Clear the hair!

Un­wanted fa­cial hair is of­ten a both­er­ing and em­bar­rass­ing beauty con­cern for women. Dr JA­MUNA PAI guides your way out of the is­sue.

Hair - - The Focal Point - (Dr Ja­muna Pai is a skin­care ex­pert and renowned cos­metic physi­cian. She is the founder of Blush Clin­ics, New Delhi.)

Fa­cial and body hair that’s gen­er­ally soft, thin and vel­lus of­ten be­comes a nui­sance when it stops be­ing just that. Pres­ence of coarse hair on the face, es­pe­cially on the up­per lip, chin or side locks — the male ar­eas of hair dis­tri­bu­tion — ends up as not too pleas­ing to the eye. Also known as hir­sutism, this un­wanted growth can be a cause of con­cern and em­bar­rass­ment for women.

What?

Ex­ces­sive ‘male pat­tern’ hair growth may or may not be as­so­ci­ated with other con­di­tions such as acne, ir­reg­u­lar men­strual cy­cle, un­ex­plained weight gain, pig­men­ta­tion patches on the face, ‘in-growth’ of hair post-wax­ing etc. Hir­sutism is a harm­less con­di­tion but due to the cos­metic im­pact, many women find it ag­o­nis­ing.

Why?

Un­wanted fa­cial hair growth tends to run in fam­i­lies or it can be due to a prob­a­ble hormonal im­bal­ance. Due to poly­cys­tic ovar­ian syn­drome or due to a prob­lem in the adrenal gland, there can be el­e­vated lev­els of testos­terone or adrenal hor­mones which re­sult in ex­ces­sive hair growth. It can also be seen dur­ing post par­tum (af­ter de­liv­ery) and menopausal pe­riod as the body is sub­jected to ma­jor hormonal changes.

Preven­tion

Once the cause of ex­cess hair growth is di­ag­nosed, it is eas­ier to ar­rest the symp­toms. Hormonal lev­els need to be kept un­der con­trol. But with­out an in­ter­ven­tion, even mul­ti­ple sit­tings of the best hair re­moval laser treat­ments may not have long-last­ing ef­fects.

Cure

Laser hair re­moval is one of the most sought-af­ter treat­ments to re­duce un­wanted hair. If per­formed un­der all safety guide­lines by a med­i­cal pro­fes­sional, do not worry about side ef­fects ex­cept a lit­tle red­ness of the skin, which set­tles down in a cou­ple of hours. Other mea­sures in­clude: Pluck­ing and wax­ing are fairly safe and in­ex­pen­sive. How­ever, they can be painful and scar­ring; acne ag­gra­va­tion or skin dark­en­ing may oc­cur. Bleach­ing or light­en­ing hair can make the hair less no­tice­able. Elec­trol­y­sis, which uses elec­tri­cal cur­rent to dam­age in­di­vid­ual hair fol­li­cles, also helps. This method is ex­pen­sive, and mul­ti­ple treat­ments are needed. Swelling, scar­ring, and red­ness of the skin may oc­cur.

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