HORMONES AND UNWANTED HAIR
by Geoffrey Redmond, MD
FACIAL AND BODY HAIR
Ethnic Variations in Facial and Body Hair
Asians, both men and women, have relatively little body hair. However, many women in Japan find even slight extra hair growth disturbing. Sometimes it is assumed that women from Mediterranean countries (Italy, Greece, etc.) will not be bothered by extra hair since it is more common in those parts of the world. However in the media there, as everywhere, photographs of women do not show how much facial and body hair they really have. The result is that women with average or slightly more than average amounts of hair think they are abnormal. Sadly, this tends to create a feeling of isolation. If you are reading this article because you have extra hair, be reassured, there are millions of other women like you.
Blacks have fewer hairs than whites but the hair tends to be equally noticeable because it is curly and dark, so the incidence of visible hirsutism is similar in whites and blacks.
African-Americans have another problem when they develop excessive hair. The curliness makes the hairs more likely to become ingrown after they are removed. This can result in a pimple-like breakout termed PFB (pseudofolliculitis barbae). As these lesions heal, they often leave dark patches do not fade completely. Proper treatment of the hirsutism to reduce ingrown hairs is important to maintain smooth skin coloring.
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Ethnic Variations In Facial And Body Hair
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