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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Hair Growth
Aldactone & Hair Growth [posted
Answer: The reason to use Aldactone is the estrogen like effect that it produces (blocking facial hair growth). However, there is no reason to assume that high levels of estrogen would do anything to a pregnancy. Most patients are counseled to start to get pregnant as soon as you are off the birth control. It should not last in your system more than a week or two and I'm not sure what his/her goal is in the waiting period.
Sudden Onset of Pubic Hair Growth [posted
Answer: Two possibilities, first familial-so if the same thing
happened to her mother probably no big deal. Secondly, overproduction of testerone. This
is seen in several medical syndromes and needs to be evaluated. Treatment commonly is
spironolactone to reduce/eliminate the hair propagation.
Body Hair [posted 7/17/98]
Answer: Have you noticed that you have more or less? Either could be the case if there is an endocrine disturbance post delivery. If you can breast feed, it would argue against anything important, but will need a full endocrine evaluation.
Answer: Shaving has no effect on hair density. If it did bald men would shave hourly. Hair depends on your genetic heritage and the sex steroids present in your system. Neither the amount or type of shaving will have any effect on the amount of hair present. Different methods of hair removal focus on pulling the hair out by the root(waxing, tweezing etc.) or damage to the hair root(electrolysis, lazer treatment etc.).
Facial Hair growth in women
Answer: There are two types of facial hair syndromes with women. First are endocrine disorders. These usually are marked by irregular or missing periods, weight gain and masculine changes(deeper voice, change of pubic hair distribution, bigger muscles, etc.) Secondly, are familial hair problems(your mother, sister, grandmother had similar hair distribution). Initial treatment is usually a drug called spironolactone assuming the endocrine evaluation is normal. There are new ruby laser treatments being used by plastic surgeons which will completely ablate the hairs-it is expensive but works and is permanent.
Answer: I'd discuss this with a plastic surgeon. For a small area, depending on the location, excision might work. Transplantation of hair plugs is also effective if excision is not an option. This should be fairly easily fixed depending on the size and location of the denuded area.
Rate of hair growth
Answer: Hair and nail growth is very individual. However, a low thyroid can occasionally cause slow growth. Get this checked out. If this is normal I wouldn't be too concerned.
Facial Hair Growth
Answer: The amount and distribution of ones hair growth is mainly dictated by your parents. In particular by your father and your mother's father. Facial hair is very similar to hair in other parts of the body. There doen't seem to be any way to induce hair growth which will last. Use of rogaine on the face should work, but must be performed every day or the effect will begin to vanish.
Fastin & Hair Growth
Answer: The only drug the potentially would have an effect is the Prednisone. This can cause hair growth when the loss is due to inflammation(not the typical male type balding). The other medications would have no effect. A better question is what caused the loss of hair. There is a fairly significant work up including biopsy which will be necessary to answer this question.
Female Facial Hair
Answer: There are two types of facial hair in women. The first is associated
with masculinizing tumors and there is usually a change in pelvic hair, chest hair etc. in
a male pattern. Women's pelvic hair usually doesn't go the umbilicus(belly button) men's
usually does. Secondly, if women in your family have this problem you probably are cursed
with it. There are two options. First, treatment with spirolactone(usually a mild
diuretic) will usually result in a decrease in hair. Secondly, laser treatment with a ruby
laser will permanently remove the hair. This usually takes 2-3 sessions and unfortunately
is not usually covered by insurance. The cost varies with the area;but, is $2-3000 in most
plastic surgeon or dermatologists offices.
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