Chasing The Curse Of Unwanted Facial Hair

Hirsutism, hair removal

Why does my peach-fuzz seem as if it’s on steroids? A genuine and common question asked about by a good chunk of the female population worldwide - Today I plan to get you to the bottom of this fuzzy conundrum (no pun intended), my didactic motivation here is to get ya’all acquainted with the root causes and solutions (both medical as well as natural). Another indirect and underlying theme of this communiqué is to sire a general awareness for all those who don’t have to deal with a de trop 5-o'clock shadow on daily basis: to be more sensitive towards other dames-in-distress’s legit medical problem (which they have no control over).
Looking at the literature reviews you’d be surprised to know that around 20-22% of women across the globe are affected with the unwanted facial hair (UFH) growth on their mustache and chin area. These stats makes UFH a universally undesired yet a common problem. In most cases there are no major health issues related to it, but UFH does act as a source of constant distress, leading to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and ultimately a reduced quality of life for many ladies. Looking at some of the common causes we uncover that in most cases the raison d'être is idiopathic pinpointing to ethnic background or heredity. Arab, Mediterranean Indian, and Hispanic populations are more commonly affected compared to the Caucasian or Asian females. The problem also tends to run in the families, so if your mother, sister, or another female relative has it your chances are stacked.

In a small percentage of women, UFH may be caused by excessive androgen (male hormone) production, increased sensitivity to circulating androgens, or other metabolic and endocrine disorders. Some medications can also lead to UFH e.g. minoxidil, anabolic steroids, testosterone, cyclosporine etc.
hirsutism, pcos, Dr Shazia Ali

Hirsutism: If the increased hair growth is triggered by medications, or underlying hormonal imbalance its classified as hirsutism. It can be slowly but dramatically improved by a three-pronged approach to treatment:
1.    Mechanical hair removal
2.    Suppression of androgen production
3.    Androgen receptor blockade.

To find out what is the exact cause in your particular case, it’s always advisable to see a doctor, who can work methodically on your case with a detailed history of your condition, appropriate blood test as well as ultrasound or MRI scans of your ovaries and adrenal glands.

Treatment Options

Dermato-Cosmetic Treatments - Plucking, waxing (including the sugar forms), epilation, depilatories, bleaching, shaving, electrolysis, laser hair reduction or intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments all make good choices to remove the physical hair.

Eflornithine 13.9% (Vaniqa®) Cream is a topical treatment that does not remove the hairs, but acts to reduce the rate of growth at root level. It is FDA approved for treatment of unwanted facial hair on the mustache and chin areas and can be used in combination with other treatments options for mechanical hair removal such as lasers and IPL to get best chance for successful hair removal.
hirsutism, pcos and increased facial hair
Drugs Used For The Treatment Of Hirsutism - If upon investigation the excessive hair growth turns out to be a symptom of adrenal disorders or PCOS you may need medical treatment. Drug therapy in the form of anti-androgen medications helps salvage the inner problem, it includes as per case Hormonal suppressers e.g. oral contraceptives, long-acting gonadotropin-releasing hormonal analogues and insulin sensitizers as well as peripheral androgen blockers e.g. spironolactone, cyproterone acetate, flutamide, or finasteride. Birth control pills can also cause the cysts on the ovaries to shrink. These drugs are usually a long-term solution for hirsutism. Most ladies report improvement after three to six months of drug therapy.

Herbal Remedies For Hirsutism - If you’re opposed to taking drug therapy there are certain herbal remedies that can also potentially counteract the increased androgen hormone production that usually causes hirsutism.  
  • According to the research done in the University of Maryland Medical Center medicinal herbs such as saw palmetto, black cohosh, chaste tree or spearmint tea have anti-androgenic effects. 
  • Research from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has shown that symptoms of hirsutism due to PCOS improve if you take cinnamon, chromium or green tea
  • Other natural supplements such as: inositol, N-acetylcysteine, B-complex vitamins, calcium-D-glucarate and diindolylmethane (DIM) have also been found useful while treating hirsutism. 
The typical dosages are 1 cup twice daily of spearmint tea, 160mg twice daily of saw palmetto, 20mg to 40mg per day of chaste tree or black cohosh, 200mg daily of calcium-D-glucarate, 100mg twice daily of inositol, and 1.2g per day of N-acetylcysteine.

