Strong hair growth in women
Normally, women have less body hair than men due to hormones.
Sometimes, however, there is also a hair pattern in women that is more like a male. This means that those parts of the body are more hairy than usual whose hair is under the influence of sex hormones.
This includes the face (i.e. the growth of the beard, especially on the upper lip and the side cheeks), the armpits, the breasts, the stomach and the genital region including the transition to the thigh.
If such a picture is available without further masculinization characteristics such as a male physique, acne and / or hair loss, the doctor speaks of hirsutism.
The more noticeable the hirsutism, the more sufferers usually suffer from it and for many this condition results in a very high level of suffering.
For this reason, therapy is usually approached, even in those cases in which the increased hair growth is not really a medical problem. This clinical picture is not uncommon: Since the transition between normal and male hair is fluid and depends, among other things, on the ethnicity of the woman, it is difficult to determine the exact frequency. It is assumed, however, that between 5 and 10% of all women suffer from more or less severe hirsutism.
There are several causes that can lead to male hair growth in women, most of which can be managed well with appropriate treatment.
Excessive facial hair in women on the chin, upper lip and cheeks is referred to as a woman's beard. A thicker hair (not only on the face but also on the whole body) in women should be clarified by the doctor, since, among other things, pathological processes in the body can also be responsible for the increased hair growth. In most cases, however, a genetic predisposition with an overproduction of male hormones such as androgens is responsible for the female beard.
Figure hair growth in women
Hair growth in women
- Hair growth over the
- Hair growth in
- Hair growth on the chin
- Armpit hair
- Hair grew around the
Areola of the nipple
- Hair on the chest
- Hair growth on the forearm
- Hair on the stomach
- Hairiness in the genital region
- Hairiness at the transition to
- Hair growth on the lower leg
Diagnostics and therapy:
A - Wet shave depilation
(pleasant, only visible part
the hair is removed)
B - epilation (painful, the entire
Hair including the hair root
will be removed)
C - With the tweezers
plucking out (only individual hairs)
D - hair removal products
(Creams, lotions, foam),
E - women's beard ointments
(Sugar paste, vaniqa cream,
F - lightening
with a bleaching, bleaching
G - wax depilation -
Hot or cold wax
(not completely painless)
H - flash lamp, IPL
(intense pulsed light),
I - laser therapy -
permanent hair removal
J - treatment with hormones -
(Cyproterone acetate, finasteride, flutamide)
in pregnant women,
Damage to the liver!
You can find an overview of all Dr-Gumpert images at: medical illustrations
Antibacterial aftershave balms can also help disinfect and soothe the skin. This is especially true after hair removal. One example of this is the Dr. Severin Body After-Shave Balm from the pharmacy.
Causes of excessive hair growth in women
1. Non-hormonal causes
It is not uncommon to find no reason for excessive hair growth in women. This is called the “idiopathic form” of hirsutism.
In contrast to the other types, the hormone levels of the sex hormones in these women are in the normal range. Here the tendency for a male hair pattern often simply runs in the family, women from the Orient or the Mediterranean are often affected.
Even women who are already through menopause (that is, after the last period has occurred), are more likely to struggle with hirsutism.
2. Hormonal causes
Most often a "male hair growth"in women, however, due to a hormonal disorder, which results in the male sex hormone testosterone being in too high a concentration in the blood.
Such a disorder can also have a variety of causes:
- Often the problem is in the ovaries (Ovaries). Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCO), for example, comes into question here. In this disease there is a disturbance in the control circuit of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland and ovary, but at which point the circulation is defective is still unclear. Ultimately, however, it comes to the fact that the ovaries are permanently stimulated with the hormone LH, which causes an increased production of male sex hormones.
It also leads to the formation of many small cysts and a thickening of certain areas of the ovaries.
- Hyperthecosis offers a similar but overall weaker clinical picture (Hyperthecosis ovarii), in which there is also a structural change in the ovaries.
- Tumors in the ovaries can also be associated with an increased synthesis of testosterone. The sex organs are not the only place where sex hormones are produced.
- To a lesser extent, sex hormones are also produced in the adrenal cortex. As a result, diseases that affect the adrenal cortex can also make themselves felt through increased hair growth in women. These include the adrenogenital syndrome (in this syndrome, the synthesis of the steroid hormones, which are also produced in the adrenal cortex, is disturbed, which stimulates the production of sex hormones) and Cushing's syndrome, in which there is too much cortisol in the body for various reasons can also develop a testosterone-like effect in high concentration.
