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Conditions

Hirsutism

Excessive hair

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In ancient Greece, the young brides of Argos would fix false beards to their chins on their wedding night, so as to be in no way inferior to the men with whom they shared a bed. However, when the fun and games of the consummation were over, these Argive women knew they could remove the beard and embrace femininity again. But for modern women suffering from hirsutism – when females grow too much body or facial hair in a pattern seen normally occurring only in men – facial hair can be embarrassing and a cause of great distress. Furthermore, removing such facial and bodily hair requires treatment, such as physically removing the hairs; taking a course of anti-androgen drugs; or having courses of electrolysis or laser treatment. Excessive hairiness in women can be caused by abnormally high androgen levels (male hormones), which is sometimes due to an underlying medical condition, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

If you are worried that your child may be suffering from excessive hair, read our condition guide especially for parents on Embarrassing Bodies: Kids.

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Hi I'm 18 and I believe I have hirsutism, I'm going for a blood test for PCOS confirmation, it's horrible having hirsutism for me personally, I'm in a relationship and have to constantly remove hair from like everywhere! I'm not sure but I think I may have a slightly larger clitoris than normal girls, so embarrassing but yeah





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I also suffer from a lot of body hair. It covers pretty much every part of my body and laser treatment only worked temporarily on my extremely hairy face. I now wax it every 2 weeks. Also have hair on every area of my leg and arms, my shoulders, butt and back and I have no idea how to remove it myself. Shaving it is useless because whenever I shave my skin gets extremely itchy from the next day no matter how much I exfoliate or moisterise. The hair is black whereas I am fair to medium skinned so it is very noticeable. The doctors did a blood test years ago and said I do not have PCOS (I have suffered through acne and oily skin but have regular cycles). I have one extremely hairy parent which will explain how I somehow inherited this problem out of all my female siblings. I hardly showed my skin as a teenager and did suffer from bullying because of my extremely hairy face and sideburns as well as acne. I'm now in my mid 20s and have accepted myself more however I still don't show my skin to anyone unless I have waxed which is so painful and the cost adds up. It also starts growing back about 8-10 days later. Some years ago I asked the doctors to check the slowing growth cream Vaniqa for me (as advised by a clinic) but it came up as a red flag on their system meaning they could not prescribe it. What's the point of the cream if it can't be used by females with serious confidence issues that makes them feel a lot like a man? Yet the NHS is known to pay for people with confidence issues who require a nose job. We pay tax and get no more than a 5 minute appointment with doctors about 3 times a year who are unable to provide the needed medication for younger patients because it's not deemed serious enough. I'm not sure how I will ever be brave enough to get into a relationship with someone for fear of them being repulsed by something I find hard to deal with myself. I may look feminine in terms of the rest of my features/figure but no-one has any idea what hides under my clothes. The hair diminishes any femininity that I have.





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Hello, I'm 47 years old and have hirsutism, there's no reason, just simply that my body is more sensitive to my own natural hormones. It is hereditary, my mother and two aunts each have it to varying degrees.I'd like to give some hope not sadly for a wonder cure but to say it is fine to live as you please, I have a wonderful husband and two teenage sons and with family and friends I have never had to feel different. Like all others I have had decades of electrolysis, bleaching and plucking to maintain the worst of it, for the lady with the hairs surrounding the areola, electrolysis was the answer and unlike the face only a few sessions removed the hair permanently.Don't be embarrassed by going to a beauty salon, if they are nice people they will do their best to make you feel good and if they don't, go somewhere else.I've stopped the electrolysis after 30 years of treatment on the facial hair, it did help hugely during my younger years to maintain confidence. Now I rely on sharp scissors to trim, jolen hair bleach and plucking just for the face I just shave the rest of the body. I'm not going to pretend that I don't sometimes cringe or wonder what someone may think of my hairy face but I try not to dwell on it and just accept its part of me and find running regularly and entering charity runs aids my confidence. Reading the posts is heartwarming and sad at the same time.The more we worry about what people think of us the less we may think of ourselves and so I think we challenged ladies should lift our heads and be no less proud of who we are and you never know that person staring may just be admiring your earrings!.





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I'm 37 years old....I also have a beard and tummy hair ...back hair. I absolutely hate it. I shave every week. I think I should try waxing but I'm so embarrassed to go to a beauty salon. Life is so not fair.... laser is way to costly for hairy people like us. It is depressing





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I have the embarrassment of having facial hair since I was young...I've more or less got a proper moustache on my upper lip and very thick hairs on my chin..I've is very embarrassing for me..I mostly stay in as hate people staring...I've the had wax removal treatment quite often and it's made no difference...the doctor says I have polycyclic ovaries and a higher dose of testosterone in my body as well...I need help as I'm very depressed and hate being me..I'm 44 now and desperate for help or I feel things are going to get worse...





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I also have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and with that get facial hair. I am 46 and have been dealing with since late teens. I did 2 sessions of laser removal and could no longer afford it. My sister's was a lot worse than mine and she successfully had hers removed with about 10 sessions and occasionally goes, maybe 1-2 times a year, for new growth. What you need to know is that many, many women deal with this. You are not alone. I have to shave and pluck my face on a daily basis. I exfoliate to try and avoid ingrown hairs. Yes, it sucks. It's embarrassing. I hate being in direct sunlight or bright lights. I pluck as much as I can (maybe 2-3 times a week) and then shave in the shower. But don't let it stop you from living your life. Your true friends and loved ones won't care, not should they. PCOS is a syndrome, and you shouldn't be ashamed.

