Acne and facial hair are both caused by increases in the male hormone androgen during puberty. In men, facial hair commonly occurs throughout adulthood while acne becomes less severe over time. Women generally only experience acne as their bodies develop into adulthood, and the appearance of thick or dark hair on the chin may indicate an abnormally high level of androgen.
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How Hormones Affect Chin Hair and Acne
When the levels of the male hormone androgen increase, the thin and lightly-colored hairs normally present on the face may thicken, darken and curl. In men, this is a normal outcome of puberty. When women experience excessive facial hair, it may be due to a hormonal imbalance. This can occur as a temporary side-effect of a pregnancy, at certain times during the menstrual cycle, during menopause or as a reaction to drugs or medications. If you are a woman with excessive chin hair, this may also be a symptom of an underlying condition. Excess androgen may also overstimulate the sebaceous glands, causing your pores to become blocked and trapping acne-causing bacteria under the skin.
Chin Hair and Acne in Women
The causes of adult acne in women may be hormonal, stress-induced or due to resistant bacteria. Under stress, the general health of skin declines and this may cause a heightened sensitivity to acne-producing bacteria or an excess of sebum, which clogs your pores and traps acne-causing bacteria under your skin. If you develop hair on your chin in addition to adult acne, this may indicate another concern. These symptoms, along with irregular periods or multiple ovarian cysts, may indicate polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, according to WomensHealth.gov. This condition can complicate pregnancies and result in gestational diabetes, premature delivery, high blood pressure or miscarriage. More than 50% of women with polycystic ovary syndrome will develop diabetes or pre-diabetes before the age of 40. PCOS also increases your risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, high bad cholesterol levels and sleep apnea. Chin hair, acne and irregular menstruation may also indicate hyperandrogenism, which can result in hair loss similar to male pattern baldness if left untreated.
Chin Hair and Acne in Men
Chin hair is not typically indicative of a problem in adult men, but adult acne can be a concern. Adult acne in men appears for many of the same causes as it does in women. If you are under a lot of stress, your skin's health may decline or it may be affected by excess sebum. You may have a hormonal imbalance that causes acne to persist after puberty, or your skin may be affected by resistant bacteria, according to Acne.org.
Removing And Preventing Acne and Chin Hair
Chin hair and acne can be treated conventionally. Many hair removal products, such as waxes, topical hair removers and shaving razors, can temporarily remove facial hair. Your physician may also prescribe hormone treatment to diminish the presence of unwanted facial hair. You can reduce the severity of an acne outbreak by keeping your skin clean and washing affected areas with mild soap and warm water. Adequate dietary levels of vitamin A and vitamin E are also helpful in increasing the health and functioning of the skin, according to GreenBeautyGuide.com.
Treating The Underlying Condition
If your acne is persistent, your dermatologist can prescribe medication to keep it under control. If you suffer from unwanted female facial hair, your doctor can determine the cause and recommend treatment. Your doctor may prescribe progesterone, along with healthy eating choices and low-level birth control to regulate periods, as treatment for polycystic ovary syndrome. In some cases, laser surgery is used to induce ovulation. Treatments to reduce excess androgen levels include oral contraceptives that suppress ovarian androgen, alone or in combination with an antiandrogen.