Hirsutism refers to a condition in which there is excess facial or body hair growth of male pattern distribution in females. It mainly occurs as a result of hormonal imbalances in females. There are different types of hormonal imbalance disorders, but PCOS and hirsutism are closely related because hirsutism is one of the most common symptoms of the polycystic ovarian syndrome, a hormonal imbalance disorder that affects 10% of women’s population. Most importantly, it is also responsible for 90% of causes of hirsutism cases.
Why does PCOS facial hair appear?
Almost 70 to 80 % of women suffer from PCOS facial hair. The excess body hair appears as a result of the overproduction of androgen in women. Androgens are biologically active hormones in men. Although, they are present in women in small amounts. In females, androgens are produced in ovaries and adrenal glands while in men they are present in the testes and adrenal glands, where they are responsible for masculine characteristics such as excess hair growth.
In women with PCOS, androgens convert vellus hair(soft, thin, and small ) to terminal hair in androgen-sensitive sites of hair growth. Androgen-sensitive areas of hair growth are directly affected by androgens concentrations. Hence, their sensitivity promotes hirsutism in women.
The most common androgen-sensitive sites are the upper lips, beard area, lower abdomen, breasts, and inner thighs.
PCOS Hirsutism Treatment
There are many ways to treat hirsutism including laser treatments, electrolysis, and waxing. However, these methods are expensive and painful. A safer and less invasive option would be to use natural remedies.
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The first step in PCOS hirsutism treatment is to get your body back to its natural state. To do this, you need to stop taking birth control pills and start eating a healthier diet. You should avoid processed foods and eat lots of fruits and vegetables. If you don’t have any symptoms of PCOS, then you may not need to take any medication. However, if you are experiencing some of these symptoms, then you may want to consider using topical steroid cream.
Topical Steroid Cream
Topical steroids are creams that are applied directly to the skin. These creams work by blocking the production of testosterone in the body. When testosterone levels drop, hair follicles shrink and become inactive. Using a topical steroid cream will help reduce hair growth and prevent further hair loss.
If you are still taking oral contraceptives, then you will need to switch to a different type of contraceptive pill. There are many types of contraception pills out there, including progesterone-only pills, estrogen-progestin combination pills, and combined hormonal methods. Make sure you choose a method that works best for you.
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Once you have stopped taking oral contraceptives, you will need to make some dietary changes. Your diet should consist mainly of whole grains, lean meats, fish, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Avoid refined sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and trans fats. Eating a balanced diet will allow your hormones to return to normal and will help you lose weight.
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Exercise is an excellent way to burn calories and keep your body toned. Try walking at least 30 minutes per day, three times a week. Also, try doing yoga or Pilates to strengthen your core muscles.
Stress management is extremely important for women who suffer from the polycystic ovarian syndrome. Stress can cause hormone imbalances and lead to hair loss. Relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises and massage therapy can help relieve stress.
The Bottom Line
Terminal hair is long, thick, and coarse, and grows faster than vellus hair. Once terminal hair growth occurs, then there is no way to go back. But, with some treatment and lifestyle changes, you can manage and control PCOS facial hair growth.
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