Why Do Women Get Facial Hair & Hair on the Neck?

In today’s society, women are very self-conscious about having facial hair and excessive hair on their body. Approximately 20 million Americans on a weekly basis are using some sort of health and beauty product to remove this excess hair. Some say it’s caused by an imbalance of hormones and others may say it’s a sign of aging. Seeing a doctor and discussing whether your hair issues are normal or abnormal is the best way to get the proper treatment that you need.

What's Normal?

When women age and go through menopause, their levels of estrogen compared to androgen may change. This imbalance produces a small increase in facial hair. Often, doctors may prescribe hormone pills to counteract this imbalance. Another factor to consider is your hereditary genes and ethnic background. For example, if your mother and father have above-average facial hair, you are more likely to experience it in your adulthood.

What's Abnormal?

Only your doctor can tell you if your hair growth is normal or abnormal through a medical exam. Discussing your medical and family history and testing for testosterone levels is most important for determining the source of the hair growth. Hirsutism is a disorder in which androgens produce massive amounts of facial hair. The hair is produced in places on the body where women don’t normally produce hair; for example, the neck, chin, sideburn area, abdominal, chest and even the thighs.

Hirsutism and PCO

Most hirsutism is caused by overproduction of androgens from one of the two natural sources of androgens in women: the ovary or the adrenal gland, says cnn.com. Polycystic ovarian disease, or PCO, is the most common condition that is caused by the increase in the androgens. This disease also causes irregular menstrual cycles and the inability to get pregnant.

Treatment of Abnormal Facial Hair

Birth control pills or other hormonal contraceptives, which contain the hormones estrogen and progestin, treat hirsutism by inhibiting androgen production by your ovaries, says mayoclinic.com. There are also anti-androgen drugs that are taken to block the androgens from connecting to your body’s receptors. Topical cream may also be applied to spots with excess hair on women. It slows down the growth process, but does not get rid of the existing hair. Some of these methods may take months to even show a difference, but it is vital to make sure you get the proper medical advice and attention that is needed.

Treatments For Common Facial Hair

There are many different types of treatments to remove excessive and unwanted hair. Some may be more costly then others. Electrolysis is a procedure in which a tiny needle is inserted into each hair follicle, sending an electric pulse of energy to kill the hair follicle. Laser surgery is a procedure in which a highly concentrated beam of light will scan across the skin and kill the hair follicles. Both of these methods are very painful and may even need repeat treatments.