There were lots of queries and questions and comments about body hair—excessive body hair, in fact, what we call hirsutism. A lot of you asked, ‘well, how much body hair is normal, and does everybody get it?’ The answer is yes, and it varies hugely. Some of you wondered, ‘well, why do people have excessive body hair?’ The reasons can be hormonal, they can be racial, they can be due to illnesses or medications…there are numerous reasons.
There’ve been some questions about polycystic ovaries and its link with excess hair growth. Polycystic ovaries is one of the causes of excessive hair in females, and if you feel you have symptoms of irregular periods, acne or you’ve gained weight, it’s worth seeing your doctor to discuss the possibility of polycystic ovaries.
You’ve also asked lots of questions about shaving: what’s going to happen if you shave your body hair? Will it grow back faster, will it grow back thicker, will it grow back darker? The answer is, no, it won’t. It simply looks coarser because of the way the hair is actually cut.
I think laser has come up an awful lot on the site, you’ve been curious about: ‘Is it painful? Does it scar? Can I get it on the NHS?’ Laser itself is slightly painful during the procedure, but afterwards you shouldn’t have any pain. Does it scar—in some skin types, very very rarely you will produce a scar after laser treatment. And as regards its availability on the NHS, by and large laser treatment is available through private clinics only. But it’s always worth talking to your GP if you’re concerned about excessive hair growth that you believe is due to a hormonal imbalance.
Doctor Responses: Excessive Hair
Dr Pixie answers your most frequently asked questions about excessive hair (hirsutism) such as: How much body hair is normal? What are the treatment options? Does laser treatment hurt or scar?
With thanks to the Baker Street Medical Centre
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