Today we’re going to talk facial hair- specifically on women. This need not be a taboo subject! Many women experience some facial hair on the chin or upper lip, which is normal. However, when you’re noticing EXCESSIVE facial hair on the face such as the chin, upper lip, cheeks, front of neck, or even chest, there might be a hormonal culprit behind it known as Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS for short.
What is PCOS? It’s a hormonal condition caused by cysts on the ovaries. The cysts cause an excess of the male hormones, also called androgens. Male hormones are present in all females, but if there is a rise, it can cause symptoms such as irregular or non-existent periods, excessive hair growth in male pattern areas, the inability to lose weight or unexplained weight gain, severe adult acne, as well as inability to process insulin correctly.
What does that mean for you? Well, if PCOS goes undiagnosed or untreated, it can present a problem for laser technicians like us because the hair will not clear or be able to be removed in a permanent manner. If the hormones remain unbalanced, they will constantly be telling the body to continue to produce hair. We can get you to a place of maintenance, but ideally the condition should be treated in some manner.
As we are not doctors, we can’t diagnose or treat the condition- but we can suggest that you see a doctor to get a proper diagnosis and treatment (which we do for some clients that we suspect may have this condition). In order to get a diagnosis your doctor may require a full blood panel to check hormones and/or a sonogram of the ovaries. A patient doesn’t need to present with all symptoms however if you notice multiple symptoms, you should look into this as a possible cause. Some treatments for PCOS can include: birth control pills (it may take several months to begin noticing a difference), anti-androgen medications (which may be tried if birth control pills do not work), and a modified low-glycemic diet.
Let us know if you have any questions in the comments!