Hirsutism, a condition where women have more visible excess body and facial hair, can be distressing and affect one’s appearance and mood. While there are ways to remove this hair, understanding the causes and addressing them can help reduce its growth. Here are eight reasons why facial hair might be growing faster and how to manage them.
BPA, a chemical commonly found in plastics and food packaging, has been linked to health issues.
To minimize BPA exposure, opt for BPA-free products and avoid microwaving food in plastic containers. Choose glass or stainless steel containers for food and beverages. When possible, also limit consumption of canned foods, which can contain BPA in the lining.
Lack of exercise:
Carrying excess weight can increase the likelihood of developing unwanted facial hair growth. Engaging in moderate or low-impact exercises such as swimming or walking can be effective in managing weight and controlling hair growth. These types of exercises can also help improve overall health and wellbeing.
It is important to maintain a balanced diet and regular exercise routine to manage weight and maintain healthy hormone levels. Hormonal imbalances, such as those associated with PCOS, can also contribute to unwanted hair growth. In such cases, medical treatment may be necessary to manage symptoms. Consulting with a healthcare professional can help determine the best course of action for managing unwanted hair growth.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS):
PCOS, or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, is a hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. It is characterized by the growth of small cysts on the ovaries, irregular menstrual cycles, and high levels of androgen hormones such as testosterone.
Some common symptoms of PCOS include:
- Irregular menstrual periods or no periods at all
- Excessive hair growth on the face, chest, stomach, or back (hirsutism)
- Acne or oily skin
- Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
- Infertility or difficulty getting pregnant
- Male-pattern baldness or thinning hair
- Darkening of skin, particularly in skin creases such as the neck, groin, and under the breasts
The exact cause of PCOS is not known, but it is thought to be related to insulin resistance, which can lead to high levels of insulin in the body. This, in turn, can cause the ovaries to produce more androgens. There may also be a genetic component to PCOS.
Treatment for PCOS depends on the individual’s symptoms and goals. Some options include hormonal birth control to regulate menstrual cycles, medications to help with insulin resistance, lifestyle changes such as weight loss and exercise, and fertility treatments for those trying to conceive.
Frequent fish consumption:
Oily fish like salmon and mackerel may increase testosterone levels in women, leading to hirsutism. The high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in these fish may play a role. However, this link is not a confirmed cause. Other factors such as genetics and underlying medical conditions like PCOS are also known to contribute to hirsutism. Moderating fish intake and incorporating other protein sources into the diet can help maintain healthy hormone levels. Other sources of protein include lean meats, poultry, tofu, beans, and legumes. A balanced and varied diet that includes nutrient-rich foods is important for overall health.
High coffee intake:
Consuming coffee regularly can increase testosterone production. Studies show that drinking coffee for four weeks can increase total testosterone levels in the body. Switching to decaf or instant coffee with less caffeine can help manage hormone levels.
If you are looking to replace caffeine in your diet, there are several options available. Switching to decaffeinated coffee or tea, or trying herbal teas, can help you still enjoy a warm beverage without the caffeine. Drinking water or fruit-infused water can also help keep you hydrated and provide a refreshing alternative to caffeine. Additionally, incorporating healthy lifestyle habits such as regular exercise, getting enough sleep, and maintaining a balanced diet can help boost energy levels naturally without relying on caffeine.
Constant stress disrupts the body’s natural hormone balance, affecting overall health and causing unwanted hair growth. Practicing stress-management techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises can help restore hormonal balance.
Not getting enough sleep can have detrimental effects on overall health and hormonal balance, potentially contributing to the development of hirsutism. Ensuring at least seven hours of sleep each night can be helpful in maintaining a healthy hormone balance and preventing excess facial hair growth.
To improve sleep quality:
1. Establish a regular sleep schedule.
2. Create a relaxing sleep environment.
3. Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evening.
4. Engage in relaxing activities before bed.
Some medications, such as steroids or hormonal therapies, can cause hirsutism as a side effect. Discussing concerns about hair growth with a healthcare provider can help determine if medication adjustments are needed.
In summary, several factors can contribute to excessive facial hair growth in women, including BPA exposure, lack of exercise, diet, coffee consumption, stress, insufficient sleep, PCOS, and certain medications. Addressing these factors and making lifestyle adjustments can help manage hirsutism and improve overall well-being.