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Eliminación del vello no deseado Consejos Indesirables Cheveux Conseils

Unwanted Hair Removal Tips

Hair RemovalThough recent decades have seen many changes in our concepts of masculinity and femininity, one thing has not changed: women still are not supposed to have hair on their face or body. That this is not biologically accurate – most women do have at least some extra hair somewhere – has not changed fashion.

Last Updated - 10th September 2006

Indeed our society seems to have grown more “trichophobic” - phobic about body hair. Even pubic hair is now often shaved or waxed. This dislike of hair is not confined to women, more and more men are opting to have chest or back hair removed. In the past, ideals of beauty were more realistic. In ancient India, a band of hair in the middle of a woman’s chest was considered a sign of great beauty. That body hair was more accepted in earlier times does not help much now since we have to be comfortable in the culture in which we find ourselves.

Despite the assumption that women do not have facial and body hair, many do. How bothersome this extra hair is depends on the amount and consistency. Having to tweeze a light chin hair once in awhile can be taken in stride. But if you need to spend more than a few minutes each morning removing hair, or if your extra hair is dark and stiff, it tends to be more distressing because it is harder to conceal.

Unfortunately, women with hirsutism are often not believed when they turn to health care providers for help. Some doctors fail to notice the extra hair. Or, if they do, they may tell women that the condition is hereditary with the implication that nothing can be done about it. While there is no question that some families and ethnic groups have a tendency to more hair, this does not mean that they cannot benefit from treatment. There are other excuses doctors give for not treating hirsutism but women with increased hair should not be put off by them. There are effective treatments for hirsutism, and women troubled by this condition are entitled to seek help.

How Much Hair is Normal

Treatments For Increased Hair

There are basically three approaches: self-removal at home, use of electrolysis or laser and prescription medication.

Ethnic Variations in Facial and Body Hair

What Causes Increased Hair

Lab Tests for Increased Hair

Have Too Much Hair But My Hormone Tests Are Normal – How Can This Be?

Other Reasons For Hirsutism With Normal Testosterone

Medical Terms for Extra Hair

Hope For Women With Unwanted Hair

Medications For Increased Hair

Spironolactone - The medication most commonly used to block testosterone is spironolactone (Aldactone®) but it must be used in the proper dose. Originally introduced for treatment of high blood pressure, spironolactone is probably now more often used for hirsutism. Doses for hirsutism are higher than those for high blood pressure. Spironolactone can cause menstrual periods to come closer together but combined use with an OC will usually keep the cycle regulated. Because it is a diuretic (water pill) spironolactone can cause slight dehydration. Signs of this include mild fatigue and dizziness but this can be almost always be prevented by adequate water intake.

Finasteride (Proscar® and Propecia®) - Finasteride is sold in different doses under the brand names Proscar ® and Propecia® for prostate enlargement and male pattern baldness respectively. This medication blocks the enzyme 5 alpha-reductase which converts testosterone to its more active form, DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT is the hormone responsible for the gradual enlargement of the prostate which occurs in most men beyond the age of fifty. A form of this same enzyme is active in the hair follicle and plays a role in both increased hair and loss of hair from the scalp. We know this because people with a rare inherited condition of deficiency of this enzyme have scant body hair. Unfortunately, the males with this rare condition also have abnormal genital development.

Finasteride seems to have some effectiveness for hirsutism though it may not be quite as effective as spironolactone. (It probably can also help alopecia but this is discussed in the article on hair loss.) However it does not have the common spironolactone side effects of increased water loss and more frequent periods.

Risks of finasteride - There is a major problem which greatly limits use of finasteride in women. The fear is that if a woman takes finasteride when pregnant with a male child, genital abnormalities may occur. This has not been reported in humans but remains a grave concern nonetheless. The labeling for finasteride includes warnings that it should not be taken by women. This is because of the birth defect concern.

Finasteride has been used for hirsutism and alopecia in women, usually those who cannot become pregnant — because they have gone through menopause or had a tubal ligation or hysterectomy. Use of finasteride by women is a decision which needs to be thought through carefully with the input of a knowledgeable physician and reliable means for prevention of pregnancy.

Actually, there are similar concerns about any anti-androgen and any women who takes such medications must be aware of this and take suitable precautions not to become pregnant.

The Cream for Facial Hair - There is a new medication, Vaniqa® (eflornithine) which is FDA approved for treatment of facial hair. It is applied twice a day and works by slowing the metabolism of the hair follicle. It does not eliminate the hair but simply slows its growth. I was involved in its development and many women are happy with it. The thing to remember is that it is basically for women who are removing hair. By slowing down how quickly it regrows, Vaniqa can decrease how often hair needs to be removed and make a woman more confident that her secret will not be apparent a few hours after removal. It can be combined with other medications.

How long does it take to see improvement? - Because hair growth changes slowly, treatments to alter it work gradually. Though improvement can begin to show within the first 3 or 4 months, it is after that the difference starts to become more and more apparent. It does take patience but most women are happy with the result if treatment is done properly. A regimen customized to a woman’s individual hormonal pattern is much more likely to produce a satisfying result.



Disclaimer: The Unwanted Hair Tips / Information presented and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Tips And Treats . com and/or its partners.

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