- A tumor of the adrenal cortex can also induce testosterone production.
To switch between an adrenal (caused by the adrenal glands) and an ovarian (caused by the ovaries) To distinguish hirsutism, it is possible to determine the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), which is a steroid hormone that is further metabolized to testosterone. If this hormone is also high, the excess testosterone indicates a problem with the adrenal cortex. Other diseases can also lead to hirsutism as they affect the body's hormonal balance. These include type II diabetes mellitus, obesity (adiposity) or acromegaly.
Apart from these diseases, the use of certain medications can also lead to increased hair growth. These include glucocorticoids (for example cortisol), anabolic steroids (for example testosterone), ACTH, derivatives of the female sex hormone progesterone, spironolactone (a dehydrating agent, diuretic), ciclosporin (an immunosuppressant), phenytoin (a drug against epilepsy) or minoxidil ( a medicine for high blood pressure).
Therapy for excessive hair growth in women
First, the cause of the strong hair growth must be clarified in order to rule out serious causes. The therapy for heavy hair growth is mainly based on its cause.
Depending on the cause and level of suffering of the patient, there are various options for treating increased hair growth.
Treatment can often be limited to purely cosmetic aspects, for example removing a woman's beard.
In other cases, treatment with hormones makes sense. So-called antiandrogens are normally used for this, i.e. drugs that counteract the amount or the function of the male sex hormones in various ways.
These include cyproterone acetate (it blocks the receptor for androgens), finasteride (inhibits the conversion of testosterone into the even more effective dihydrotestosterone), flutamide (switches off the effect of androgens on the cell nuclei).
Important side effects of all these drugs are the potential harm to an unborn child in pregnant women and damage to the liver.
Ovulation inhibitors (i.e. preparations that are based on the effects of estrogen) are particularly suitable for ovarian forms. If there is a tumor of the adrenal gland, ovary or pituitary gland, an oncologist must be included in the treatment.
The doctor can then decide whether the tumor should be surgically removed or irradiated, whether it makes sense to take chemotherapeutic agents or whether hormonal preparations are also best used here.
If another disease is responsible for the hirsutism, it is important to treat it appropriately. In addition, any risk factors (such as taking the above-mentioned medication or excessive body weight) should be eliminated as far as possible.
How can you reduce unwanted hair growth?
If a doctor should have established that the increased hair growth is not a pathological process in the body, various methods can help to reduce the unwanted hair growth.
The IPL technology is a cheaper alternative to laser treatment and enables permanent hair removal. Find out more at: Permanent Hair Removal With IPL - What To Look For!
Regulate hormonal balance
Since hair growth is in most cases caused by too high a level of male hormones (Androgens), various natural remedies can help regulate the hormonal balance and thus reduce hair growth on the face, chest and stomach.
For one, drinking mint tea can help lower androgen levels in the blood. For this, the tea should be drunk twice a day for a few weeks. Soy products also increase the level of estrogen in the body. With strong body hair growth, the regular intake of soy products such as tofu, soy milk or soy yoghurt can help to increase the estrogen level in the body and thus compensate for the excess of androgens.
Hair Removal In Women - You Can Do It
Hair removal for women is often an annoying topic, as the hair often grows in places that are cosmetically disturbing for the woman (e.g. armpits, legs, chin, upper lip). The body hair is often very dark, even in blonde women, and therefore noticeable.
However, excessive hair growth in exposed areas is usually no cause for concern in women and also no reason to be ashamed.
In most cases, an excessive testosterone level (male sex hormone) the cause of hair growth.
There are different methods to remove the annoying hair.
If only individual hairs are to be removed, they can easily be plucked out with tweezers. In this way, the hair is removed quickly and, as the hair is pulled out very deeply, you have a while before growing back.
Wet shaving is also a quick fix, especially since wet shaving is very comfortable for most women. Since only the fine tip of the hair is cut off by the wet razor, the hairs are very soon visible again and may appear darker and thicker.
Another possibility is an epilator that consists of many small tweezers. Epilation can be very painful and the skin can be irritated and prone to red pimples.
A similarly deep hair removal is achieved through waxing. Even when waxing, the hair is removed at the root and after hair removal it takes a while before it can grow back. However, the waxing process can be very painful and cause redness and skin irritation.
Hair removal creams can be used for superficial hair removal, but care should be taken to ensure that the skin is not allergic to these creams, as in some cases they are very irritating to the skin.
