Some women experience excessive growth of dark, coarse hair—similar to men—on their face, back, and chest. This condition is known as hirsutism, and happens because of excess male hormones called androgens, such as testosterone.
While all women grow hair on their bodies, female body hair is different from that of males in its color and texture. Women’s facial and body hair is delicate and light, often referred to as “peach fuzz.”
The hair caused by hirsutism is different because of its dark color, coarse texture, and growth pattern.
According to the Indian Journal of Dermatology, this condition affects 5 to 10% of all women and is hereditary. It is most commonly found in women of South Asian, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean descent.
While extra body hair can cause women to feel insecure, it does not have any harmful side effects.
Why Some Women Have Excessive Body Hair:
While hair in itself isn’t harmful, the hormonal imbalance it causes can have detrimental effects on your health. Women can grow excessive body and facial hair if they have high androgen levels.
While all females have some androgens, they are present in a limited amount. Some medical conditions may cause these to increase, leading to male-like hair growth and other typically male characteristics.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome:
Polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS is one of the leading causes of hirsutism and is responsible for 75% of all cases. PCOS causes benign cysts to form on women’s ovaries, affecting hormone production and hampering menstrual cycles and fertility.
According to the Office of Women’s Health, women with PCOS may have moderate to severe acne issues and weight gain. They may also experience headaches, mood shifts, fatigue, pelvic pain, infertility, and problems sleeping.
Adrenal Gland Disorders:
The adrenal glands produce hormones, but those with congenital adrenal hyperplasia are born without the enzyme required to produce hormones.
Cushing’s disease increases cortisol levels, which can cause stress and increase androgen production.
You may also experience hirsutism as a result of prescribed medications. Minoxidil is used to encourage hair growth, while testosterone and anabolic steroids may be taken for testosterone deficiencies.
Sometimes, the cause for excessive hair growth may not be so apparent, in which case women are diagnosed with idiopathic hirsutism, which is more challenging to treat.
It is best to visit a skin expert to discuss hair removal treatment options in such a case. Refirm offers laser hair removal treatment in Calgary for those with excessive hair growth. While we encourage you to love yourself as you are, you can get rid of any unwanted hair at our clinic with ease. Get in touch with us now to book your consultation.