Why grow facial hair in women, causes andtreatment of hirsutism

Update: October 2018

Many of us have seen women who have something.
like a mustache or beard on the face. It looks pretty weird and
unnatural, and some believe that this is the result of plucking
or removing facial hair, however this is a delusion.

The appearance of facial hair in women is referred to as hirsutism,
exclusively female diagnosis, which is understood as excess
hair growth in the fair sex by androgenic
(male) type due to an excess of male genital

The problem brings a lot of trouble to its owners,
leads to the formation of complexes and makes these women object
ridicule and sexually unattractive to the opposite sex.
The hair is called terminal with typical places.

  • upper lip
  • chin
  • rib cage
  • back and belly.

They are dark, long and tough, have a stem and grow from
other than bulbs that are present on the whole body
OK, including the face. Every 20th woman of childbearing age
hair grows on the face, and after the onset of menopause – each
4th. Hirsutism is often accompanied by inability to conceive.
child, menstrual irregularity and depression.

A few words about androgens

There are several types of androgens, the most famous of
which – testosterone. In the male body, this hormone is involved
in the formation of sperm, the development of male characteristics
(coarse voice, body hair growth, etc.).

In the female body, testosterone is normally present, but in
small quantities, and affects the menstrual cycle,
sexual desire and fertility (ability to reproduce).
Accordingly, an increase in the level of this hormone in women leads to
functional changes in the male type.

Other male sex hormones are androstenedione and
dehydroepiandrosterone, transformed further into testosterone
(See the rate of testosterone in women and men).

Symptoms of Hirsutism

  • Hair growth in women for male type: the growth of hard,
    пигментированных стержневых волос на лице (upper lip,
    chin), вокруг сосков, на груди, спине, животе, ягодицах и
    inner thighs;
  • Increased oily hair and skin;
  • Acceleration of hair loss on the head, especially in the area
  • Acne – an inflammatory change in pilosebation structures
  • Menstrual dysfunction in the form of irregular menses
    or their complete absence;
  • Infertility, the inability to conceive a child for a long time.

When hirsutism on the background of hyperandrogenism in the future appear
signs of virilization or male traits:

  • increased libido;
  • increase in muscle mass, especially upper shoulder
  • redistribution of male-type fat (with localization on
    shoulders, arms, chest);
  • reduction of the glandular tissue of the mammary glands;
  • voice hardening;
  • hair loss in the temples;
  • fascination of the clitoris, reduction in the size of the labia, termination
    vaginal lubricant production.

Causes of facial hair growth in women

The basis of pathology is the rebirth of thin,
non-pigmented hairs in terminal: hard, long
and painted, which does not occur by chance, but due to a number
reasons. About 90% of hirsutism is a consequence of the syndrome
polycystic ovaries. Physiological shift normal
the ratio of female and male hormones in the body of a woman
occurs during pregnancy and during menopause.

Hyperandrogenism or in other words increased male production
sex hormones (androgens) occurs when:

  • polycystic ovary syndrome, accompanied by a disorder
    the function of the gonads, in which on the surface of the ovaries
    small numerous cysts are formed, with fluid inside;
  • neoplasms in the ovaries;
  • ovarian hyperticosis – severe form of polycystic;
  • chronic anovulation when maturation does not occur
  • amenorrhea hypothalamic type;
  • menopause – after reducing the production of female sex hormones
    testosterone levels turn out to be high and sometimes lead to an increase in
    terminal hair.

Hypersensitivity to androgens

In about a quarter of the cases, hair growth in women on the face is not
accompanied by an increase in the level of androgens, but excessive
sensitivity to them leads to symptoms: for some reason
normal hormones have a stronger

Adrenal Disorders

Occur due to adrenal tumors, bark hyperplasia
adrenal glands of acquired or congenital nature. Develops
against the background of increased production of steroid hormones by glands, in the group
which include andogens.