Hi everyone, I am 61 yrs young and you have all given me the need to share my hair raising experience. I have suffered with excessive facial hair, breast hair and stomach hair since my twenties. I have not got pco ,I have widespread vitiligo, under active thyroid. I have been married for 37 yrs this year. It is hard to deal with when you are young but now I just get on with it. I shave more often than my husband, every day. I have tried the no no but it was no use. My facial hair reappears after about 12 to fifteen hours. I wax my arms if I am going on holiday but otherwise I don't bother. I have told my husband that if ever I suffer with dementia to make sure that I have a shave daily. My husband loves me for who I am and it has never been an issue. There are options about now that we're not when I was younger. I have never found out the reason why I have it, but it is probably to do with the fact that my father was excessively hairy and his ancient descendants were Mongolians who were a very hairy race.so I have my father to thank possibly. I admit it would be great if I did not have to shave daily but it is now a way of life for me. I don't carry a mascara in my bag but a razor. People can be cruel but they are cruel through ignorance . It is a pity that this subject is very much taboo and not talked about except by people who suffer from it and even these people tend to keep it to themselves . More awareness may educate others to the effects that this has on persons,the psychological and social effects and also financial effects can be unbearable. Here's hoping embarrassing bodies will start the ball rolling on this subject.





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I'm 22 female and after reading the comments of where other women have bodily hair more accosiated to men makes me even more embarrassed of where mine is due to it not being mentioned. I have very caurse hairs around the whole of my areola, just like a male would. I know others have mentioned it on or in between the breasts, I also have hairs inbetween too which I do not pluck as they aren't as noticeable but I pluck the other hairs due too sheer embarrassment. I also have very dark upper lip hair, dark facial hair (sideburns) and dark stomach hair (snail trail)Is there any treatment for this, the areola hairs being my main concern? I have considered laser but is it safe? Has it ever been done before, and how do I go about a diagnosis and treatment.





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Hi, I am Amrita from India. I am a nurse, though I have not yet been diagnosed but I suspect that I have PCOS.due to which I have extremely coarse hair on my body especially stomach, back, legs, and face. I have never worn a short dress because I used razors in my school days on my legs and now when I wax my legs, ingrown bumps are all over it. I am do embarrassed to even show my leg. Secondly, I have thick dark hairs on my face.they are all over, chin, upper lip, face,everywhere, which is breaking my confidence day by day. Whenever I meet someone, I become conscious about what would they think after seeing me. I have vitiligo so my doctor said no to laser hair removal.. My life is drowning in this issue... Please help me or guide me what can I do about it??????





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I have Pco. For 9 years I have suffered with very dark, full facial hair.I have seen Dermatologists, doctor, medical photographes taken, had reviews with the local NHS board's to establish if they would consider me for lazer treatment on the NHS. My facial hair is very severe, demoralising, embarrassing and my life evolves around what day's I can be seen in public due to the hair mass, and it's prominence. I have tried prescription creams, threading, waxing, plucking, NoNo, epilation, however all were unsuccessful. This condition is ruling my life, and seriously affecting my mental health and wellbeing. My GP has not been helpful at all, my referrals to specialists have resulted in being told 'we cannot grant you laser treatment, as this is a Cosmetic procedure' I am truly at my wits end and would be grateful for any advice. I'm 41 and I've had to stop living my outdoors and socially active lifestyle due to this constant embarrassment.





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Hello Sarah, I just posted my problem.., you're not alone we all are fighting this. We are depressed and lost but I hope there will be some way. Don't loose hope

I'm 13 years old and I have PCOS. I have excessive hair on my body and can't seem to get away with it. I'm bullied and I am trying to stop eating. (I am eating one meal a day) I wish my life would just end so I don't have to deal with this. What do I do?





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You need to see a doctor. You are just starting puberty and would likely be best to deal with this sooner than later as you may have pcos. If you are diagnosed with pcos then treatment should help. Without help it will only get worse. I've had pcos since I was a teen and it went undiagnosed and untreated for a very long time so get it checked out and do your research, good luck.

Gracie, don't stop eating, please. It won't help and you'll just feel worse. You need to eat to stay healthy. Stopping eating will only cause you more pain. I know it's difficult. I've been in the same situation for years. (I've never gotten rid of all my body hair) I know it hurts to be bullied, and your feelings are completely understandable.Do you ever talk about it to anyone? Maybe your parents or an older sibling? They might have experienced the same thing, and even if not, they love you and can help. There are other people who feel like you out there, and others who love people who look like you do. They may not be as easy to find as those bullies, but they're there. I know this might not seem helpful, because I'm a stranger, but you ARE good enough. Anyone who makes you feel otherwise has their own problems, and their bullying might even be about their own insecurities. I know from experience that some people will genuinely like you for who you are, and I've met people who didn't mind my hair at all. And you should know, that your hair is ten times more noticeable to you than it is to everyone else, because you hate it. Please don't give up now. Life can be amazing. You have it in you to be happy. You can choose to be happy, despite what other people may think. The first step is to love yourself. Start on the inside. That means: eat healthy, eat food you love too, and do something kind for others. Be a good friend. Be the sweet person you are. Once you start loving yourself, you won't want to give up. P.S. I don't know in which country you live, but if the treatment for PCOS is too costly for you, consider talking to your parents or an aunt or uncle, or someone who might be able to help you---moneywise or with moral support.

You are beautifully created by God. God created us in HIS on image. Do not let ignorant people bring you down. They don't know any better. They lack education and only see the outer appearance of a person and not the inner person. I struggle too wuth unwanted hair and too have been bullied because of it. I know though that there is a GOD in heaven who has created me beautifully and HE loves me. We are HIS children. GOD loves you too and you are special.


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