The hair that grows on your body usually serves a certain purpose, right? But what about those pesky hairs on the chin? Many women who notice dark and thick hairs on their chin (and other areas where women don't usually have dark, thick, and coarse hairs) think of it only as a nuisance and simply remove them. This could be just their genes that made them predisposed to male-pattern hair growth, or it may mean something is wrong with their health.
Women who have noticeable hair growth on the chin are also likely to have excess hair growth above the upper lip and on the chest, abdomen, and arms. If excess hair growth is also accompanied by other symptoms, such as weight gain, abnormal periods, and difficulty getting pregnant, it could be a sign of a health issue.
Without further ado, here are eight possible causes of excess hair growth on the chin and other areas in women:
1. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovary syndrome is marked by abnormally high levels of androgens (male hormones) in women and can produce symptoms that include excess hair growth, irregular periods, difficulty conceiving, mood swings, chronic tiredness, and weight gain.
2. Hereditary factors
Women of certain ethnicities are simply predisposed to excess hair growth. It may affect women of any skin and hair color but is more noticeable in dark-haired women with fair skin. If a woman has excess hair growth and no other symptoms, and it also affects her female blood relatives, she has nothing to worry about.
Excess hair growth may be a side effect of certain medicines, especially those that alter hormone levels. These include anabolic steroids, certain anticonvulsants, and some chemotherapy drugs.
4. Excess weight
Having extra weight may be accompanied by a whole lot of health issues, one of which is hormone imbalance. Overweight women may be more prone to an imbalance of male and female hormones, which can lead to increased hair growth.
5. Cushing's syndrome
Cushing's syndrome develops when cortisol (one of stress hormones) levels remain too high for too long. Other symptoms this condition causes include rapid weight gain (especially in the upper body), stretch marks, easy bruising, slow healing of small injuries to the skin, and acne.
Some people start to lose hair on all areas of their body as they age. But some have the opposite problem - they grow hair in unwanted areas. Women who have entered menopause may be especially prone to this kind of hair growth because of decreasing levels of female hormone estrogen.
7. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
This relatively rare condition, in which the body doesn't make enough cortisol, may manifest in early puberty, excess hair growth, and deep voice and irregular periods (in girls).
Some women may notice an increase in hair growth when they are pregnant. If there are no other unusual symptoms, there's probably no reason to worry, as hormone levels usually get back to normal on their own some time after delivery.
If you experience increased hair growth, and it's accompanied by other symptoms that worry you (such as those mentioned above), schedule an appointment with your doctor to find out their cause.
This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.