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Hirsutism is a condition that affects women with excess hair growth on their face, chest, and body. Although it doesn’t cause pain or other health problems, some people may find hirsutism to be socially isolating. If you are struggling to manage your symptoms, try these natural ways of managing the problem while also looking good in public!
Hirsutism is a type of hair growth that occurs on the face, upper lip, chin, chest, and abdomen. Hirsutism can cause unwanted hair growth in areas where it’s not desirable. There are many ways to manage hirsutism symptoms, but these 5 natural ways will help you get rid of your unwanted facial hair.
Hirsutism is a female-only disorder that causes male-pattern hair growth. The hair grows in black and coarse locations like the chest, face, and back. Its intensity and influence on self-esteem and mental health might vary. Some women may find hair growth to be manageable and unobtrusive, while others may find it difficult to deal with, leading to insecurity in relationships and depression.
Even without traditional treatment, women have numerous natural methods to control hirsutism symptoms and make a living with the illness simpler.
What Is Hirsutism and How Does It Affect You?
Hirsutism is an overabundance of hair development in areas where it shouldn’t be. Women are affected by this disorder, which results in dark, thick, or stiff hair. It develops on the upper lip, chin, jawline, and the chest, belly, arms, back, and sideburns, where women don’t usually have visible hair. Acne and hair loss on the top of the head are other possible side effects. Hirsutism makes women feel self-conscious and insecure about their femininity, making them feel uncomfortable, humiliated, and nervous about physical contact or skin exposure.
An increase in male hormones known as androgens, such as testosterone, is the most common cause of hirsutism. Extra androgens in the body may cause male-pattern hair growth and other indications and symptoms of the disorder. It might, however, be a feature shared by all women in a family or the result of another medical illness.
Except for its emotional impact, hirsutism has negligible health consequences. Some ladies may not even detect mild hirsutism. If it is caused by or connected to another ailment, however, you may encounter health issues and difficulties resulting from those disorders. You should consult a health care expert for blood testing and a medical diagnosis to understand better the reason and possible consequences of your hair growth. Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a related condition that can lead to infertility and other long-term health issues.
Symptoms and Signs
Women exclusively experience hirsutism symptoms. The following are some of the signs and symptoms:
- Hair growth on the face, chest, back, belly, arms, thighs and other regions where women don’t normally develop hair is dark and coarse.
- Acne on the face or elsewhere on the body
- Hair loss or thinning on the head
- Deepening of voice
- Breasts are shrinking.
- Increasing your muscular mass
- The clitoris is growing.
- Androgen levels that are too high (this affects about half of all women with hirsutism)
Risk Factors and Causes
Hirsutism is a condition caused by an excess of certain male hormones in the body. Androgens are hormones that are produced in hair follicles or released by the ovaries or adrenal glands. A variety of situations may increase androgens. This implies that hirsutism may be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) is one of the most common causes of hirsutism. It is responsible for three out of every four occurrences of hirsutism. PCOS results in hair growth where it shouldn’t be and hair loss in the front of the head due to irregular periods and hormone abnormalities (a receding hairline). The disease may run in families and has a long-term effect (chronic). PCOS is linked to several health issues, including obesity, diabetes, infertility, high cholesterol, and perhaps heart disease, in addition to irregular menstruation.
- Idiopathic hirsutism is a kind of hirsutism that has no recognized etiology. It is the second most common cause of hirsutism. It’s also generally a long-term condition. Some people feel it’s a minor form of PCOS. However, most patients with idiopathic hirsutism have regular periods, and the sole symptom is the sluggish growth of coarse, black hair where it shouldn’t be.
- Cushing’s syndrome is caused by a high cortisol level in the body. Cortisol is a hormone produced by your body. When administered for lengthy periods, drugs like prednisone may cause high cortisol levels.
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia occurs when the adrenal glands produce excessive levels of steroid hormones like androgen and cortisol during birth. It’s a hereditary condition that may develop into hirsutism.
