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HORMONES AND UNWANTED HAIR
by Geoffrey Redmond, MD

FACIAL AND BODY HAIR

How Much Hair Is Normal
Medical Terms For Extra Hair
Ethnic Variations In Facial And Body Hair
What Causes Increased Hair
Lab Tests For Increased Hair
I Have Too Much Hair But My Hormone Tests Are Normal – How Can This Be?
Other Reasons For Hirsutism With Normal Testosterone
Treatments For Increased Hair
Medications For Increased Hair
Hope For Women With Unwanted Hair

Women and Hair
Though recent decades have seen many changes in our concepts of masculinity and femininity, one thing has not changed: women still are not supposed to have hair on their face or body. That this is not biologically accurate – most women do have at least some extra hair somewhere – has not changed fashion.

Indeed our society seems to have grown more “trichophobic” -  phobic about body hair. Even pubic hair is now often shaved or waxed. This dislike of hair is not confined to women  -- more and more men are opting to have chest or back hair removed. In the past, ideals of beauty were more realistic. In ancient India, a band of hair in the middle of a woman’s chest was considered a sign of great beauty. That body hair was more accepted in earlier times does not help much now since we have to be comfortable in the culture in which we find ourselves.

Despite the assumption that women do not have facial and body hair, many do. How bothersome this extra hair is depends on the amount and consistency. Having to tweeze a light chin hair once in awhile can be taken in stride. But if you need to spend more than a few minutes each morning removing hair, or if your extra hair is dark and stiff, it tends to be more distressing because it is harder to conceal.

Unfortunately, women with hirsutism are often not believed when they turn to health care providers for help. Some doctors fail to notice the extra hair. Or, if they do, they may tell women that the condition is hereditary with the implication that nothing can be done about it. While there is no question that some families and ethnic groups have a tendency to more hair, this does not mean that they cannot benefit from treatment. There are other excuses doctors give for not treating hirsutism but women with increased hair should not be put off by them. There are effective treatments for hirsutism, and women troubled by this condition are entitled to seek help.

 Next ->

How Much Hair Is Normal
Medical Terms For Extra Hair
Ethnic Variations In Facial And Body Hair
What Causes Increased Hair
Lab Tests For Increased Hair
I Have Too Much Hair But My Hormone Tests Are Normal – How Can This Be?
Other Reasons For Hirsutism With Normal Testosterone
Treatments For Increased Hair
Medications For Increased Hair
Hope For Women With Unwanted Hair

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