Hair on the body is always up for debate when it comes to women. While hair on the arms, legs, underarms, stomach, and back are considered normal, there are instances where there is excessive growth of facial hair. Hair growing on the chin of a female, for example, is considered undesirable. Unwanted facial hair refers to a condition where there is an abnormal growth of hair on a woman’s face, especially in the areas which generally do not have hair. These are not to be confused with the slight, thin, light-colored hair that is present on the face (commonly known as peach fuzz). Unwanted facial hair is usually thick, coarse and dark and follows the male-pattern of hair growth. How to stop hair growth on a woman’s face? Homeopathic medicine for unwanted facial hair offers a safe, long-lasting treatment option that works by focusing on the root cause of the problem.
Genetics play an important role in the distribution of the hair found on every individual’s body. The color, density, and texture of hair differ according to the heritance & ethnic backgrounds. In medical terms, the growth of unwanted facial hair is known as Hirsutism. Although this condition is quite common, it can be a source of constant embarrassment, low self-esteem, and distress in some women and can often lead to anxiety and depression.
Hirsutism is different than hypertrichosis, which is excessive hair growth anywhere on the body. Unwanted, thick facial hair usually grow on sites like the upper lips, sides of face and chin.
But this condition can also cause hair growth on parts where males usually grow hair after puberty, like the chest, neck, lower back, thighs, abdomen, and buttocks.
Homeopathic Medicine for Unwanted Facial Hair
There are different treatment options available for Hirsutism, including cosmetic and medical options. These treatments can help manage the condition and decrease the levels of androgens (or their impact on the hair follicles).
Cosmetic treatments may include plucking, waxing, laser hair-removal techniques & electrolysis, etc., but they can irritate the skin if done continuously for a long time. Medications which treat hirsutism are usually antiandrogens or contraceptive pills. These can put the patient on a higher risk of liver damage. To note the effectiveness of the treatment, it needs to be carried out for a couple of months. In many cases, the treatment is continued for an indefinite time.
Homeopathic treatment for unwanted facial hair takes into account all the symptoms to figure out the underlying cause of the problem. Once the cause has been identified, proper treatment is given to resolve the condition. Homeopathy helps in treating the condition on a long-term basis. Unwanted facial hair gets steadily reduced over the course of the treatment, and there are no associated side effects. Oleum Jecoris Aselli, Sepia Succus, Oophorinum, Natrum Muriaticum, and Calcarea Carbonica are the top remedies for unwanted facial hair.
1. Oleum Jecoris Aselli – Best Remedy for Unwanted Facial Hair
Oleum Jec. is a medicine prepared from cod liver oil that is obtained from various species of fish (usually of the genus Gadus). Cod liver oil is a rich source of Vitamin A and D which was used in the 19th century as a folk remedy for several wasting diseases.
It is used to treat abnormal growth of hair on the face of a woman, particularly on the chin and upper lips. The hair on the face could be short, dark & thick. Also, this remedy has a potent action upon the female sexual organs. It is used to treat amenorrhoea and oligomenorrhoea, both of which develop as a result of hormonal imbalance in a female’s body. There can be soreness of both ovaries along with dysmenorrhea.
2. Sepia Succus – For Unwanted Hair due to Hormonal Imbalance
Sepia is a medicine derived from an animal source. The trituration of the dried liquid contained in the ink bag of the cuttlefish is used for the curative part of the remedy.
Sepia is used to treat unwanted facial hair which usually occurs due to a hormonal imbalance. It can give great results in cases where PCOS or disturbed menses are the causes for the facial hair to occur. Usually, the menses are late, scanty with pain in the abdomen. It is also used to treat cases of induration of the ovaries.
3. Oophorinum – For Unwanted Hair due to PCOS
Oophorinum is a medicine prepared from the ovarian extract of a sheep or the cow. This extract contains estrogen, progesterone, and follicle stimulating hormone and is potentized according to the principles of homeopathy. Oophorinum is used to treat cases of unwanted facial hair that occur due to ovarian cysts or tumors. It primarily acts upon the female genitalia and the skin. The patient tends to feel worse during menses, which are too early, profuse, clotted and of brief duration.
4. Natrum Muriaticum – For Unwanted Hair on the Upper Lips
Natrum Mur. is used extensively to treat unwanted facial hair that grows on the upper lip. Acne on the face may also be present. Menses may be too early, too profuse, and the flow is usually observed at night. The patient can be thin and anemic, with an excessive dryness of the skin and mouth. This medicine is also used to treat female sterility also.
5. Calcarea Carbonica – For Unwanted Hair in Obese Women
Calcarea Carb. is used to treat unwanted facial hair in females who have a tendency to grow fat. Usually, the patients who require this remedy have a slow metabolism, resulting in deposition of fat over the body. This can result in hormonal irregularities which lead to menstrual disturbances. The menses may occur too early, and be profuse. They also last for a longer duration. These disturbances further initiate the growth of unwanted facial hair.
Causes of Unwanted Facial Hair Growth
Usually, hirsutism arises from an underlying endocrine imbalance which can be adrenal, ovarian or central.
Excess male hormones called androgens, like testosterone, are produced in both male and female bodies. In women, the amount of androgens is lower as compared to males. When the level of androgens in women rises too much, it leads to the growth of unwanted facial hair.
