Although having body hair is normal and common, too much of it can be bothersome for both men and women. This is especially true for dark and coarse hair that appears on the most predominantly displayed areas of the body. Shaving and waxing may help but both methods are time-consuming and not ideal for the long term.
Excess body hair is more of a cosmetic issue, but it can also cause psychological distress. This only makes it important to address unwanted hair growth with safe or more permanent hair reduction methods.
What causes unwanted body hair?
A number of things can cause or contribute to excess or unwanted body hair in men and women. These include:
- Genetics – Genes usually influence the amount or thickness of your body hair. If a close relative has unwanted or excess body hair, you are also likely to have it.
- Hirsutism – This refers to the excessive hair growth on the face and body. Hirsutism is more common in women and is characterized by unwanted hair growth in male-like pattern. This can be due to genetics or an increased production of androgens (like testosterone) in the body.
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) – PCOS is a condition due to an imbalance of sex hormones. This can cause a number of symptoms like acne, irregular periods, and excess hair on the face and other body parts.
- Certain medications – Hair growth can be due to certain medications like testosterone, anabolic steroids, phenytoin, and others. In most cases, hair growth stops with discontinued use of medication.
- Adrenal gland disorders – Adrenal cancers, tumors, and Cushing’s disease can also lead to unwanted hair growth. The adrenal glands, which are located above the kidneys, produce hormones that regulate specific body functions.
- Hypertrichosis – This extremely rare disorder causes excessive hair growth throughout the body. Hypertrichosis is also referred to as the werewolf syndrome and can affect both men and women.
If the excess hair growth is due to certain conditions/disorders, talking to a doctor can help. S/he may recommended medications and other treatments that can help manage or reduce hair growth.
Which body areas can benefit from permanent hair reduction?
- Legs – Unwanted hair on the legs can sometimes keep you from wearing certain clothing like short, shorts dresses, and bathing suits. Leg hair is commonly managed by shaving, but this method can result in bumps, cuts, and irritation. Its result is also short-lived.
- Arms and underarms - Dark or thick hair on the arms can sometimes make you self-conscious to wear certain types of clothing. The same can be also be true for underarm hair. Shaving and plucking can help, but both are time consuming and cause skin irritation.
- Face – Facial hair can be difficult to hide, as your face is often displayed. Dark or excess hair on the face can appear on your cheeks, upper lips, forehead, and sideburns. A safe and a more permanent hair reduction method is ideal for the face because it is more sensitive than other areas of the body.
- Chest – The right amount of chest hair can look manly, but too much of it has its downsides. Excess hair can get caught in your clothing and you are more likely to sweat more on areas with excess hair. This then increases you risk for potential odor.
- Back – Hairy back is often considered unattractive. It may also be uncomfortable during hot weather and may increase body heat. Removing unwanted hair on the back can result in a smoother skin that is likely to feel better when putting on clothes or when sweating.
- Bikini area – Removing the hair down there is more of a personal preference. Many do it for sexual or health reasons, while others do so to avoid potential odor. Professional hair removal is often considered better to avoid missing certain areas.
How can we help?
Here at Cutis Laser Clinics, we know that the benefits of a permanent hair reduction go beyond having smoother and hair-free skin. It can also make you look and feel good, boosting your self-esteem. We provide a number of permanent hair reduction methods that destroy follicles and disable future hair growth.
Your individualized treatment plan, depending on various factors such as your acceptable social downtime, your expected time frame and budget, will be explained in detail during your consultation with our Harvard trained Medical Director, Dr. Sylvia Ramirez.