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What Causes Facial Hair In Menopause

Increase In Facial Hair Growth During Menopause

Hair loss & facial hair during the menopause – The Menopause Minutes

Q1. I have been getting extra facial hair ever since menopause set in. Is this hormonal, and would taking a low dose of hormones correct the problem? Conversely, I have been losing a lot of the hair on my head! Is there anything that can help these problems?

Brandy, California

It’s not unusual for extra facial hair to appear after menopause. Why? The ovaries decrease and eventually stop production of the female hormoneestrogen after menopause, but both the ovaries and the adrenal glands continue to make male hormones, such as the androgen testosterone. This shift in the ratio of male to female hormones can cause more hair to grow on the face.

Will estrogen help reduce this growth? It probably won’t have a significant effect, and having extra facial hair isn’t a reason to start hormone therapy. You shouldn’t take these hormones unless you’re also having moderate to severe hot flashes and night sweats that are impairing your quality of life. If the facial hair isn’t out of control, try plucking, waxing, or bleaching.

Q2. I have been getting extra facial hair ever since menopause set in. Is this a hormonal problem, and if so would taking a low dose of hormone replacement therapy correct it? Conversely, I have been losing an awful lot of the hair on my head! Is this common in menopause? What can be done to deal with both these problems at the same time, or is that even possible?

Brandy, California

Key Elements To Remember About Hair Growth During Menopauses

Facial hair growth is a common menopause symptom. In fact, it makes a lot of sense since hair growth is a hormone matter and your hormones are having a tough time these days.

So, topical cream, wax, laser – take your pick and make it go away!

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Women’s Voices For Change

    Last week, a reader sent in a comment in response to one of our stories:

    I entered menopause at the age of 58; Ill be 61 in April. My biggest complaintand no one I know seems to share thisis a sudden abundance of light facial hair! Not just an occasional wild hair on my chin, but a 1/4 inch of light soft hair from ear to chin and upper lip! I had it waxed once, but read that waxing will eventually cause the hair to coarsen. Now I cut it back with at small pair of scissors, but it still seems so obvious to me. Honestly, I would gladly trade this for hot flashes! Anyone out there who shares my dilemma? What do YOU do? HELP!!

    We referred the question to Dr. Michael Reed, a New York dermatologist who manages hair loss and is familiar with hair issues in general. Heres his response.

    Unwanted facial hair is very common in menopausal women. An increase in facial/body hair is called hypertrichosis. When hypertrichosis is seen in areas where visible hair is usually seen in men, it is called hirsutism. The 61 year-old woman who suddenly noticed short blond hairs on her face in a male-pattern distribution appears to suffer from hirsutism. Those hairs have always been there, but have become more noticeable as a result of hormonal changes related to menopause.

    Best Female Facial Hair Removal Cream

    Facial Hair In Menopause. Symptoms Of Menopause

    Many products available actually to help get rid of these hairs on your face. These include:

    • Moom Organic removes coarse as well as find one, and because its water-soluble, it doesnt leave any residue on your skin.
    • Olay Smooth Finish works together to gently remove fine to medium hairs from the upper lip, chin, cheek, and jaw areas in two easy steps.
    • Surgi-cream is a quick, effective, and gentle way to remove hairs from your upper lip, cheeks, and chin.
    • Veet Gel contains ingredients that can help restore the skins hydration levels. It works close to its roots, so it takes noticeably longer to grow back, and your skin stays smoother, longer.
    • Avon Skin enriched with shea butter and meadowfoam oil, this cream is effective for the face as well as for the sensitive bikini area.
    • Gigi Hair Removal Cream is specifically designed to gently remove unwanted facial hair. Their creamy formula includes cooling cucumber and aloe vera to soothe and restore the skin afterward.

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    Face Hair On Women And Aging

    Apart from genetic predisposition, the majority of women may experience this issue as they continue to age since their bodies lose estrogen; testosterone, unopposed, causes us to grow more hair where men have it, on our faces .

    According to Dr. Days, if you occasionally have several dark;or white hairs on your lip or chin, its fine to whack them off with a razor; plucking isnt the best option because the force of the pluck can irritate and leave a bump.

    Laser hair removal does not work effectively on white ones, and if your skin is olive or darker since it can cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which looks like a dark stain, so it could leave you with something like a mustache even though theres no hair on your lip.

