What’s Up with Those Dark Coarse Hairs?
At Women’s Health Medical Group, we hate unwanted hair as much as our patients. Shaving, plucking, and waxing is as tedious for us as it is for you. Laser hair removal isn’t one of our services, but we do hear from patients sometimes wondering about their desire to remove one particular type of hair.
You know the ones — those black hairs that pop in the most unfeminine locations.
These hairs seem to show up out of the blue and are the singular bane of any woman. These random dark hairs are a product of our hormones and a condition known as hirsutism.
Since we treat the condition that is likely behind your hirsutism at Women’s Health Medical Group, let’s spend this first blog of 2022 telling you why these unwelcome hairs show up on your face and body.
Blame it on the hormones
Every woman is different, but there’s one universal truth — no one likes seeing random dark hairs popping up on areas where men typically grow hair: the face, chest, and back. Hirsutism is actually a condition of male-pattern hair growth in women. That’s why these darn hairs are showing up in unfeminine spots.
Affecting about 5 out of every 100 women, hirsutism is fueled by androgens, which are male hormones. All women produce androgens. During puberty, teenage ovaries produce a mix of female and male sex hormones. This is why we start to grow pubic hair and hair in our armpits. You can thank this hormone mix for the endless ritual of shaving, plucking, waxing, and applying harsh depilatory creams to remove those very same hairs.
Hirsutism is different. It happens later, and the hairs grow in randomly. They tend to be spotty, unlike the uniform patterns associated with our pubic or underarm hair.
Hirsutism is more often than not caused by polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This causes a woman to develop benign cysts on her ovaries, and this can mess with hormone production. Other causes of hirsutism can be adrenal gland disorders where they abnormally produce steroid hormones. Cushing’s syndrome occurs when your body is exposed to high levels of the hormone cortisol, which can happen from taking prednisone for a long period of time or if your adrenal glands are making too much cortisol. Hirsutism can also be a side effect of drugs to treat endometriosis or depression.
Now you know why you’re getting those random dark, coarse hairs in all the wrong places! If you have any other questions about PCOS or hirsutism or need to make an appointment with our team, call us at (817) 346-5336.