(Disclamer: Ask your physician about the dosage that's right for you before taking any herbal or natural supplement for abnormal facial hair growth.)
diet and hirsutism

Food Modulation - A healthy diet that's rich in antioxidant foods helps to reduce your hair growth, advices the University of Maryland Medical Center. 
  • Cutting down on calories especially in the evening and following a low glycemic diet helps hirsute women, as excess insulin in the bloodstream can lead to a sharp increase in circulating androgen and insulin-like growth factor, which have been associated with hirsutism in women.  
  • B vitamins, especially vitamins B2, B3, B5 and B6, may be particularly beneficial for hirsute women. Vitamin B2 helps convert dietary fat, protein and carbohydrates into energy. Vitamin B3 helps maintain normal blood sugar levels and vitamin B5 may help with weight loss due to its ability to control fat metabolism. Vitamin B6 plays a critical role in maintaining hormonal balance.  
  • Foods rich in Chromium (romaine lettuce, onions, tomatoes, whole grains, and potatoes) and Magnesium also help in hirsutism.
Final Earful - It takes time for the treatments to take-effect hence while battling with the deep-rooted UFH patience and poise are always good virtues to lean on. And remember hairy or hair-free you should always be cool and confident.
hirsutism and self confidence


NATURAL Is The New Gold Standard

Dr. Shazia Ali, Galderma, Botox, Restylane, Emervel
Aesthetic medicine is basking in its golden era and the range of products available these days to fight aging and enhance beauty are quiet impressive allowing smart options for the connoisseurs of beauty to deliver beautiful as well as NATURAL results. When it comes to aesthetic trends and choices, present always reflects on the past and unfortunately we did experience an era of over done and over stretched “Stepford Wives” results not so long ago. The concerns and misperceptions since created are still holding women and men back from getting aesthetic treatments. 
Fillers gone wrong, Dr. Shazia Ali
Beauty industry and aesthetic doctors are working hard to clear those concerns of late and promote NATURAL looking results. For the concept “Less Is More” and “Natural Is The New Gold Standard In Aesthetics” to succeed we need thought cohesion between consumers, doctors, and the aesthetic industry.

Galderma a global leader in aesthetic solutions recently commissioned a first-of-its-kind “Break The Ice” survey to gauge public opinion on wrinkle relaxing injectable toxin results. The survey revealed that 74% of American women and men ages 30-50 would be more interested in treatment if results looked natural, not frozen. Though majority of participants in the survey agreed on the fact that a person with frown lines between the eyebrows looks stressed (39%), old (36%), even angry (24%) and many participants acknowledged the fact that their face looks older than they feel, very few showed interest in taking action to learn about treatment options that have natural-looking results. Less than 40% said they would be comfortable talking about their interest in treatment with a healthcare specialist.

Breakthrough Moments & Breaking the Ice

The survey highlighted the fact that digital technology has transformed people’s perceptions of facial aging. More than 70% participants acknowledged the fact that the use of technology, made them realize their face looks older than they feel. For many, these digital wake-up calls were triggered while seeing themselves in selfies (43%), tagged photos (33%) on social media or “Throwback Thursday” posts (33%) making them self-conscious of their frown lines.

Results from the Break the Ice survey show that a good majority (64%) of men and women noticed frown lines between their eyebrows as they age, first seeing these lines on average at age 34. Confirming the fact that we constantly notice age and beauty in faces we encounter, 77% reported noticing frown lines on others, such as their friends, family members and coworkers. A surprising 74% reported thinking about their face looking older one or more days a week. Men and women are more aware of their frown lines when they catch a glimpse of themselves in the mirror (70%) and get ready in the morning (56%).

Knowing that so many people worry every week about their frown lines and aging faces, but looking at their answers so few are comfortable discussing treatment options – even with a healthcare specialist is indeed unfortunate.

In today’s golden era of aesthetic medicine no one should feel old, sad or self-conscious when safe treatment options are available that can make people feel youthful, happy and refreshed with natural-looking results in little to no downtime. Looking at the reflection of yourself, if frown lines and wrinkles bother you, you now have choices available to you to lose those lines without losing yourself. Natural aesthetic results are within reach of anyone who just wants to enhance their look – not change it completely. With the right healthcare specialist and the right products, people can get the natural-looking results they desire.

NATURAL is the new gold standard not only while using toxins to freeze the wrinkles, but also while using hyaluronic acid fillers to refresh and renew and rejuvenate signs of aging. Restylane® fillers, Restylane Skinboosters™ and Emerval fillers are great product lines that help doctors to deliver NATURAL results while restoring youthful skin and facial contours. Proof In Real Life is another beautiful campaign celebrating the golden era of NATURAL aesthetic results.

Galderma Proof In Real Life Campaign

I applaud Galderma’s efforts in breaking the ice and getting public engaged in a dialogue about perceptions of aging and beauty while keeping focus on NATURAL results. These campaigns represent a vital investment in aesthetic industry’s mission to deliver, in partnership with healthcare professionals, insight-driven education for consumers that empowers aesthetic choices and self-confidence.