    According to Ciraldo, applying prescription cream Vaniqa inhibits the enzyme that follicles need to grow. She also says that most of her patients find that Vaniqa gets rid of all visible hairs.

    Menopause Hair Loss Treatment

    There is no way to prevent menopause as its a womans organic, natural response to the progression of age. However, there is good news! Once the hormones settle down and find balance within your new, post-menopausal self, hair will resume its natural growth patterns. Heres what you can do now to stave off the visible signs of hair loss from menopause and assist the body in managing these significant hormonal shifts:

    Although there is no miracle menopause hair loss treatment, there are many things you can do to stave off the visible signs of hair loss from menopause and assist the body in managing these significant hormonal shifts:

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    Facial Hair In Menopause: Whats Happening

    There are two kinds of facial hair. Vellus hair is that short, soft, nearly not-there hair that children and women have. Terminal hair is longer, darker, thicker, and generally found on mens faces.

    Estrogen keeps hair finer, softer, and lighter. Coarser, darker, thicker hair is the result of testosterone. In perimenopause and menopause, estrogen diminishes, but womens testosterone levels may not. The higher ratio of testosterone to estrogen can cause these annoying outcroppings of male-like hairs to sprout.

    What Causes Excess Facial Hair In Women

    Facial Hair: Be Gone!

    There can be many reasons for excess facial hair in women. One of the main causes is higher than normal levels of male hormones in the body.

    Hormone imbalance

    Male hormones are called androgens, the most well-known of which is testosterone. In men, testosterone is involved in the development of deepening of the voice and the production of sperm.

    All women produce some testosterone, but higher than normal levels may increase your sex drive, affect your menstrual cycle and produce excess facial and body hair.

    One of the main causes of high levels of male sex hormones in premenopausal women is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome , a common condition which causes cysts to grow around the edge of the ovaries . As well as excess hair growth, women with PCOS may put on weight and have irregular periods and acne.

    Rather than increased levels of male sex hormones, some premenopausal women have increased sensitivity to them. This means that they have a greater effect on your body.

    The cause of excess hair growth in women who have already been through the menopause is usually a hormone imbalance resulting from the menopause itself. Your body adjusts its levels of hormones, and you may be left with an unusually high level of testosterone.

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    Genetic Or Idiopathic Causes

    Some cases of hirsutism;are genetic. Like we mentioned, women from certain ethnic groups are more prone to body hair and the cause is chiefly genetic. Even if you dont belong to these ethnic;groups, a little extra hair may run in your family.

    If you have facial hair or male-pattern hair growth though;your period cycle, though your androgen levels are normal and you have none of the above-mentioned causes, you probably have idiopathic hirsutism. This means that the exact cause for hirsutism is not known, though it is likely;that theres a disorder in the way;androgens function;in your body. About 20% of the cases of hirsutism are of this type. In this case, the hair growth starts after puberty and has a slow progression.7

    Caution: If you are experiencing a sudden and quick growth of excess hair, have developed other masculine features like a deepening of the voice, or are facing the absence of menstrual periods, you must see a doctor so that the underlying hormonal causes can be investigated and addressed.8

    Low Hormone Levels And Thinning Hair In Menopause

    Remember I said supplements can help your hair grow faster BUT ONLY if its growing in the first place?; And that your underlying hormonal support for healthy hair was the most important factor in hair growth?;

    Bottom line:
  • If your hormone levels drop too low, your hair can become thinner and thinner.
  • If your estrogen:progesterone ratio gets off balance it can slow down hair growth as well.;
  • What it means:
    • Keeping your hormone levels high enough and balanced with each other is KEY for turning on hair growth. Once you have that in place the supplements, sleep, and essential oils will help it grow faster. ;Without that hormonal hair growth switch turned ON none of those will make a significant difference.;
    A doctor explains:

    Hormonal fluctuations are responsible for hair loss during perimenopause and menopause. Estrogen and progesterone keep the hair in the growing phase, making it grow faster and stay on the head longer. When estrogen and progesterone levels decline, hair growth slows and hair loss becomes more pronounced. ;Dr Anna Garrett

    So How do you keep your hormone levels high enough AND in balance with each other ;

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    As Hormones Change Around Menopause Many Women Notice An Increase In Unwanted Facial Hair There Are Many Options For Managing That Hairy Situation

    Let’s just say you are around the age of menopause and begin to notice a few stray hairs growing where they don’t belong.

