Why do some women have facial hair?

I just met a lovely young woman she was engaging and warm, but I couldn’t help but notice that she had a lot of facial hair .

While she did not appear to be  self conscious about it, I couldn’t help but wonder what causes this phenomenon in women.

Excessive hair on a woman’s body is known as hirsutism, this condition is characterized but an unusual amount of body hair that is coarser in texture and darker in color than the hair on other parts of the woman’s body.

So what causes this condition?

This condition is usually caused by higher than normal levels of the male hormone androgens which also includes testosterone. All women have low levels of androgens present in their body but when these levels become higher than normal they can lead to hirsutism.

What causes the androgens hormonal levels in women to rise?

Certain medical conditions such as Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and adrenal gland conditions such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Steroids usage could also cause increased hormonal levels.

So what are the health conditions that can cause hirsutism:

  1. PCOS: Polycystic ovarian syndrome occurs when benign cysts form on the ovaries that can affect hormonal production, irregular menstrual cycles and decrease fertility in women.
  2. Adrenal gland disorders:

The adrenal glands are located just above your kidneys and are responsible for hormone production. Various adrenal gland disorders include: Cushing’s disease which is caused by an excessive production of the stress hormone cortisol and congenital adrenal hyperplasia which is when people are born without an enzyme that is necessary for normal hormone production.

  1. Steroids: When women take steroids it can stimulate hair growth because anabolic steroids are synthetic variations of the male hormone testosterone.

So how do I know if I have hirsutism?

Hirsutism can be diagnosed by a Doctor after he has taken run some blood tests to measure your hormonal levels.

So if I have hirsutism, how do I treat it?

Hirsutism can be treated by treating the underlying cause of this condition. If the hirsutism is caused by PCOS or adrenal disorders, then your Doctor would prescribe a treatment plan. It is important to get to the root cause of this condition to get it treated. If the condition is caused by steroids usage, then your Doctor would help find an alternative treatment plan that would work for you.

How can I remove the excess hair?

There are various hair removal options available to remove the unwanted hair associated with hirsutism and these include creams, waxing, shaving and laser treatments.

Photo by Naypong. Published on 10 June 2012
Stock photo – Image ID: 10085816