wax.

3. Try bleaching facial hair

Hairless woman

While hair removal can be a good option, not everyone is a fan of using creams or wax. If this is your case, try bleaching. This is a method that you can do at home and it won’t take you more than an hour.

It’s very simple since the kits come with the ingredients that you just need to mix and apply. To successfully bleach your hair with no side effects, try to stay out of the sun unless you’ve got sun block on. 

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Although these natural remedies may take longer to remove hair, they ensure prevent unwanted reactions and weaken the hair from the root.