    Then, seemingly overnight, your face becomes fertile ground for hair, sprouting an abundance from ear to chin to upper lip.

    Fueling that growth: Changing hormone levels of estrogen and androgen. “High on the list of menopausal characteristics is an increase in facial hair,” says David Shafer, MD. Shafer, a New York City certified plastic surgeon, has a burgeoning practice where he treats a diverse clientele, including many menopausal women with this precise concern.

    While it might be true that we grow wiser as we grow older, but no one wants to grow hair where it doesn’t belong. Let’s keep the peach fuzz where it belongson the fruit.

    Here are some wise solutions to turn a hairy issue into a manageable one.

    For when you want to tackle it yourself

    Tweeze. An old wives’ tale: A plucked hair will make more hairs grow and grow in thicker to boot. But this is true: While plucking will temporarily remove stray hairs, it can cause ingrown hairs or folliculitis .

    Bleach. If your hair is dark and coarse, bleaching can make it less noticeable. Be prepared to stick to a weekly or biweekly schedule to stay ahead of the game.

    Prescribe. A prescription known as eflornithine , a cream that is applied topically, can slow the growth of facial hair. But the hair won’t slow down overnight. It can take up to eight weeks to see results.

    Let a professional do it

    Causes Of Facial Hair In Women And Possible Remedies

    Pin on things to know

    Most women have to reckon with some facial fuzz. But if your facial hair growth is way beyond normal and is causing you a lot of embarrassment and pain , its time to take a closer look at whats causing it. Excessive hair growth in areas in which men usually have hair, as in the face, chest, neck, or tummy, is called hirsutism. This typically indicates you have more male hormones than you should. However, do take a little comfort in the fact that this is a common problem;and;around;7% women in the USA suffer from hirsutism.1 Also, it is treatable.

    Women from the Middle East, South Asia, and the Mediterraneans are more likely to have excess body hair.

    But remember,;the amount of hair that can be considered excessive or normal varies. For instance, your ethnic background may have a say in it a little extra hair may actually just run in your family especially if youre of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, or South Asian descent.

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    What Is The Prognosis For People Who Have Hirsutism

    Hirsutism will require ongoing treatment. None of the treatments make the hair go away completely, but they make hair grow more slowly and help to significantly decrease the amount of unwanted hair. Most women are happy with their results once they find an effective treatment regimen that works for them. Once an effective treatment is established, it may be continued indefinitely.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/13/2018.

    References

    Sun Protection Is A Must

    No matter what your skin challenges are, sunscreen is your friend. Slather it on every day, all year round. Sun protection can ward off signs of aging and prevent skin cancer.

    Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen thats SPF 30 or higher. Choose one you like so youll be more likely to apply it every morning. If youre going to be outside, reapply every two hours or after swimming, sweating or toweling off.

    The suns rays age your skin and increase the risk of skin cancer, Dr. Williams says. Even in the winter, UV rays penetrate the clouds.

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    What About Those Random Few Hairs

    Most females have vellus hair on the face, but some may have more terminal chin hair. This can be due to genetics or age. Menopause can trigger more chin, neck, or facial hair.

    Research shows different racial groups can have different levels of androgen and resulting body and facial hair.

    Hair follicles are unique for everyone and how they respond to testosterone can differ. The rate of hair growth from follicles also varies. This can result in a few random long hairs in unexpected locations like the neck. For most people these random hairs are normal.

    Facial Hair Growth: When Is It A Sign Of Hormonal Imbalance

    Banishing Unwanted Facial Hair In Menopause

    When it comes to excessive growth, most times it is a sign of a hormonal imbalance. However, according to Green, genetics and metabolism also influence patterns of hair growth. So, while PCOS and adrenal gland disorders might be the cause, its also possible that pregnancy and menopausetwo completely normal cycles of life that cause intense changes in hormonescould play a role. Additionally, she points out that unwanted facial hair growth can also be related to using certain medications like Minoxidil , Androgel , or dehydroepiandrosterone .

    Additionally, Desai mentions that, while extremely rare, excessive facial hair growth can be due to hypertrichosis. Hypertrichosis is the excessive growth of androgen-independent hair that is soft and in non-androgen sensitive areas, she explains. This type of hair growth is most commonly due to family history, but can also be related to hypothyroidism, anorexia, or oral medications.

    Because of all these factors, its important to know when facial hair growth is actually a concern for your health.;

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