Coping with unwanted facial hair

Suffering from unwanted facial hair may make women feel very self-conscious. It is something which affects many women and is quite a common condition. However, there are many ways to remove unwanted facial hair, from temporary to more permanent measures. As many women who have unwanted facial hair may choose not to visit a doctor or health professional out of embarrassment, many opportunities for successful treatment are unfortunately missed. Effective prescription treatments are available.

There are many factors which may cause unwanted facial hair to grow, however hormonal causes and side effects to certain medications are key factors. You can read more about possible causes for hirsutism on NHS Choices. Hirsutism is a condition which affects around 10% of women in Western societies. The British Skin Foundation also offers more information about when to see your doctor. The British Association of Dermatologists has put together a useful leaflet on hirsutism.

Treatment options for unwanted facial hair

A number of hair removal techniques, including waxing, bleaching, facial threading and plucking can help. Some hair removal techniques can lead to skin irritation. Many methods to remove or disguise unwanted facial hair are considered to be cosmetic and are unlikely to be available on the NHS. With these cosmetic methods, the hair will grow back. Some hair removal methods such as shaving can cause the hair to appear thicker when it grows back.

Treatments such as electrolysis use electricity to destroy hair cells for more permanent hair removal. However, this requires many treatments over a long period of time, can be painful and may even cause scarring or changes in skin colour. Another option is laser hair removal, which uses lasers to destroy the hair, however this treatment may only be available in specialist clinics. It is also an option most suited to dark hair and pale skin and may be problematic for other skin types. These may both be expensive options.

You may also be prescribed certain contraceptive pills.

A prescription treatment may be prescribed for unwanted facial hair, which is applied thinly to the face to slow down hair growth. This treatment acts on the hair follicles to prevent hair growth and should show a result within six to eight weeks. This can be used in conjunction with some other hair removal techniques, as it is not a depilatory cream, but slows down new hair growth.

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