Are you tired of dealing with unwanted hair growth in undesirable parts of your body? Are you looking for a permanent solution to get rid of it? Nunnally Dermatology in Baton Rouge, LA has a state-of-the-art treatment that will do just that! There are many products and services for hair reduction on the market today, but do they actually work? It can be overwhelming trying to decide what treatment is best for you. The first part of the decision-making process is understanding what is causing unwanted hair growth and learning about the best treatment available today.
What Is Hair Reduction?
Having unwanted hair growth in undesirable places on your body can take a toll on your confidence and self-esteem. It can make you feel self-conscious and can even lead to depression. Plus, not addressing a hormonal imbalance can lead to other complications and symptoms if not treated properly. Finding supportive family members and friends, as well as an effective treatment regime can help you deal with your unwanted hair. Before you start any hair reduction treatment, it is essential to have a medical consultation by an endocrinologist and/or a dermatologist.
Understanding Excess Hair Growth
Excess hair growth is known as hirsutism. Women may experience excess hair growth in different parts of the body or face that typically do not grow hair for most women. Some unwanted hair growth may be on the chin, back, chest, or on the upper lip and the hair is usually dark and coarse. Hirsutism is caused by large amounts of androgens, or male hormones.
Taking a Closer Look at Androgens
Androgens determine many aspects of our hair, including hair follicle size and hair fiber size. Androgens also change the appearance of hair, like making some hairs longer and darker on the face and torso. And these same hormones are responsible for hair loss on top of the head. Men and women both have these hormones, but women have smaller quantities. Women that have too many androgens or have over-sensitive hair follicles to androgens may have unwanted hair growth.
Hormonal irregularities can cause excess hair growth in women. High levels of cortisol can lead to Cushing Syndrome where your adrenal glands make too much of this hormone and cause hair to grow in unusual places. Too much of the insulin hormone could also contribute to excess hair growth due to the ovaries producing too many androgens. This may occur in women who have type 2 diabetes or are insulin resistant. The high levels of insulin could also contribute to the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) which increases androgen production.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that begins with the onset of puberty and leads to an imbalance of sex hormones. Over time, PCOS may contribute to excess hair growth, obesity, infertility, irregular periods, and sometimes cysts on the ovaries. If you are diagnosed with PCOS, losing weight may help reduce hirsutism, but hirsutism is generally not preventable. Almost 70 percent of people who have hirsutism have a PCOS diagnosis.
Women typically go through menopause in their late 40s or early 50s and this is a stage in life when women stop having monthly periods. It is a natural part of the aging process and is the end of reproduction. The ovaries gradually stop producing the hormone, estrogen, and this causes periods to be irregular and then to completely stop. Physical changes can happen, including unwanted hair growth, as the body adapts to these changing hormone levels.
Your family history may play a role in excess hair growth. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia is an inherited condition where the adrenal glands produce too many steroid hormones, including androgens and cortisol.
Hirsutism may be caused by some medications including minoxidil, danazol, testosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Topical products that contain androgens used by your partner may affect you through skin-to-skin contact. Taking medications for a long period of time, such as prednisone, can cause unwanted hair growth.
Diseases and rare tumors in the adrenal glands or ovaries can cause hirsutism.
How Do I Get Tested for Hirsutism?
If you are experiencing some unwanted hair growth you may want to get tested for hirsutism. Your healthcare provider can look at your medical history, focusing heavily on your menstrual cycle. If you have regular menstrual periods, then the hirsutism is likely to have an inherited or genetic cause. If you have irregular menstrual periods, PCOS could be the culprit or if recent onset of both hirsutism and menstrual irregularity occurs, your doctor could test for conditions for more severe like a tumor of the pituitary gland, adrenal glands, or ovaries.
Your physician can also measure levels of DHEA and testosterone in your blood, and can order additional tests for deficiencies in the adrenal glands, prolactin hormone levels, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Scans can help identify tumors or physical irregularities that might be causing hirsutism such as an MRI, CT scan, or an ultrasound.
What Treatments Are Available To Remove Unwanted Hair?
Although unwanted hair growth causes no physical harm, you may decide that you want it removed. There are many options to choose from and the best choice for you depends on your personal preference.
