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Hormonal causes of facial hair in women


Long lustrous tresses is an indication of magnificence in a lady, however hair in the fairer intercourse in male-like sample, particularly facial hair, is one thing nobody appreciates. Appearance of pubic hair and underarm hair at puberty is regular in each sexes. But to assume that these are the one two areas the place a lady can have ‘unwanted’ hair, is considerably incorrect. More than 40 % of women worldwide have coarse extreme hair on the thighs, decrease legs, stomach, decrease again, and/ or face. This situation is called hirsutism. Hirsutism, for that matter, can have an effect on anybody irrespective of their gender. This situation is related to elevated anxiety and embarrassment, lowered self-confidence and physique dissatisfaction. Type of hair in hirsutism Structurally, there are three varieties of hair in human beings: Structurally, there are three varieties of hair in human beings:

  • Lanugo: Dense, tender hair current in the foetus, which sheds by the point the brand new born is 1 – four months of age.
  • Vallus: Soft, high quality, non-pigmented hair current in the apparently hairless elements of the physique.
  • Terminal: Longer, coarse and pigmented hair which makes up the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, and pubic hair in women, and far of the physique and face in males.

The hair in hirsutism is of terminal sort. What causes hirsutism in women? Although, a number of causes reminiscent of genetic predisposition or household historical past, sure medicines, and contraception drugs, may cause extreme facial hair progress in women, the primary trigger is attributed to hormonal imbalance. And the hormone androgen is the wrongdoer. What is androgen? Androgen, additionally referred to as the male intercourse hormone, is a hormone that primarily helps in the expansion and improvement of male reproductive system. The precept androgens are testosterone and androstenedione. However, androgen is current in women as properly. In a lady, androgen is produced in the ovaries, adrenal glands, and fats cells, the place it’s transformed to feminine hormones referred to as oestrogen and progesterone. Read extra about 4 hormonal causes of hair loss Androgen additionally influences hair progress. Among the androgens, oestrogen and progesterone have a lot much less impact on hair progress in comparison with testosterone. Androgens truly decide the sort of hair distributed all through the physique in two methods – growing progress price and changing vallus hair into terminal hair in areas which are androgen delicate. [1] How androgen causes hirsutism in women Hirsutism in women, with few exceptions, is an indication of endocrine abnormality, that’s, extra of androgen manufacturing. Medically termed hyperandrogenism, it accounts for 75 – 85 % of all women with hirsutism. Other than that, elevated sensitivity of hair follicles to circulating androgen (testosterone) is yet one more trigger of hirsutism in women. Eighty % of testosterone is produced by both ovary or adrenal glands in women. The relaxation is transformed from androstenedione and dihydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in liver, pores and skin, and fats cells. Interestingly, solely 2 % of all testosterone is definitely lively androgen, which is transformed to dihydrotesterone (DHT) by the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase type-2 in the basis of the hair follicle. Read extra about Natural remedies for hormonal problems in women DHT converts the vallus hair into terminal hair. [2] This terminal hair is seen as facial hair in women. Disorders inflicting hirsutism Facial hair is definitely an indication of underlying hormonal issues in women. Rarely does hirsutism happen as a result of of non-androgenic causes. a) PCOS: In 70-80 % of women with facial hair, the underlying trigger is polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS. It is a heritable dysfunction affecting women all through their lifetime. The dysfunction is characterised by –

  • Hyperandrogenism or androgen extra
  • Abnormal, irregular, or absent menstrual cycle
  • Ovaries with a number of cysts

Oral contraceptive tablets (OCP), particularly, mixed hormonal contraceptive (CHC), are the primary line of remedy for hirsutism in premenopausal women. These act by suppressing the reducing the manufacturing of androgen by the ovaries and adrenal glands, in addition to, inhibit conversion of testosterone to DHT and their subsequent binding to androgen receptors. [3] b) Hyperandrogenic insulin-resistant acanthosis nigricans syndrome (HAIR-AN): It is an inherited dysfunction affecting about Three % of women with hirsutism. The dysfunction is characterised by extraordinarily excessive circulating ranges or insulin, which over time causes the event of hyperpigmentation in physique folds such because the neck, armpits, groin, and so on. and pores and skin tags (acrochordon). Combination remedy with oral contraceptives and spironolactone proves useful in women with extreme hirsutism. Finasteride (Proscar), a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor that reduces the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, is beneficial in the remedy of hirsutism in dosages as little as 5 mg per day. [4] c) 21-OH–poor non-classic adrenal hyperplasia: Seen in about 1 -Eight % of hirsute women, it’s a genetic dysfunction which causes extreme accumulation of androstenedione in the adrenal glands. In this dysfunction, the signs of hirsutism set in quickly together with different masculization (virilisation) signs. Oral contraceptives alone could also be enough for mildly hirsute women who will not be in search of fertility, however anti-androgens akin to flutamide, cyproterone acetate, or finasterideare additionally thought-about in women with extra undesirable hair progress or scalp hair loss. [5] d) Idiopathic hirsutism: Idiopathic hirsutism, the place the trigger of hirsutism just isn’t recognized, is discovered in 5 – 15 % of women with facial and physique hair. In this dysfunction, the lady with facial hair, on analysis, will reveal apparently regular ovulatory perform and circulating androgens. So a lot so, researchers level out that the majority women with hirsutism and common durations have polycystic ovaries, so ‘the term idiopathic hirsutism no longer seems appropriate’. [6] Sometimes, the 5-alpha-reductase exercise in the hair follicle turns into overactive, resulting in hirsutism in the face of “normal” circulating androgen ranges, in response to endocrinologist NK Aggarwal on the Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. [7] Facial hair in women is a distressing situation however remedies can be found that might fulfill most women with hirsutism. Reference

  1. Azziz R. The analysis and administration of hirsutism. Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2003 101(5): 1995–1007.
  1. Sachdeva S. Hirsutism: Evaluation and Treatment. Indian Journal of Dermatology. 2010;55(1):Three-7. doi:10.4103/0019-5154.60342.
  1. Sirmans SM, Pate KA. Epidemiology, analysis, and administration of polycystic ovary syndrome. Clinical Epidemiology. 2014;6:1-13. doi:10.2147/CLEP.S37559.
  1. George, Kathleen. “HAIR-AN Syndrome: A Multisystem Challenge – American Family Physician”.  Am Fam Physician. 2001 Jun 15;63(12):2385-2391.
  1. Witchel SF, Azziz R. Nonclassic Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. International Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology. 2010;2010:625105. doi:10.1155/2010/625105.
  1. Adams J, Polson DW, Franks S. Prevalence of polycystic ovaries in women with anovulation and idiopathic hirsutism. British Medical Journal (Clinical analysis ed). 1986;293(6543):355-359.
  2. Agrawal NK. Management of hirsutism. Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2013;17(Suppl1):S77-S82. doi:10.4103/2230-8210.119511.

Image supply: Shutterstock

Published: January 18, 2017 2:31 pm | Updated:January 18, 2017 2:32 pm



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