Thorny Problem of Excess Unwanted Body Hair Explained in Detail!

1. Excess body hair is not uncommon, if defined fairly loosely, but most hormone health gynecologists call this as male-patterned hair on the body of a women. It occurs in about 10% of all women.

2. The excess body hair may be the first sign in teen years that a young woman’s hormone levels are either disordered or excessive. This may also be a sign of lack of ovulation.

3. Actual virilization (the male effects on a female body) with deep voice, shrinking breast, changes in the body including enlarging clitoris only happen if there are fairly high levels male hormone excesses.

4. The total number of potential hair follicles is set genetically and we have all of them that we will ever have by 22 weeks of fetal life. Hormones, obesity, and other factors have minimal impact on these total numbers. So a hair removed, is a hair gone.

5. If you are experiencing excess body hair growth there is likely a relationship with the hormone levels of the male hormone DHT an active form of testosterone in the skin hair follicles.

6. Male hormone sensitive hair is thicker and darker, and considered our sexual hair. That hair will most likely develop on the face, the chest, the lower abdomen, the pubis, and in your under arms.

7. Body hair undergoes the same cycles of growth that other hair does, and these cycles are slow. So if you are getting hair growth removal, simultaneously working on your hormone levels will help the process a lot!.

8. Even if you genetically have elevated male hormone levels, your hair growth response can be helped by making your liver produce more SHBG and thus the skin hair follicles will be less affected and hair growth will be slowed significantly.

9. Males have more facial hair than females because they have more testosterone than women do!

10. If you have hormone or endocrine problems other than testosterone imbalance, all hairs, not just those in the sexual areas will grow.

11. Estrogen have the opposite effect of testosterone on hair, higher levels will cause body hair to be thinning, finer, and actually lighter.

12. Progesterones doesn’t affect hair growth that we know of.

13. The anagen or growth cycle time is affected by hormones. Oddly, androgens will increase the time body hair spends in growth, but decrease the time scalp hair spends in growth.

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Suzanne Trupin, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and owner of Women's Health Practice, Hada Cosmetic Medicine, and Hatha Yoga and Fitness

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