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A Hairy Situation 

Almost all women have some body hair pop up in places they would rather not talk about. This includes the upper lip, chin, and chest. While hair on women in these areas may feel like taboo, it is actually pretty common. However, if you feel like your particular situation is hairier than others, you may have hirsutism.

Hirsutism is a condition of unwanted, male-pattern hair growth in women. Hirsutism results in excessive amounts of dark, coarse hair on body areas where men typically grow hair, such as the face, chest, and back.

According to the Mayo Clinic, at puberty, a girl’s ovaries begin to produce a mix of female and male sex hormones, causing hair to grow in the armpits and pubic area. Hirsutism can occur if the mix becomes unbalanced with too high a proportion of male sex hormones (androgens).

Hirsutism can be caused by:

– Polycystic ovary syndrome. This most common cause of hirsutism is caused by an imbalance of sex hormones that can result in irregular periods, obesity, infertility and sometimes multiple cysts on your ovaries.

– Cushing’s syndrome. This occurs when your body is exposed to high levels of the hormone cortisol. It can develop from your adrenal glands making too much cortisol or from taking medications such as prednisone over a long period.

– Congenital adrenal hyperplasia. This inherited condition is characterized by abnormal production of steroid hormones, including cortisol and androgen, by your adrenal glands.

– Tumors. Rarely, an androgen-secreting tumor in the ovaries or adrenal glands can cause hirsutism.

– Medications. Some medications can cause hirsutism. These include danazol, which is used to treat women with endometriosis; systemic corticosteroids and fluoxetine (Prozac) for depression.

In addition to the above causes, things such as family history and obesity can influence your body’s proneness to hirsutism.

So if you have hirsutism, what can you do about all that unwanted hair?

Unfortunately, hirsutism generally isn’t preventable. While losing weight if you’re overweight might help reduce hirsutism, that only works best if you have hirsutism caused by PCOS, and there is no guarantee you can get rid of it completely. However, luckily for you, laser hair removal can help reduce the hair growth significantly! Contact our office to schedule a consultation and find out your options ASAP. You too deserve to live confidently hair-free!

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