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What Causes Hair to Stop Growing on Legs?

by
author image Cynthia Myers
Cynthia Myers is the author of numerous novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from "Historic Traveler" to "Texas Highways" to "Medical Practice Management." She has a degree in economics from Sam Houston State University.
What Causes Hair to Stop Growing on Legs?
Hair loss on the leg can be due to several causes. Photo Credit Leg care image by MAXFX from <a href="http://www.fotolia.com">Fotolia.com</a>

After puberty, most people grow hair on their legs. Many women choose to remove this hair by shaving, waxing or other methods. But hair may cease to grow on the legs for several reasons. In some cases, hair stops growing all over the body, including the legs. In other cases, the cessation of growth is limited to hair on the legs or on one portion of the legs.

Damage to Hair Follicles

Hair grows from hair follicles in the skin. If the follicle is damaged, hair will cease to grow. Permanent hair removal techniques such as laser hair removal work by damaging the hair follicle. Laser hair removal works best on people with fair skin and dark hair.

Scarring

Hair doesn't grow on scar tissue. If you cut your leg or have a bad burn or scrape that results in the formation of scar tissue, hair will cease to grow in the scarred area.

Medications

Certain medications cause hair to stop growing while you're taking the medication. Chemotherapy drugs target rapidly growing cells, such as cancer cells. Because hair cells also grow rapidly, they may also fall victim to chemotherapy. Cancer patients may lose not only the hair on their heads, but eyebrows, eyelashes, leg hair and hair on other parts of the body as well. Most chemotherapy-induced hair loss is temporary. Medications used to treat high blood pressure, depression and heart problems may also cause hair on the body, including the legs, to stop growing.

Disease

Several diseases can cause hair to stop growing on the legs. Buildup of plaque in the leg arteries, a condition known as lower extremity atherosclerosis, results in lessened blood flow to the legs. Symptoms include dry, cold skin and cessation of hair growth on the legs. Damage to nerves in the legs can result in a condition called reflex sympathetic dystrophy, in which you feel pain even after an injury has healed. Hair may cease to grow after the nerve damage. Anorexia, thyroid disorders and even a bad case of the flu can cause hair to temporarily stop growing throughout the body, including the legs.

Age

The University of Maryland Medical center reports that the rate of hair growth slows naturally as people age. You may find yourself needing to shave your legs less often as you grow older. You may even reach a point where you don't need to shave at all.

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