Hirsuitism may be a sign of more serious medical condition, especially if it occurs after puberty. General physical examination and a few tests can help rule out the underlying cause, which can help decide the appropriate course of treatment.
Factors that lead to Increased Production of Androgens
1. Hormonal Imbalance: When a girl hits puberty, her ovaries begin to produce both male and female sex hormones. This leads to a growth of hair in the armpits and pubic area. Hirsutism occurs if the ratio of the hormones becomes imbalanced and an excessive amount of male sex hormones are produced. Hair growth on face due to hormonal imbalance is one of the most common effects of androgens.
2. PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome): This is the most common condition caused by an imbalance of sex hormones resulting in the occurrence of the dark and thick unwanted facial hair, multiple cysts in ovaries, irregular periods, obesity and infertility.
3. Sensitivity of Hair Follicles to Androgens: Male hormones (like testosterone) stimulate hair growth, cause an increase in the body size of the hair and intensify the growth and pigmentation of hair. If the hair follicles become sensitive to androgens, it may result in the growth of thick, dark hair on the body of a female, in places where hair usually where hair do not grow.
4. Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia: This is a condition which is usually inherited. Typically there is dysfunction of the adrenal gland (gland above the kidney which produces hormones). This dysfunction causes an elevation in the levels of steroid hormones including cortisol and androgens. As a result, a hormonal imbalance may occur, resulting in the growth of unwanted facial hair.
5. Tumors: If there is any androgen-secreting tumor in the ovaries or the adrenal glands, it can cause overproduction of androgens. As a result of the androgen imbalance, facial hair may grow. Although a rare condition, it causes a severe effect.
6. Cushing’s Syndrome: It is primarily a disease of the adrenal gland. It occurs if the body has been exposed to high levels of cortisol hormones, which in turn hinders the functioning of the adrenal gland. There can be an imbalance in the ratio of the male and female hormones. The condition causes bloating and sudden weight gain around the face, neck and the abdominal area. People having Cushing’s syndrome will usually have thicker & visible body & facial hair.
7. Side-effects of Certain Medications: Hirsutism can occur as an adverse effect of certain medications, particularly as a side effect of androgen therapy.
8. High Levels of Insulin: High levels of insulin can stimulate ovarian cells to produce more androgens and lead to unwanted facial hair growth.
In case there is no reason detected for unwanted facial hair, the condition is called idiopathic hirsutism.
There can be different factors that could be causing the occurrence of unwanted facial hair, like:
Family history: Congenital adrenal hyperplasia and polycystic ovarian syndrome can run in families. A positive family history needs to be ruled out during the diagnosis as this could be a reason for unwanted facial hair.
Obesity: There is an increased production of the androgens in obese women which can lead to a growth of unwanted facial hair. It can also worsen the problem.
Ancestry: Although no cause has been verified for this, usually women of Middle Eastern and South Asian descent are at a greater risk to develop unwanted facial hair.
A number of symptoms may arise along with unwanted facial hair, and these are usually linked to increased production of androgens. The process of development of the symptoms is called virilization.
Signs of virilization can include:
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Oligomenorrhea ( Scanty menses )
- Amenorrhoea ( Absence of menstruation )
- Deepening of the Voice
- Acne ( Usually upon cheeks, chin & nose )
- Obesity around the mid-abdomen
- Loss of hair from head
- A decrease in breast size
- Increased muscle mass
- Enlargement of the clitoris
Diagnosing the Condition
Diagnosis of unwanted facial hair can be made with physical examination and laboratory tests. One must know how to differentiate between two conditions – a general increase in body hair, and male pattern virilization. Diagnosis includes assessment of ovulation and an ovarian ultrasound to rule out Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or a CT scan to check the ovaries and adrenal glands for tumors or cysts.
Unwanted Facial Hair – Complications
Although hirsutism doesn’t cause any physical complications, the underlying cause of hormonal imbalance can lead to certain complications like –
- Hirsutism and irregular periods can indicate towards polycystic ovarian syndrome, which can inhibit fertility. Women who take certain medications to treat hirsutism should avoid getting pregnant during treatment to prevent any risk of birth defects.
- Hirsutism can be emotionally distressing. Some women feel self-conscious about having unwanted body hair while others develop social withdrawal, depression or anxiousness.
Hirsutism isn’t generally preventable, but it a manageable condition.
It is not always possible to control hirsutism, but if one is aware of the cause, a few measures can help prevent the worsening of the condition.
A common question asked by those suffering from this problem is – how to stop hair growth on a woman’s face naturally? This condition is reversible if the correct homeopathic treatment is followed, and that requires an accurate diagnosis of the underlying problem. Some tips to manage the condition are:
- A healthy diet and exercise can help to control weight if you are overweight which might help reduce hirsutism, particularly in the case of polycystic ovarian syndrome. Keeping a check on weight can reduce the risk of high cholesterol and diabetes which contribute towards hirsutism.
- Avoiding unnecessary medicines known that cause hirsutism can also reduce the risk.
- Managing stress and keeping a regular check upon it is important because stress generally worsens hormonal imbalance.
- Keep a check on your insulin levels to avoid excessive amounts of circulating insulin in the body as it guides the ovaries to secrete more androgens.