What Causes Female Facial Hair, and How to Remove It!
Many women are embarrassed and distressed by unwanted facial hair. In fact, it’s been estimated that as many as 20 million consumers routinely purchase over the counter products that remove facial hair on women.
For those women suffering from female facial hair it can be comforting to know that they’re not alone. Moreover, it can be beneficial to know that the presence of facial hair on women likely doesn’t mean that there’s a serious medical problem. It’s usually a problem of aesthetics and preferences. Most ladies simply don’t want it and are interested in facial hair removal for women.
What Causes Facial Hair in Women?
It’s normal for women to have some facial hair on their upper lip, cheeks and chin. Usually this hair is light and fair, which makes it very hard to see. Occasionally, a woman develops thicker, coarser hair in these areas. This is often what causes women to seek treatment.
Most often female facial hair is caused by the same thing that causes male facial hair: androgens. Androgens are male hormones, including testosterone and DHEA. It’s quite normal for women to have androgens in their system. However, they are usually present in very low levels. This keeps females from developing male characteristics like facial hair.
Sometimes those androgens become unbalanced. Overproduction causes androgen levels to increase. The most obvious symptom of this is the development of thicker, coarser facial hair. Sometimes this happens merely as a result of the natural aging process. Other times the cause is more serious. The hormone imbalance may stem from a medical condition.
Most facial hair in women is a result of genetic and ethnic predisposition. If the hair growth occurs in areas where men typically grow hair, like the chin or neck, this is called hirsutism. Hirsutism is often caused by a simple hormonal imbalance. On rare occasions an underlying medical condition may be to blame. Your dermatologist can help determine what may be causing your problems with facial hair. This begins with taking a full medical history and inquiring about the medical history in your family. You can expect questions about the appearance of facial hair in your nearest female relatives, as this may indicate that hirsutism runs in your family.
Based on this history and an examination, your doctor may decide to run certain blood tests that can rule out more serious medical conditions. Once the probable cause of unwanted female facial hair is determined, it’s possible to treat the underlying cause and also provide relief for the symptoms. Occasionally patients receive a prescription for an oral medication that helps balance their hormone levels. Other patients are suitable candidates for other types of treatments.
Multiple Methods of Facial Hair Removal for Women
Most women begin at home hair removal treatments at a fairly young age. Plucking, shaving, waxing and depilatories can all be effective. However, they can also cause skin irritation and they can hardly be described as permanent solutions. The need to constantly keep using these facial hair removal methods mean that skin is always irritated. Some methods, like shaving, need to be done on a daily basis, and this can become considerably time consuming.
The good news is that your board certified dermatologist has much more effective and permanent methods of facial hair removal for women. One of the most popular of these is laser hair removal. This is a high tech approach that dermatologists have been using for years. Accordingly, you can rest assured that the procedure is safe and effective.
Laser hair removal works best on people with fair skin who are having problems with dark female facial hair. The laser targets the dark melanin in the hair, destroying the follicle to prevent hair from growing. The existing hair falls out. Though it may initially grow back, subsequent treatments typically provide a permanent solution. Electrolysis is another hair removal option that targets each individual hair by treating the root. Electrolysis has the benefit of being able to treat both dark and light hairs, unlike laser hair removal which can only treat dark hair.
It’s important to understand that laser hair removal treatments are considered cosmetic. Accordingly, they are not covered by most insurance plans. Most patients have to have the same area of skin treated a minimum of four to six times to achieve lasting results.
Talk to Your Dermatologist!
Your dermatologist may recommend other treatments in addition to or instead of laser hair removal. Some patients who are dealing with a hormone imbalance respond well to oral medications that are designed to restore balance and inhibit the activity of androgens. These oral medications may be prescribed if it is believed that they can assist with the success of other treatments or may produce the desired results without other treatments.
Dermatologists are also increasingly prescribing a topical cream called Vaniqa for female facial hair. It’s a relatively new product. Nonetheless, patients across the country have enjoyed tremendous success with this prescription cream. While it does not necessarily destroy the hair follicle and make it impossible for hair to grow back, it has been shown to slow down the growth rate of hair, making it considerably less noticeable. Most women experience a difference in the amount of facial hair within one to two months of applying Vaniqa on a twice daily basis. However, the results only really last as long as the product is used. Within a few weeks of discontinuing use, the hair begins to make a reappearance.
Most patients who are serious about facial hair removal for women eventually turn to laser hair removal. It is genuinely the most effective way to achieve the smooth, relatively hair free skin that most women desire. Still, there are other methods of facial hair removal for women that may also be effective. It’s necessary to schedule an appointment with your dermatologist to find out what may be causing your excessive facial hair and how to remove it.