- Thyroid issues: Hormone imbalances may induce hirsutism when the thyroid isn’t acting correctly, resulting in hypo- or hyperthyroidism. Thyroid tests may be performed on women with hirsutism symptoms to see whether the hair growth is caused by thyroid malfunction.
- Drugs: Several medications can induce new or unusual hair growth patterns. When you talk to a doctor about your hair growth, they will want to know about all of the medications and supplements you’re using. This may assist in identifying whether medicines or a hormonal imbalance causes the symptoms.
- Tumors: A tumor in the adrenal glands or the ovaries might induce hirsutism in rare cases. These tumors may produce androgen, increasing hormone levels and hair growth.
The following are some of the risk factors for hirsutism:
- A family history of the disease
- Ancestry from the Mediterranean, South Asia, or the Middle East
- Having a hirsutism-causing ailment, such as a thyroid issue or PCOS
Diagnosis and Standard Treatment
A detailed medical history, physical exam, and blood tests are used to diagnose hirsutism. Thyroid function or a variety of other disorders may be examined depending on your risk factors. If your hair growth and other symptoms are rapid or significant, you should anticipate more tests. If many women in your family have the characteristic and yours has developed gradually, blood testing may not be necessary for a diagnosis.
It’s important to consult a health care expert for a diagnosis, regardless of your family’s medical history. If not treated appropriately, several of the disorders that cause hirsutism might have catastrophic consequences.
The following are examples of traditional hirsutism treatments:
- Shaving, bleaching, chemical hair dissolving, and waxing are all methods for removing unwanted hair from the skin.
- Hair follicles are damaged by electrolysis or laser hair removal, limiting the quantity of hair that may grow. Electrolysis is a painful and costly procedure that is useful for treating tiny regions. Laser hair removal is likewise costly, but it is quicker and less uncomfortable. Also, therapies may be quite successful for a long period, but they both need numerous treatments initially. Electrolysis may provide more durable outcomes despite the requirement for more upfront treatments.
- Prescription treatments, such as eflornithine hydrochloride may decrease or halt hair growth over time if used regularly.
- Weight reduction may help some women, especially those with PCOS, lessen symptoms and consequences.
- Medications, such as:
- Lowered androgens and established regular periods using birth control tablets. In the great majority of women with hirsutism, they help to alleviate symptoms (60 percent to 100 percent)
- Anti-androgens function by lowering androgen levels in the hair follicles directly.
Women with hirsutism-related mental health difficulties may be provided treatment or drugs, depending on the severity of their psychological symptoms.
Additional therapies may be required for those with other underlying diseases such as PCOS, diabetes, or thyroid issues. Women who are taking drugs that cause hirsutism as a side effect may need to adjust their doses or prescriptions with their doctor’s advice.
As women reach their 30s and 40s, their bodies’ levels of androgens gradually decrease, and hirsutism therapy may become unnecessary. Hair removal and birth control are the best therapeutic choices for hirsutism in traditional medical management.
Natural Ways to Manage Hirsutism
Women who are looking for natural treatments for hirsutism symptoms are in luck. The majority of hair removal treatments and many other hirsutism and associated symptom management suggestions are natural. Consider using these natural remedies to control hair growth and other hirsutism symptoms:
1. Achieve a healthy body weight
Losing weight may help people with PCOS improve their reproductive health. It may also reduce the risk of heart disease and make diabetes management simpler. Although it may not directly influence hair development, maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of natural PCOS treatment. In some circumstances, women with PCOS may find that keeping a healthy weight is the only way to manage their symptoms. In some instances, women may need to combine efforts to reach a healthy weight with traditional treatment to regulate symptoms and lower their overall health risks.
Obesity-fighting natural remedies include:
- Eat a healthy diet to lose weight and improve your long-term health. High-fiber foods, lean proteins (skinless chicken and fish), healthy fats (think coconut, olive, and fish oils), and small, frequent meals should all be part of a general diet plan.
