Unwanted facial hair, otherwise known as hirsutism, is where women have thick, dark hair on their face, neck, chest, tummy, lower back, buttocks or thighs. One of the unwanted facial hair causes is often an increase in specific hormones called androgens, but can also occur in people with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, as well as other hormone altering conditions.
There are tons of women online asking for advice and guidance on how to treat unwanted facial hair on chin and neck, with a lot of them suffering from distress due to how they may look.
If you want to know how to get rid of unwanted facial hair with possible treatments such as medication for unwanted facial hair, you’ve come to the right place.
Unwanted facial hair causes
Most of the time there are five unwanted facial hair causes and it is normally a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Experiencing rapid or severe unwanted facial hair on chin and neck requires an evaluation by your doctor. Your GP may refer you to a doctor who specializes in hormone disorders or skin problems.
Five of the unwanted facial hair causes include:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This is a common condition that affects the way a women’s ovaries work. Women will most likely first be diagnosed during their teenage years. Over the following years, PCOS may result in excess hair growth due to an imbalance of sex hormones. PCOS is not always to blame however, other accompanying symptoms will need to be present in order to get a diagnosis of PCOS, as there is currently no definitive test for confirmation.
- Cushing syndrome. This is where the body produces too much of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is mostly responsible for managing stress in the body. Having persistently high levels of cortisol can cause numerous amounts of different symptoms to occur. One of those symptoms is unwanted facial hair.
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia. An inherited condition that is characterized by abnormal production of steroid hormones, including cortisol and androgens, by the adrenal glands. It is inherited via gene mutation and results in the lack of an enzyme required for the production of cortisol, androgens and mineralocorticoids.
- Tumours. Rarely, a tumour that secretes androgen in the ovaries or adrenal glands can cause hirsutism.
- Medications can sometimes be the cause of unwanted facial hair. Some of these medicines include minoxidil (Minoxidil, Rogaine); danazol, which is used to treat women with endometriosis; testosterone (Androgel, Testim); and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Medications that contain androgens can also contribute, even if you aren’t using them directly. A partner or family member who you touch can pass on androgens when they’re using topical androgen medications and are passed on through skin-to-skin contact. This doesn’t include medication for unwanted facial hair, as that would ultimately treat it.
How to remove unwanted facial hair
If you have been successfully diagnosed with hirsutism and would like to improve the appearance of your unwanted facial hair using how to remove unwanted facial hair methods, there are numerous different options available to you.
Cosmetic and self-care options are one of your first options. Self-care options include plucking, shaving, waxing, depilation and bleaching.
Plucking Is great for the stray hair hear and there, but it’s not very useful for removing larger areas of hair covered areas. Plucked hair will typically regrow and will need to be removed with tweezers or other devices designed for singular hair removal. Another is shaving which can be quick and inexpensive, but has to be repeated regularly.
Your second option would be medication for unwanted facial hair. If the above methods of self-care haven’t worked or simply aren’t good enough for the amount of hair you want to remove, medication can be prescribed by your doctor. The whole how to remove unwanted facial hair specifics will have to be talked about with your doctor, but medications can significantly make a difference, taking up to 6 months before progress is seen. Medication for unwanted facial hair include oral contraceptives, anti-androgens and topical cream.
One of the many questions your doctor may have heard before is “Will taking estrogen help with unwanted facial hair?” Combination birth control pills contain both estrogen and progesterone, which will help reduce excess facial hair and hair associated with hirsutism. It is a common treatment for hirsutism in women who don’t want to become pregnant.
Another of the possible medications for unwanted facial hair removal are topical creams. Eflornithine, otherwise known as Vaniqa, is a prescription cream that is used for unwanted facial hair removal. It is applied directly to the area that is affected twice a day. It won’t get rid of already existing facial hair, but it will help slow the growth of new hairs. It is often used alongside laser therapy to enhance the response to the treatment.
Lastly, after using medication and self-care treatments, one of your last options in how to get rid of unwanted facial hair are medical procedures. Two of the most common procedures are laser therapy and electrolysis.
Laser therapy is a beam of highly concentrated light that is passed over individual hair follicles on the skin. It damages each follicle it hits and prevents hair from growing. Laser therapy is usually conducted over a period of time rather than a one and done scenario. If you are someone who is tanned or has dark pigmented skin, speak to your doctor before accepting the procedure. Laser therapy in these individuals are at an increased risk of experiencing side effects, including darkening or lightening of their skin tones, blistering and inflammation.
Electrolysis on the other hand is a treatment involving a needle inserted into each hair follicle. Once the needle enters the hair follicle, a pulse of electricity is emitted to damage and eventually destroy the follicle. This is also a treatment that will be typically done over a period of visits, instead of a one and done scenario. Naturally blonde- or white-haired individuals will benefit more from electrolysis, rather than laser therapy.
Other possible treatment options
Many people who are looking for treatment options for unwanted facial hair will frequently research their options online before speak with their doctor. Sometimes this can just be curiosity, whilst others will take it upon themselves to try things before medical advice is provided from a professional.
For example, using minoxidil for unwanted facial hair is counterintuitive. Minoxidil is often used for hereditary hair loss, also known as male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness. It works by encouraging hair growth and preventing further hair loss. If your objective is to get rid of unwanted facial hair, using minoxidil for unwanted facial hair will do exactly the opposite.
Again, another example would be using rogaine for unwanted facial hair. Rogaine is another name for minoxidil, and as said above is intended for the treatment of hair loss…promoting, enlarging and elongating the growth phase of hair. Unwanted facial hair only occurs as a side effect of rogaine when the medication accidently comes into contact with the skin on the face. Always speak to your doctor before using medication such as rogaine for unwanted facial hair if you aren’t sure what to use.
Lastly, spironolactone for unwanted facial hair IS a treatment intended for hirsutism when used at lower doses. It blocks the effects of androgens and reduces hair growth but can come with some side effects such as dry skin, heartburn, irregular vaginal bleeding, dizziness and fatigue. Spironolactone for unwanted facial hair is prescribed alongside a birth control pill if excess hair growth does not improve after taking birth control over a six-month period.