Threading is the process of rolling two cotton threads over the hair and ripping it out. This is a good option for eyebrows since it is a very precise treatment. When you use threading, you remove many hairs at the same time, and it can last up to five weeks. It does cause some minor skin irritation and is not recommended for large areas of the body that need treatment.
Depilatories are lotions, gels, or creams that you apply to the skin and it dissolves the unwanted hair. Depilatory treatment lasts longer than shaving and is quite simple to use: apply, wait, and rinse. Some products may cause skin irritation and have a strong odor. Dermatologists recommend testing a small part of your body before use to see if you have any reaction to the product, like burning or stinging.
Prescription cream is made for women who have facial hair but does not remove the existing hair. The ingredients in prescription cream helps prevent new hair growth and usually takes from four to eight weeks to work. You typically need to apply this cream twice a day and once you discontinue use the unwanted hair will grow back. You will need to consult with a dermatologist since this is a prescription.
An epilator removes hair by the roots by plucking hair away as you move the device over your skin. Moving the device with the grain will assure you in hair removal from the root. Using an epilator can be painful and can cause ingrown hairs that can become infected. Some people may experience skin irritation and redness with this treatment and epilators cannot be used on the face.
Shaving is the most common way people remove unwanted hairs. You can shave any part of your body and you can learn quickly how to do it. Shaving is virtually painless, unless you nick yourself in the process, but the hairs grow back in a short amount of time. You may need to shave every few days or every day to see results. Some people do experience cuts, nicks, and razor burn.
Waxing involves applying hot or cold wax to your skin and then removing the wax quickly after it dries. This pulls out the hair by its roots and when the hair grows back it is finer, softer, and thinner. Waxing results last about three to six weeks and you can wax any part of your body. However, removing the wax can be painful and it can leave the skin red and irritated. The wax also has the potential of burning your skin if it is too hot.
Waxing is not recommended if you are currently taking prescription medication for acne, using antibiotics, or applying retinoic acid to your skin. These medications cause your skin to thin and waxing could make your skin tear.
Electrolysis is where an electrical current is sent through the hair follicles and thus damaging the follicle and prevents any future hair growth. Since the hair grows in cycles, it may take several sessions to permanently remove the hair. Although electrolysis does remove the hair permanently, it takes a lot of treatment sessions and is a very slow process. You can purchase kits to administer at home, but it is recommended to visit a dermatologist or electrologist for treatments.
Laser or Light Therapy
Laser or light hair removal is the use of a laser light beam which is shone onto the hair follicle. The pigment, or color, in the hair absorbs the light and over time the hair follicle is destroyed. The treatment takes about six sessions before the follicle is destroyed and eventually the hair does not grow back. After each treatment, the hair grows back finer and thinner every time. Laser treatment does not work on white, gray, blonde, or red hair since the laser cannot work effectively on light colored hair.
What Is the Best Way To Remove Unwanted Hair Permanently?
Intensed Pulsed Light Therapy
Intensed Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy is the most advanced hair removal system available today. IPL works similarly to laser treatment, with the major difference being IPL emits pulses of light and the laser emits one steady beam. The pigment in the hair follicles absorb the light and then the light is converted into heat. This heat damages the cells that grow new hair; thus the hair follicle is destroyed and unable to grow new hair. Any body part can be treated with IPL with the exception around the eyes.
What Do I Need To Know Before Having an IPL Hair Reduction?
To help avoid any complications, patients are not to use tanning beds or self-tanners before IPL treatments. The bulb of the hair follicle must be present for treatment, so do not wax or pluck beforehand. If you need to shorten the hair before your session, you can shave, clip, or use depilatories up to one day before your appointment. These hair removal treatments leave the bulb intact.
How Many Treatments Will It Take?
It is hard to set a regulated amount of treatments because every person is unique, and some people may require more or less treatments than others. Hair color, coarseness, and thickness and the patient’s skin color all have a determining factor in how many sessions it will take to get the desired results. Typically, most patients will need four to eight treatments.
Take Action Today!
Don’t delay any longer. Schedule your consultation today at Nunnally Dermatology in Baton Rouge, LA. Our all-inclusive skin care treatment facilities offer cosmetic, as well as medical treatments and procedures. We can find the right hair reduction solution for you.