- What you should avoid is just as essential as what you should eat: foods heavy in sugar, fat, and salt. Processed meals, baked products, and “junk” foods are all high in empty calories.
- Exercise. A calorie deficit is created by increasing the number of calories you burn while decreasing your calories. This aids with weight loss. Find a fun hobby and do it every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Make it simple by incorporating additional movement into your daily routine.
- Park farther away from the supermarket or your workplace.
- Instead of using the elevator, take the stairs.
- Yard maintenance, home cleaning, and other tasks may be done, or you can just dance about the house.
- Find a person who is in a comparable physical condition to exercise with.
- After supper, go for a stroll with your spouse, kids, or dog.
- Stress levels should be reduced. Stress may cause weight gain and make it harder to lose weight. Every day, set aside some time to do something you like. Consider conversing with friends, taking up a hobby, attempting yoga, listening to music, writing, or doing anything else that helps you relax.
- Consider the DASH protocol (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). Women with PCOS who followed the DASH diet for eight weeks dropped substantial weight and improved in other health markers, according to a research. The diet comprises calorie restriction and is made up of around 50% complex carbs, 18% protein, and 30% fat. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and low-fat dairy are abundant, whereas refined grains, saturated fat, and cholesterol are scarce.
2. Get rid of acne
Acne thrives in hirsutism because of the hormonal imbalance it causes. Make your skin unfriendly to acne to fight and avoid it as much as possible. Try these basic methods to avoid acne in the first place: (10)
- Maintain a clean face (but not too clean). Wash your face no more than twice a day. Scrub grime and oil away from your face using a clean, soft washcloth (a new one each time) or your hands. To avoid damaging the skin and increasing the risk of infection, wash with a soft cleanser and take it easy on regions already affected by acne.
- Make use of a moisturizer. After you’ve washed your face, use a non-comedogenic face lotion. The moisturizer will not clog your pores if you do this. Also, topical acne medications might dry your skin if you don’t keep it hydrated. It may also be used to soothe and balance dry, oily, peeling, irritated, or mixed skin.
- Face cosmetics should be avoided. Wear no facial makeup, concealer, blush, or powder. If you wear sunscreen on your face every day, look for a non-comedogenic option.
- Simplify the way you care for your hair. Hairspray and pomades, among other hair styling products, might get up on your face. Wear a face mask and wash your hands afterward if you use them. Keep your hair clean as well, since natural hair oils and chemicals from shampoo and conditioner may clog pores when they come into contact with your face. If at all possible, pull your hair back from your face.
- Keep your hands away from your face. If necessary, wash your hands before proceeding. Picking or popping pimples is not a good idea. This may aggravate acne and lead to long-term skin damage and infections.
- Other acne-related advice may be found on the internet. This indicates that oily meals should be avoided (mostly because if you touch your face after, you can clog pores). You can also avoid the sun, exercise more often, and reduce stress by staying out of it.
Natural acne solutions may be used to treat pimples that have already appeared:
- As a toner, use pure apple cider vinegar to kill microorganisms.
- Tea tree oil may be used to cleanse or treat acne on a spot basis. Add a few drops of the oil to your favorite natural face wash, face mask, or moisturizer. Many drugstores and natural food shops provide ready-made tea tree acne spot remedies. However, applying full-strength tea tree oil directly to the skin is not recommended.
- Gently exfoliate. Instead of agitating and scrubbing, use DIY exfoliants to remove dead skin from your pores. Mixed with coconut oil or honey, brown sugar, or sea salt is simple. Combine equal parts gritty and smooth ingredients, gently massage into the skin, and rinse well.
3. Increase your chances of becoming pregnant
PCOS and hirsutism might make it difficult for women to conceive. Obesity might also make it more difficult to conceive. If you have PCOS or are obese, you may boost your chances of becoming pregnant naturally by following some of these guidelines:
- (See step one!) Get your weight down to a healthy level. But don’t go overboard. Excessive activity and low body weight might also make it difficult to conceive and maintain a pregnancy.
