Medically excessive hair on face is called hirsutism. This makes the hair look unappealing and also is a matter of embarrassment for women. Many women suffer from this condition and they get depressed.
Hirsutism is not the same as hypertrichosis, which refers to excess hair in areas that aren’t dependent on androgens (male hormones). Hirsutism is excess hair in areas where it’s typically seen in men, such as the face and lower abdomen. Hypertrichosis, on the other hand, can increase hair anywhere on the body.
There can be many reasons for excess facial hair in women. One of the main causes is higher than normal levels of male hormones in the body.
Hirsutism is the medical term for excess hair in women. This can appear in different areas, including the:
This situation tends to be due to certain male hormones that are out of control.
Why do women grow excessive or unwanted hair?
1. Changes in hormonal balance
Some women seem to experience extra hair growth during puberty, pregnancy, or as they age, especially after menopause, due to shifts in hormonal balance, with an increase in male hormones.
When you are pregnant, the levels of testosterone in the blood serum rise naturally, which may lead to hirsutism. The symptoms resolve after the baby’s birth when the testosterone levels go back to normal. During menopause, the ovaries secrete less and less estrogen while the production of testosterone continues unhindered. As a result, the levels of androgens in the body rise abnormally and lead to virilization or masculine features.
The most common cause of hirsutism in younger women is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a disorder that is characterized by high androgen levels and results in ovarian cysts and irregular periods.
3. Genetic or racial factors as the principal cause of an excess of facial hair
Excess facial hair in women can be a problem. It’s not their case.
Women from India and Mediterranean countries are more apt to develop unwanted facial hair in comparison to women in other parts of Europe, Asia and North America.
However, if your family has cases of women with hirsutism, your probability increases.
Speak to the women in your family, especially those with excess acial hair. This is the best way to discover if it’s normal for them or if it’s due to a medical problem.
If it happens to be due to a medical condition, make sure and find out what the condition is and keep it in mind.
Some medications like anabolic steroids or birth control pills with progesterone may mess with your hormone levels and trigger hirsutism. Other medicines include progestins, testosterone, bimatoprost, or cyclosporine.
Obesity is associated with high levels of free testosterone in women and may contribute to hirsutism. Excess abdominal fat in particular can result in insulin resistance. High levels of insulin may also enhance androgen production.