Styling, cutting, and dying your hair can be fun and a way to express yourself. But, hair above your lips, below your stomach, or on your chest can make you feel uncomfortable and self-conscious. This is especially true if the hair is dark and coarse — making it visible to the naked eye. The condition is known as hirsutism, and it impacts only 5% of women. But, what causes it? And, what can you do about this excessive hair growth?
What is hirsutism?
Hirsutism is a condition for women which causes you to grow hair in places where it usually does just for men. Unlike the normal peach fuzz, this hair is dark and coarse and covers areas like the:
- Lower stomach
- Inner thighs
Causes of Hirsutism
The cause of hirsutism can vary from woman to woman. But, the most common cause is a high level of male hormones. While it’s normal for women’s bodies to produce these, low levels don’t cause excess hair growth. High levels of male hormones can cause hirsutism and other side effects — including acne, a deep voice, and small breasts.
Hormones aren’t the only cause of hirsutism, though. The condition can also be caused by:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Tumors in your adrenal glands or your ovaries
- Medications — such as drugs that contain hormones, spur hair growth, or Danazol (Danocrine)
- Family history of the condition
Fortunately, there are treatment options for hirsutism that are fairly easy to incorporate into your routine, and some offer long-term relief to help you feel like your best self again. Finding the right treatment for you typically comes down to personal preference and convenience.
Since obesity can cause hirsutism, sometimes changing your diet and picking up a workout routine can be enough to control the condition. But, if your excessive hair growth is from another cause, then you may find more success in periodically removing the unwanted hair. This includes:
- Tweezing or threading
- Hair removal creams
In most cases, hirsutism is caused by high levels of male hormones. As such, medications that lower your levels of androgen — such as birth control pills or anti-androgens — can help mitigate your excessive hair growth problem. If your hirsutism is caused by medications, then stopping those medications should resolve the problem. But, you should always talk to your doctor before stopping any prescribed medications.
While most at-home remedies can remove excess hair for a short while, cosmetic procedures can produce more long-term effects. For hirsutism, there are primarily two options: electrolysis and laser hair removal. Electrolysis uses chemical or heat energy to destroy the growth center of the hair. There are typically no permanent side effects, but a temporary, slight reddening of the skin may occur.
Laser hair removal is similar in that it uses lasers to gradually warm up the skin to a temperature that kills the hair follicle. At Nurse Practitioners of Florida, we offer Soprano ICE hair removal, which — despite killing the hair follicle with heat — feels cool to the touch. As with electrolysis, no permanent side effects occur, but laser hair removal typically requires fewer sessions and takes less time. This makes it a better option for women who are busy or want to save time without sacrificing results.
If You’re Interested in Laser Hair Removal, Nurse Practitioners of Florida Can Help
At Nurse Practitioners of Florida, we have a dedicated team of certified nurse practitioners who have an unwavering commitment to providing you with care and compassion. When you call any of our locations, you will be greeted by a live person who’s ready to offer acute medical care as well as preventive measures — including laser hair removal. And, above everything else, you will be treated like family.
If you need assistance, call us or fill out our online contact form.