- Eat to increase your chances of becoming pregnant. Calorie restriction and a well-balanced diet may help you lose weight and prepare your body to manage itself better. If you’re overweight, eating a nutritious diet and decreasing weight may help you get pregnant.
- A diet to promote ovulation involves consuming complex carbs (rather than refined sugars), fiber from lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, full-fat dairy products, plant protein from beans, nuts, and tofu, and avoiding trans fats, according to the author of the book “The Fertility Diet.” It’s also a good idea to take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day.
- Dr. Axe recommends taking 1,500 mg of evening primrose oil throughout the first two weeks of each menstrual cycle to help with infertility. Chasteberry, B vitamins, and progesterone cream are some other supplements that may help with fertility.
- Before using supplements for fertility, talk to your doctor, especially if you’re on medication to treat your PCOS or hirsutism symptoms.
- Consult a doctor or a fertility specialist. You may create a personalized game plan to increase fertility by understanding the origin of your hirsutism and any linked disorders that may affect it. For example, your ideal fertility approach will vary from someone with uncomplicated idiopathic hirsutism if you have endometriosis, PCOS, or thyroid disease.
- Take a look at natural procreative technologies (NaPro or NPT). This technique (which often combines natural fertility monitoring with extensive tests for physical reasons of reproductive difficulties) has been shown in studies to help women get pregnant, even after years of trying.
4. Take emotional care of yourself
For some women, the hair growth associated with hirsutism may be upsetting. Therefore, it’s crucial to visit a health care expert if you’re troubled by the excess hair growth or feel self-conscious, unfeminine, nervous about interacting with people, sad, or preoccupied with the extra hair. Professionals can not only assist you in finding a therapy that is appropriate for your hair growth and lifestyle, but they can also ensure that any mental health issues that have emerged as a consequence of your diagnosis are addressed.
Following some of these suggestions may help you manage your stress and emotions:
- Exercise. Exercise may help balance hormones, get you to a healthy weight (or keep you there), and boost your pregnancy chances. It can also reduce stress and anxiety or depression symptoms. In addition, seeing your body’s fitness increase might help you feel better about yourself.
- Speak with someone. If you have hirsutism, other women in your family are likely to have it as well. Inquire about their coping mechanisms and any tips they may have for dealing with hair growth and the stress that comes with it.
- Reach out to friends, a counselor, or a psychiatrist if you don’t have a family member to speak to.
- You may also discuss your worries with your spouse. Explain the situation to them if your hair growth has forced you to avoid physical touch with loved ones.
- Create a relaxing atmosphere in your house. Making your house a sanctuary might give you a safe haven where you don’t have to worry about hirsutism. Aromatherapy, lavender, and bergamot belly massages, a regular bedtime, avoiding computer time an hour before bed, keeping your room dark for sleep, and scheduling time for relaxing rituals are all good ideas. Warm baths, reading, experimenting with new foods, watching comedy, listening to music, and conversing with friends are just a few examples. Rather than filling every spare minute with chores and to-dos, make sure that part of your time at home is free for you to de-stress. (
- Dr. Axe’s natural depression management suggestions are worth a try. Spending time outside, using lavender and Roman chamomile essential oils to encourage calm and sleep, and taking the following vitamins are just a few of them.
5. Learn how to use a quick hair removal method
You may want to remove extra hair even if you’ve discovered other natural or conventional therapies that work well for your other issues. However, it might take weeks or months for many therapies to start working. Furthermore, certain treatments aren’t perfect or permanent, so you could see some hair growth even after treatment. If you’re bothered by the excess hair, try several methods to make hair removal or dying as painless as possible.