Another option is to lighten the annoying hair with bleaching, so the hair becomes almost invisible without having to be removed.
Permanent hair removal should always be done under the professional advice of a dermatologist. Laser therapy can ensure permanent hair removal after a few sessions, but the treatment is often very expensive. A consultation with the gynecologist can also be useful, as hormone-boosting preparations can be prescribed for some women that prevent hair growth in inappropriate areas.
Many women feel that attempts to remove hair increase hair growth even further. The hair growth has nothing to do with the intervention (shaving or the like) of the person concerned, but is based solely on the effect of the body's own hormones.
Read more on the subject at: Depilation - the different options
Hair removal on the face
In addition to the natural remedies already mentioned, such as the regulation of the hormonal balance, hair on the face can be reduced by various methods. On the one hand, shaving is considered to be the easiest and fastest way to remove hair. However, since the hair root remains in the skin, the hair becomes visible again after a few days. Depending on how much hair can be seen on the face, these can also be plucked with tweezers. It is also possible to remove hair from the face using wax or depilatory creams. Since many depilatory creams have bleaching properties, the hair grows lighter and also softer and is therefore less noticeable.
Hair removal on the chest and stomach
The reduction in hair growth on the chest and stomach can also be achieved using the methods already described. The application of wax removes the hair directly at the root. With regular hair removal through waxing, the hair structure can become thinner and the hair on the chest and stomach can also be reduced.
It is also possible to have the hair removed with a professional laser treatment. During the laser treatment, the hair root is destroyed, so regrowth is not possible. Laser removal of the hair on the chest and abdomen is possible in one session, but must be paid for by the patient. In some cases, however, years later, despite laser treatment, the hair roots regenerate, which means that chest and stomach hair can grow again. The number of hairs should also be significantly lower in this case.
Remove lady's beard
Since a woman's beard - especially with clearly visible hair - is perceived as unaesthetic for most women, there are some means of removing the woman's beard.
The same means (shaving, waxing, depilatory creams, plucking) can be used for a woman’s beard as for facial hair removal.
The easiest way to do this is to shave off. Unfortunately, the hair grows back quickly because only the upper hair is cut off and the root remains in the skin.
Removing hair with wax or depilatory creams is therefore more effective. However, if you don't tolerate the pain caused by waxing, you can also consider laser hair removal. This type of removal is more expensive and time-consuming than other methods, but in most cases it is associated with years of freedom from the annoying lady's beard. However, this can also lead to a regeneration of the hair roots, so that hair can grow back after a while.
Medical creams such as Vaniqa® were invented especially for women and their women's beards. These can reduce hair growth. The agent works directly on the hair root, so that hair growth-promoting hormones can no longer stimulate hair growth. This slows down growth and the hair grows less vigorously.
Read more on the subject at: Ladies beard - this is how it is removed
Diagnostics for strong hair growth
In the case of hirsutism, a thorough diagnosis is of great importance in order to be able to rule out serious diseases. This includes, above all, the taking of the medical history (anamnesis), the physical examination and the laboratory diagnostics. Elevated testosterone (and DHEA) values suggest hirsutism, but a value in the normal range does not rule out the disease.In addition, the so-called Ferriman-Gallwey index is used, in which the distribution of the terminal hair on the body is divided into 9 areas and rated with between 0 and 4 points. From a total of 8 points one speaks of a hirsutism.
Hair growth in women in old age
Hair growth in women is age dependent. This often changes in women around the age of 40 hair. The cause is decreased production of the sex hormone estrogen in the Ovaries. In addition to the typical side effects of the Menopause Like hot flashes, sweats, or mood swings, the lack of estrogen causes that Head hair becomes finer in its structure and sometimes even thins out a little. The body hair may age in women due to falling estrogen levels increase. The thinning of the scalp hair and the increased hair growth on the face and body are due to the fact that the male hormone testosterone continues to be produced in unchanged quantities, while the production of the female hormone estrogen declines.
The Ingestion from Estrogen supplements can counteract the increased hair growth in women. However, taking such will Hormones not generally recommended and should always be discussed with a specialist. The symptoms often go away after the Menopause (Duration: about ten years). For women as for men, pubic hair and Armpit hair becomes thinner or fails completely with age. Overall, body hair tends to increase with age in women, while it tends to decrease in men.
