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Excessive Facial Hair (Hirsutism)

Excessive facial hair, or excessive hair growth in general, is also known as hirsutism. Excessive facial hair growth often happens to ladies. Excessive hair growth can be on the face, neck, trunk of the body, back, shoulders, leg, or buttocks. Most women have hair on their body. Having hairs on the face and body is perfectly normal. However, some women grow more hair than others. Ladies that are aware of excessive hair growth may feel less confident in certain social situations, especially with visible excessive facial hair.

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When some women have excessive hair growth (hirsutism), the hair growth may be darker than the hairs have previously been. Quite often this is not because the hair is darker than the lady's natural body hair, but that the hair is thicker (more hairs grow and even the diameter may change), which gives an overall appearance of a more prominent colouring.

Hirsutism, or excessive hair growth, can be caused by many factors. Quite often a blood test may be needed in order to determine what exactly causes the excessive hair growth. The blood test may measure certain hormones and other endocrine features. Usually excessive hair growth is caused by one of the types of hormones called androgens. Androgens is a broad term for several hormones which are similar to testosterone. Sometimes androgens are more prevalent, and sometimes the affected individual may be more sensitive to them. With some causes of excessive hair growth there is both increased androgens and an increased sensitivity to them. One of the main identified causes of excessive hair growth is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Other causes of hirsutism (excessive hair growth) may include certain medicines, such as minoxidil, cyclosporin, phenytoin, phenobarbitone and glucocorticoids. Medicines that may cause excessive hair growth include testosterone gels and patches. Testosterone gels are occasionally used as part of some HRT regimes. Women that have used anabolic steroids, for example during bodybuilding or weightlifting recreational activities, may see an increase in hair growth. Some long term and genetic conditions have also been linked to excessive hair growth.

How to Control Excessive Facial Hair

When you are looking for how to control excessive facial hair, there are some medicines and creams that may support symptoms that are associated with hirsutism. However, there are also non-medical measures that can be implemented, which may help. This includes shaving, waxing, or bleaching the hair in the problem areas of the body or face. Note that people must always be careful when performing any procedure or applying any product to any part of the skin. We recommend only using products and taking other measures on the advice of a UK registered healthcare professional. Other treatments used may include laser hair removal. Laser hair removal may be available at our clinic, which is centrally located in Sheffield, UK.

If the person suffering from hirsutism is overweight, this may also predispose them to either an increase or decrease in some androgens. Therefore, it is important to follow a healthy diet with a suitable exercise program for the individual's needs in order to maintain a healthy body weight. Maintaining a healthy body weight may help control changes in the levels of specific hormones within the endocrine system that are causing excessive hair growth, or predisposing the individual to it.

Treatments for Excessive Facial Hair

Sometimes, specialist referral is needed and a dermatologist may be required to conduct a full assessment of the patient in order to maximize treatment outcomes. However, treatments are available for hirsutism (excessive facial hair). These prescription medicines include Vaniqa cream and potentially the use of a hormonal contraceptive to support the hormonal balance, which may improve the symptoms of hirsutism.

Vaniqa Cream

Vaniqa Cream is a topical (applied to the skin) cream that is used for the effective treatment of excessive facial hair in women. The active ingredient is eflornithine 11.5%. Buy Vaniqa Cream.

This resource has been last edited on 7th June 2021 by: Richard Neilson MPharm MBA MRPharmS MCIM.

This resource has been reviewed by: Pending Review.

Important Information

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