Women’s facial hair removal might be especially stressful, but the more comfortable you are with your procedure, the simpler it will be to stick to your program. If you want to prevent noticeable hair, try these non-laser or electrolysis hair removal techniques for hirsutism:
- If necessary, shave your face every day or every other day. Shave your facial hair the most often, and prioritize body hair based on how visible it will be or how essential hair-free is to you.
- Shaving is a low-cost, drug-free method of hair removal. In between complete sessions, use electric razors for touch-ups.
- If you must shave, use a light shaving lotion and keep acne at bay.
- Shave along the direction of hair growth on most body areas rather than against it, which might irritate your skin.
- Waxing is more unpleasant than shaving, but it may stay longer. Hair removal may be done at home or by visiting a salon or dermatologist.
- If you visit a salon often, ask for a discount or membership.
- Combination procedures, such as bleaching or depilatories, are available at certain salons.
- Stick to a routine. You can plan once you know how rapidly your hair grows. The worry of squeezing in the next hair removal procedure is alleviated by setting up a definite time.
- Take care of your facial hair every day or every other day, and set aside some time on Saturday morning to take care of your other body hair. Making it a part of your daily routine may help you feel less anxious.
- Invest in high-quality items. Because you’ll be using a razor, shaving cream, depilatory, or waxing kit on so much skin, including your face, it’s critical to have items that don’t irritate, dry out, aggravate acne, create razor burn or ingrown hairs, or smell bad.
- Purchase a couple of different items from shops that accept returns.
- Use a razor and shaving cream that will help you avoid razor burn.
- If you can’t locate a non-comedogenic women’s shaving cream, check for unscented men’s shaving creams, especially for sensitive skin. You may also produce your own shaving cream from natural ingredients.
- Shea butter, coconut oil, essential oils, baking soda, olive or grapeseed oil, vitamin E capsules, and other benign substances are examples of possible components for DIY shaving creams. Combinations of natural soaps, water, Castile soap, honey, almond oil, and other ingredients are also available.
- Make sure you’re not adding to your workload. When warm sweaters and scarves cover your skin, reduce the frequency of your hair removal unless you are particularly unhappy with your body hair.
- Underlying disorders may induce hirsutism, which can have major health consequences. Do not try to diagnose or treat hirsutism on your own. A medical practitioner can assist in identifying the illness and any connected health issues and guiding therapy.
- Pain and skin irritation may be caused by certain hair removal lotions, bleaches, chemicals, and removal procedures (such as electrolysis and laser hair removal). Use them as directed and discontinue use if irritation develops.
- If your symptoms change fast or become severe, see a health care provider. This might indicate a major health issue.
- Hirsutism is a female-only health condition. It promotes male-pattern hair development on the face, chest, belly, and back, among other places. It may also cause baldness, an increase in muscle tone, acne, a reduction in breast size, and other side effects.
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome affects most women with hirsutism (PCOS). Hormone imbalances are the most common cause of hirsutism in this illness. PCOS treatment may typically alleviate hirsutism symptoms.
- Hair removal and birth control pills are two common therapies for hirsutism. Other alternatives include medication changes and anti-androgen medicines, which block the synthesis of androgens, the hormones that trigger hair growth.
- Even without therapy, hirsutism does not pose a substantial risk to one’s physical health. However, some ladies are bothered by the emergence of hair where it isn’t anticipated. In addition, it might lead to poor self-esteem or emotional problems.
- If you experience hirsutism symptoms, get a professional diagnosis and testing. This long-term ailment may be well-managed with therapy. In addition, its symptoms usually lessen when the body’s natural production of androgens declines with age.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you stop hirsutism?
A: You can reduce the effects of hirsutism by using hair care products, such as conditioners and shampoos with natural ingredients. Additionally, you may want to consider taking a multivitamin that contains biotin for an additional boost in health.
What vitamin helps with hirsutism?
A: If you’re experiencing a lot of hair growth, such as in your face, chest, or back, then some vitamins can help with this. These include folic acid and biotin, but vitamin B12 is also important to prevent any further issues.
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