Localization of hair growth
Hair growth on the chin in women
Hair growth on the chin of women is colloquially referred to as "lady's beard". The chin hair can be removed by plucking, shaving, waxing or epilating, but this is not a permanent solution for many women. Because the regrowing stubble on the chin (with dark hair) is noticeable as a beard shadow and can be cosmetically very disturbing.
For a longer hair-free episode, methods such as laser or flash lamp treatment can be used. The hair follicles are weakened and the chin hair no longer grows back as quickly. The chin hairs are often very dark and grow long very quickly. If only individual hairs are present, they can be removed with tweezers or bleached.
However, if there is a noticeable increase in hair growth in women on the chin or if the male hair pattern is also found on the rest of the body, the hormone levels in the blood should be checked. In this case, the growth of hair on the chin can be an indication of a disease of the ovaries or tumors that lead to increased androgen production (male sex hormone). Such a cause of increased hair growth should be treated as a priority.
Hair growth in women on the face
Hair growth on the face is not uncommon in women. Around every sixth woman has more or less increased hair growth over the upper lip, in the cheek or chin area. A lot of facial hair is often uncomfortable for women, it looks masculine and often poses a cosmetic problem. Most women try to get rid of facial hair, but this can be very costly. The hair growth on the face can be predisposed. So if there are already women in the family with heavy facial hair, nothing can be done about their disposition.
Sometimes, however, an overproduction of male sex homones can also be the cause of the increased hair growth on the face. This cause should be clarified by an endocrinologist. Hair growth can also occur as a reaction to certain medications. A significant change in facial hair in adulthood can, for example, be an indication of various diseases (e.g. functional disorders of the ovaries or adrenal cortex).
Hair removal can be very painful, as there are many very sensitive nerves in many parts of the face, which makes mechanical hair removal (e.g. plucking or epilation) particularly uncomfortable. A gentle option is a lightening coloring of the dark facial hair. By bleaching the hair, it is no longer noticeable on the face (e.g. in the upper lip area). The result lasts for around two to six weeks, depending on the individual hair growth. The advantage of this is that the hair does not grow back stubbly and the skin does not become irritated, provided that the dye is tolerated.
Hair growth in women on the chest
Hair growth on the chest is normal in both men and women and varies from individual to individual. In men, chest hair counts as a secondary gender characteristic and is often perceived as particularly masculine.
Women usually have less hair, because the hair follicles are stimulated in their growth by male sex hormones. An excess of male sex hormones can lead to excessive chest hair in women.
If the hormone balance is not disturbed, it is called the shape for the excessive chest hair idiopathic, so of unknown cause.
Such a strong hairiness of the chest often occurs in women with dark complexion and hair on the head who also have above-average hairiness in other parts of the body. But women of the lighter type can also have a lot of hair on their breasts; long, wiry and dark hairs often grow around the areola of the nipple.
Although these are not a cause for concern from a medical point of view, those affected often find them cosmetically annoying.
Since the skin around the nipple in particular is very sensitive and inflammation must be avoided, women thinking of permanent hair removal should seek advice from their gynecologist or dermatologist.
Hair growth in women on the stomach
The fact that body hair grows on the stomach is also something that occurs naturally in women. However, hair on the stomach (especially if it is very dark and long) is found to be bothersome or unaesthetic by most women, and there are a number of methods that can be used to get rid of hair on the stomach. Shaving is not recommended on the stomach, as the hair grows back stubble, which can be particularly uncomfortable on the soft stomach skin. It makes more sense if hair on the stomach is torn out, which is achieved, for example, with cold or warm wax. This method can be extremely painful, and the skin on the abdomen often reacts with irritation when the hair is pulled out. Small pimples and redness can develop, which is particularly uncomfortable around the waistband. Cooling after waxing and applying care products can reduce these reactions. If you do not want to remove the hair on your stomach, you can also lighten it with special bleaches, which means that the hair is barely visible.
Further topics from this area
The IPL technology is a cheaper alternative to laser treatment and enables permanent hair removal. Find out more at: Permanent Hair Removal With IPL - What To Look For!
Hypertrichosis results in increased hair growth on one or more parts of the body. The causes of hypertrichosis can be diverse.
Here you get to the topic: Hypertrichosis
With hirsutism, women are affected by increased hair growth. The hair is similar to that of a man and manifests itself among other things on the face, chest and stomach area.
Here you get to the topic: Hirsutism
Many people find hair on the legs, armpits or face bothersome. A variety of means or methods are available to get rid of those annoying hairs.
Here you get to the topic: Depilation