Impaired pituitary function

They occur with acromegaly, Itsenko-Cushing syndrome
(significant increase in weight and abdomen), prolactinoma of the pituitary gland
(hormonally active tumor). Primary lesion of the pituitary gland
leads to involvement in the pathological process of the adrenal glands,
which begin to produce excessive amounts of androgens and

Hereditary predisposition (family hirsutism)

In some families and ethnic groups (Mediterranean,
Caucasian women) for many generations have been observed
genetic and chromosomal features that determine this

Taking some drugs

Such unpleasant side effects have:

  • corticosteroids (flosterone, betamethasone, hydrocortisone and
  • анаболики (Нолвадекс, Кломид и dr);
  • андрогены (Провирон, Андриол и dr);
  • прогестины (Микронр, Орветт и dr);
  • immunosuppressive agents (cyclosporin, sandimmun);
  • antibiotic Steptomycin.

Idiopathic hirsutism

Idiopathic hirsutism -возникает без видимой причины,
explaining why facial hair grows in women. This type
disease is characterized by the formation of increased sensitivity to
androgen receptors and hair follicles. Symptomatology
idiopathic hirsutism erased, and hormonal abnormalities
insignificant, without impairment of reproductive function.


The clinical forms of hirsutism are determined according to the reasons

  • Dermatological or Constitutional: idiopathic and
    family hirsutism;
  • Neuroendocrine: adrenal, ovarian, pituitary
  • Exogenous or iatrogenic, associated with medication.

The second classification is based on the association of hirsutism with other

  • Without concomitant violations;
  • Burdened with a heavy-duty complex
    (acne and acne);
  • Associate with ovulation disorders;
  • With signs of virilization (woman resembling a man).


Diagnostics гирсутизма требует тщательного сбора анамнеза и ряда
laboratory tests include a gynecologist examination and

Laboratory tests (serum hormones)

Disease development A gradual increase in symptoms is characteristic of polycystic
dramatic development suggests androgen-secreting
Total Testosterone:

  • < 200 нг %, снижающийся на фоне приема преднизолона или
    oral contraceptives are indicative of polycystic;
  • > 200 нг % — характерно для опухоли яичника.
Drug history Treatment with drugs from the group with undesirable side
Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate:

  • > 700 нг %, снижающийся приемом дексаметазона,
    evidence of adrenal hyperplasia;
  • > 700 нг %, без динамики к снижению говорит об опухоли
    adrenal glands.
Menstrual function The regular cycle speaks of idiopathic course or familial
  • Cortisol – increases with Itsenko-Cushing syndrome)
  • Androstendion – a high level speaks of pathology
  • Gonadotropins: luteonizing hormones prevail over
    follicle-stimulating with polycystic
  • 17-hydroxyprogesterone: increased with congenital hyperplasia
    adrenal glands.

Instrumental studies

  • УЗ- исследование ovary и надпочечников;
  • MRI and CT of the adrenal glands, brain;
  • Диагностическая лапароскопия ovary (при подозрении на
    tumor process).


With mild hirsutism, when a woman has no violation
menstrual cycle, no treatment required. And since superfluous
hair growth in women is only a symptom, a manifestation of another
pathology, the therapy should be aimed at eliminating
primary factor, etiological cause of the disease:

  • removal of neoplasms of the pituitary gland, adrenal glands or
  • the abolition of the drug, leading to hair growth;
  • therapy of Itsenko – Cushing’s syndrome, acromegaly, etc.

Drug therapy

Drug therapy can only be prescribed after
careful examination and after exclusion of androgen-secreting
tumors. Includes treatment with hormonal drugs cycle 3-6
months, in some cases, courses have to be repeated.
Hormone therapy causes growth to stop or slow down.
new hair, however, does not affect existing ones.

