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HORMONES AND UNWANTED HAIR
by Geoffrey Redmond, MD

FACIAL AND BODY HAIR

What Causes Increased Hair
With only the rarest of exceptions, facial and body hair are due to the action of androgens, the family of hormones that includes testosterone. Though androgens are loosely called “male hormones,” this is misleading. All adult males and females have biologically active levels of testosterone in their blood. The levels in men are about 10 times higher than the levels in women. In childhood, androgen levels are unmeasurably low in both boys and girls.

At puberty testosterone levels begin to rise in both sexes, but of course much more sharply in boys. Some of the normal events produced by androgens at puberty are: the appearance of pubic and underarm hair, increased oiliness of the face and darkening of the genital skin. In males, androgens stimulate sexual feelings, but their role in this regard is far less clear in women.

As androgen levels increase, more areas of the skin start to respond by showing hair growth. The genital area is most sensitive, followed by the underarms, chin, middle of the upper lip, around the edge of the nipples and the midline of the abdomen. Many women have some hair in these latter four locations and in small amounts it is certainly not abnormal. For a few the amounts are greater, and embarrassment and self-consciousness result.

<- Previous      Next ->

How Much Hair Is Normal
Medical Terms For Extra Hair
Ethnic Variations In Facial And Body Hair
What Causes Increased Hair
Lab Tests For Increased Hair
I Have Too Much Hair But My Hormone Tests Are Normal – How Can This Be?
Other Reasons For Hirsutism With Normal Testosterone
Treatments For Increased Hair
Medications For Increased Hair
Hope For Women With Unwanted Hair

 

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