In our culture and society, women regard smooth skin highly. Any hair growth, particularly excessive hair growth in highly visible areas, is a concern. Our focus on hair growth begins at puberty and continues throughout most of our lives.
Unfortunately, hair growth patterns change during the course of a woman's life, often unexpectedly. Sometimes an abrupt change in hair growth could signify an underlying medical condition, but often it's simply a result of aging.
What causes additional hair growth in aging women?
The shift in hormones is primarily responsible for heavier and thicker hair growth in the face and neck area. As women age, they naturally go through different hormonal changes. As they start to go through menopause, their levels of free circulating androgen hormones may begin to rise as the levels of estrogen decrease.
Other factors to consider are hereditary and ethnic backgrounds. If both of your parents had abundant hair, then it is likely that you'll have a lot of hair in your later years as well.
What is abnormal?
Only a doctor could accurately determine if there are any abnormal reasons for excessive hair growth. He or she would have to evaluate your medical history, family history and test for testosterone levels.
What are the most common medical treatments for abnormal hair growth?
Typically it is caused by hormonal changes, thus doctors may treat using hormonal contraceptives. These prescriptions contain estrogen and progestin, which help balance the ratio of estrogen to androgen. There are also anti-androgen drugs that are taken to block the androgens from connecting to your body's receptors.
Topical treatments include creams, that may slow down the growth process, but do not get rid of the existing hair.
Hair removal options:
While hair growth can be a bit annoying, it can also be treated. There are many popular at-home methods that have worked for decades and there are permanent hair removal methods that can take care of new unsightly hairs forever.
Once you have discussed the cause of the excessive hair growth with your doctor and feel that it is being properly managed, you should set an appointment with a hair removal specialist. If you're in the Boca Raton area and are interested in a one-on-one consultation, I'd be more than happy to discuss your options.