  • Hyperandrogenism – antiandrogenic drugs,
    lower testosterone hormone levels and reduce
    androgen sensitivity in hair follicles: Diane-35,
    Janine, Yarina (see birth control pills – for and against).
  • Adrenal hyperplasia of congenital nature: Prednisone,
  • Поликистоз ovary: гормоны из группы оральных контрацептивов
    (Yarin, Janine, Androkur) and anti-estrogen Clomiphene.
  • Опухоли гипофиза, ovary, надпочечников – хирургическая,
    chemotherapy and other therapy, individually.

Contraindications for hormonal treatment:

  • pregnancy;
  • lactation;
  • tumor formations of any localization;
  • individual intolerance.

Diet and help of the psychologist

When hirsutism is accompanied by an increase in body weight,
follow a low carb diet. In some cases, you may need
the help of the psychologist, at states of psychosis and depression.

Cosmetology methods

How can a woman get rid of facial hair? Cosmetology
procedures reduce visibility or completely remove
existing hair, but do not affect their further growth. therefore
Recommended as concomitant hormone therapy.

  • Clarification – for these purposes are used compositions based on
    hydrogen peroxide, hydroperiod and other substances that
    discolor hair, depriving them of natural pigment and making less
    noticeable. The technique is suitable for small, short hair, with
    light degrees of hirsutism.
  • Plucking – using special tweezers held
    removing hair shafts and treating the skin with an antiseptic.
    It is performed with a small amount of facial hair. Regular
    self-plucking of the hair leads to their coarsening of the skin,
    greater length of subsequent hair and carries the risk of infection. It is impossible
    abuse this way!
  • Shaving, waxing waxing is acceptable for removing hair on
    back, stomach, legs. With repeated growth of terminal hair
    procedures are not assigned, as they lead to scarring and
    adherence infection.

Costly procedures:

  • Photoepilation – action flashes of high-pulsed light (long
    waves 400-1200 nm) leads to their absorption by melanin. Distinguishable
    thermal energy destroys the hair follicle. Procedure
    suitable for removing dark hair and ineffective with light.
    The effect lasts about 5 months.
  • Laser hair removal – a laser beam passing through the hair,
    heats up cells containing melanin and destroys hair
    follicle. Only those hairs that are in phase are removed.
    active growth, not acting on dormant bulbs. Therefore may
    It will take several procedures within 1-6 months. Is an
    less intensive method of exposure compared to

Contraindications to photo and laser hair removal:

  • inflammatory foci in the area of ​​epilation;
  • pregnancy;
  • tattoos on the skin;
  • prolonged exposure to UV rays before the procedures (vacation at sea,
  • treatment with steroids, isotretinoin;
  • the presence of a pacemaker or insulin pump;
  • porphyria.

Photo and laser hair removal are effective against excess hair,
however, having a lot of hair makes the treatment very
costly and only makes sense to handle open parts
body and face. It should be remembered that the growth of new hair
procedures do not have much effect, i.e. without removing the reasons
hirsutism cosmetic methods are useless.

Folk treatment

It should be understood that without traditional treatment, the symptoms
diseases will continue to appear. Traditional medicine has
sense in the idiopathic form of pathology and as a method
hair removal after the main hormonal treatment.

  • Unripe Walnut Juice Green walnut cut into 2 pieces
    and squeeze the juice, which will be quite a bit. Droplets of juice
    grease the hair roots. After 3-4 applications of hair growth
    slow down
  • Fresh garlic. Fresh garlic gruel is applied to the hair roots
    for 10 minutes. Regular применение подобной маски также приводит к
    slower hair growth.
  • Decoction dope. Crushed leaves and stalks of a plant are poured
    water (so that it covers them) and slowly cooked on a low fire 60
    minutes The resulting decoction grease the hair roots 2 times a week
    very neat because the plant is poisonous.

Prognosis of the disease

The life cycle of the hair is 6 months – this is the minimum
duration of treatment, facial hair in women requiring
perseverance and accurate compliance with the recommendations of the doctor. Fully
get rid of increased hair growth in unwanted places sometimes
impossible, but to achieve a significant slowdown in their growth –

Автор: врач-гигиенист, эпидемиолог

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