When someone is overweight, has trouble losing weight, has irregular or no periods, and unusual amounts of hair on the face, breasts, and belly, they should be evaluated by a specialist. These are classic signs of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
PCOS affects 1 out of every 10 people with ovaries, many of whom go undiagnosed. They may be told to "just lose some weight" when the issue is actually a genetically-caused hormone imbalance that results in increased testosterone prodution. Elevated testosterone levels can then lead to increased hair growth. Typically, facial hair is thicker and darker. The growth also often covers the upper body, affecting one's appearance, comfort, and self-confidence.
For diagnosis and treatment of PCOS, you will need to see an endocrinologist (hormone specialist). For the unwanted hair, the solution is electrolysis.
At your consultation, your electrologist will take a thorough health history. While electrologists cannot diagnose, they do recognize what is not normal and can ask you questions that will help you have further discussions with your physician. Regardless of the cause, an electrologist can permanently remove your unwanted facial and body hair.
Electrolysis is safe and effective for all types and colors of skin and hair.
An endocrinologist (hormone specialist) may be the person to help you. When a person has ovaries, is overweight, has trouble losing weight, has irregular or no periods, and has hair in the androgenic pattern area (which you have described), they should be evaluated by a specialist. These are classic signs of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
Again, electrologists cannot diagnose, but they do recognize what is not normal. If you have PCOS, your electrologist can permanently remove the unwanted facial and body hair.
Treatment depends on the symptoms. Your primary physician or endocrinologist can determine the best course of action to alleviate specific symptoms you have. If weight is an issue, the most successful eating pattern is following a diabetic-healthy eating plan. When choosing carbs, make sure they are complex carbs that don't raise your blood sugar.
If you develop unwanted hair, electrolysis will get rid of the unwanted hair permanently. To address the medical issues, sometimes medications are prescribed by your physician.
Chin hair is often exacerbated by tweezing and waxing. The repeated irritation from yanking hairs out can result in a larger diameter hair growing from the follicle or ingrown hairs from the breaking off of hairs in the follicle. When a person tweezes hairs from their chin and have acne on their chin, but not on the rest of their face, they should find relief from their acne with electrolysis treatments.
Once the person has stopped tweezing hairs from the chin and allows the electrologist to properly treat the hair, skin will clear. Hormonally caused facial hair usually grows in a pattern, starting with the chin and corners of the upper lip. Practitioners use the Ferriman-Gallwey scale to document the amount of hair that the client with excess hair presents.
Many medications can cause hair growth or hair loss. Talk with your pharmacist about each medication you are on and also about how your medications interact.
Answers to general questions about electrolysis are available on the FAQ page.
The information above is provided courtesy of American Electrology Association.
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