It’s a myth perpetuated by western beauty standards that women don’t have body or facial hair. While it’s true that men tend to have more hair than women and their hair is thicker and darker, women also have hair on their bodies. The amount of hair can vary from woman to woman, but don’t feel like you’re alone if you have hair growing in places you think you shouldn’t.
Some women do have an excessive amount of hair that grows in a more male-like pattern. Called hirsutism, this condition can cause thick, dark hair to grow in places women may not expect hair to grow.
What is Hirsutism?
Hair growth caused by hirsutism grows in coarse and dark, usually on the face, neck, chest, back, and stomach. You might be surprised to learn that hirsutism in women is a very common condition that affects up to 10% of women. While it doesn’t impact your physical health, it can cause distressing emotional and psychological side effects. Beauty standards are subjective, but some women with excessive hair growth can feel depressed, anxious, or have issues with their self-image. This can result in them covering themselves more than they’d like to and spending significant time and effort toward hair removal.
Hirsutism can be identified by its main symptom: the appearance of stiff, dark hair in places women don’t typically grow hair. However, some women with hirsutism also experience symptoms caused by virilization.
Virilization is a result of the presence of high levels of androgens, a male sex hormone. Both men and women have the male sex hormones, androgens, present in their system. In fact, they are the hormones involved with helping young people enter puberty.
When women have higher levels of androgens, they can develop the signs and symptoms of virilization such as:
- A deeper voice
- Oily skin
- Smaller breasts
- Increased muscle development
- Male pattern baldness
- Irregular periods
- Enlarged clitoris
- High sex drive
Causes of Hirsutism
Not all cases of hirsutism can be linked to a specific cause. However, there are few common causes for the condition, with the most likely culprit being Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
PCOS produces an imbalance of sex hormones, often increasing the levels of male sex hormones. Women with PCOS usually start experiencing symptoms when they begin puberty.
Because of the increase in male sex hormones, up to 80% of women with PCOS end up with hirsutism. Other signs and symptoms of PCOS include irregular periods, fertility problems, obesity, and the development of cysts on the ovaries.
Other causes of hirsutism are:
- Menopause: The hormonal shifts and imbalances related to menopause and post menopause can cause hair loss and increased hair growth on the face, chest, and back.
- Some medications: Medications such as danazol, minoxidil, anabolic steroids, and testosterone can have side effects like hirsutism. If you’ve been prescribed medications, it’s because your healthcare provider feels you need them. Don’t stop taking medications if you’re worried about hirsutism before speaking with your primary care doctor.
- Cushing Syndrome: Cushing Syndrome occurs when you’ve been exposed to high levels of the hormone cortisol, either from your adrenal glands producing too much of it or from long-term use of medications like prednisone.
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia: An abnormal production of natural steroid hormones by your adrenal glands, like cortisol and androgens.
- Androgen Secreting Tumours: In rare cases, an androgen-secreting tumour in the adrenal glands or in the ovaries can cause hirsutism.
Women with hirsutism are no strangers to at-home hair removal methods like shaving, waxing, plucking, epilating, and using hair removal creams. Bleaching the hairs can also make them less noticeable. These methods are temporary, but they are cost-effective and relatively easy. The downside to home hair removal is that you will need to repeat them often, they can be uncomfortable, and you’re more likely to develop ingrown hairs and razor burn.
There are more permanent hair removal methods like laser hair removal and electrolysis that can be carried out by a professional and through at-home devices. When carried out by a professional and their much stronger tools, laser hair removal and electrolysis can provide lasting and long-term results. The devices sold to the general public are not as powerful, but they can provide decent results. However, these methods are very costly.
Some medications may be able to help with the treatment of hirsutism, especially if your hirsutism is caused by a hormone imbalance. Medications for hirsutism include:
- Hormonal birth control
- Androgen-suppressing medications
- Low-dose steroid medications
Vaniqa cream is a prescription-only topical medication that reduces and slows down facial hair growth. Regular use of Vaniqa can give you long-lasting results.
The active ingredient in Vaniqa, eflornithine, works by blocking the action of an enzyme that’s found at the base of your hair follicles. Blocking this enzyme makes the hairs grow back much more slowly.
Since Vaniqa isn’t a hair removal cream, you’ll still need to use your regular hair removals methods like waxing and shaving. However, because your hair will be growing back more slowly and at different rates from each other, your unwanted hair won’t need as much maintenance.
Also unlike hair removal creams, Vaniqa won’t give you immediate results. This is because Vaniqa works on the problem at the source, reducing new hair growth right at the follicle. Results will become more noticeable as the unwanted hairs go through their individual growth cycles. This can take up to 2-4 months.
Commonly reported side effects associated with Vaniqa are acne, skin irritation, soreness, and skin tingling. Once your skin gets used to Vaniqa these side effects should go away.
If you have facial hair that’s distressing you and impacting your self-esteem, Pharmacy Planet has effective hirsutism treatment that can help. Reclaim your self-confidence and stop spending so much time waxing and tweezing by visiting our website today to buy Vaniqa Cream online in the UK.