Sudden hair growth in an area where hair usually does not grow is often the sign of a hormonal imbalance. Women are especially susceptible to hair growth on the face if male hormones become elevated. Many factors can affect male hormone levels including imbalances in female hormone levels, as explained by reproductive endocrinologist Barbara Soltes in “Fitness Magazine.” Soltes recommends consulting an endocrinologist or ob/gyn to determine the exact cause of the sudden hair growth.
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Hirstutism is the name given to male-patterned hair growth in females. Women with the condition grow dark hair on the face, chest, stomach and back. Other symptoms of the condition may include acne, deep voice, irregular or missed periods, increased muscle and small breasts, according to Family Doctor.org.
Sometimes there is no identifiable cause for sudden facial hair growth in women. When there is, polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, may be at fault. PCOS, the most common condition causing excessive hair growth in women, is a condition that causes infertility, cysts on the ovaries, hormonal imbalances, weight gain and a host of other symptoms. The symptoms for PCOS vary among individuals, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Other causes of hirsutism include Cushing’s syndrome, ovarian tumors, hormonal imbalances, the use of certain medications and the presence of male-hormone sensitive hair follicles.
Treatment seeks to correct hormonal imbalances in an effort to slow or halt future growth. Medications used to block male hormones are popular as are medications that raise female hormones such as oral contraceptives. Topical creams may be used to help slow growth.
Hair removal is essential since treatment cannot reverse hair growth. Popular hair-removal options include shaving, waxing, tweezing, depilation, electrolysis, and laser therapy.
In most cases of hirsutism, the exact cause of the hair growth cannot be determined. When no cause can be determined, the condition is called idiopathic hirsutism. Idiopathic hirsutism accounts for more than half of all cases of male-patterned hair growth in females, according to a report compiled by the Department of Dermatology at Bir Usta Hospital. The report, published in the February 2008 issue of the British Journal of Nursing, points to familial history, ethnicity and genetics as a cause for the condition.