About 10 percent of women suffer from hirsutism, which causes thick hair growing on the face and at times on the chest or back, according to the Mayo Clinic. Keep in mind that ethnic and biological makeup both play major roles in hirsutism development; also, not every woman’s facial hair resembles that of a man. Techniques of facial hair removal for women can range from tweezing a small area of the face to taking medications to balance hormones.
Sometimes diseases like polycystic ovary syndrome can cause unwanted facial hair growth. Women taking medication for endometriosis are also more likely to suffer from that imbalance of testosterone that results in unwanted hirsutism.
Medical professionals with the Mayo Clinic recommend that women suffering from hirsutism try laser hair removal. While this method is not necessarily a permanent form of facial hair removal, laser techniques usually are longer-lasting and don’t carry the risks of infected ingrown hairs like most at-home or salon treatments. However, keep in mind that no hair removal technique is perfect or guaranteed free of side effects; some women may suffer from unwanted burning or dissatisfactory results. Ladies battling hirsutism can increase their chances of a happy and successful treatment by using only a qualified dermatologist for any type of laser therapy.
At-Home and Salon Treatment Options
You can try at home treatments, but keep in mind that you may burn yourself, be allergic to the ingredients or develop potentially serious ingrown hairs. Depilatory creams, waxing kits and sometimes crème bleaching methods can reduce or eliminate facial hair in removal even temporarily. Don’t ever use a razor on facial hair; this causes it to grow back more coarsely and truly begin to resemble the facial hair usually associated with males. Tweezing may work for very small areas of unwanted hair growth, but still run the risk of injury and ingrown hairs. If you decide to visit a beauty salon for waxing treatments, keep in mind you can still end up burned or with ingrown hairs.
Reducing Treatment Risks
If you decide to try to treat your unwanted facial hair problem at home, don’t pull your skin tightly as this practice really increases the risk of ingrown hairs. Always do a patch test before using a depilatory cream and follow the instructions exactly. Also, make sure that your kit is specifically geared for the face; waxes and creams designed for leg or pubic hair are usually far too harsh to be safely used on your delicate face.
Potential Medical Treatments
If your facial hair is just too unsettling and doesn’t respond well to at-home or salon treatments, talk to your doctor about possibly trying topical creams, birth control pills or other medications designed to treat hormone imbalances. Successful use of prescription drugs is often covered by insurance, while laser hair removal techniques are not. However, like most options concerning facial hair removal for women side effects can result; talk to your doctor about specifics that relate to your unique health profile.
Mayo Clinic: Hirsutism
Mayo Clinic: Ingrown Hair