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What is the cause of unwanted hair growth on the chin?

Thursday, 30 November 2006
Answered by: Dr. Chandra M. Gulhati
Editor,
MIMS,
New Delhi
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Q. I have been noticing slight facial hair on my chin for the past couple of months. My periods are normal and my hormones test was also normal. (LH, FSH, TSH, free T3, T4, prolactin, testosterone). My doctor advised me to have Aldactone and Femilon for 9 months. Why have I been advised these medicines when my hormones are normal? Do I need to take any other tests to confirm that I have hormonal imbalance? I don't have polycystic ovaries. I don't know what to do. Please advise. I am very active and eat a balanced diet. Do I have to make any other changes in my lifestyle?

A.  Slight growth of hair on chin cannot be categorized as hirsutism. Hirsutism generally includes several disorders such as acne, unwanted hair not only on face but other places as well, and male-pattern balding. Additional features include deepening of voice, breast atrophy, increased muscle mass etc. In most documented cases of hirsutism there is excess of male hormones (androgens). In your case none of the above factors are present. The drug treatment (such as Oral Contraceptives sold as Femilon, spironolactone sold as Aldactone) in established cases of hirsutism is meant to suppress excess production/availability of male hormones. Blood results in your case do not show any excess of male hormones. Using drugs can result in side effects. In a case like yours, the first and only option is to use non-drug treatment such as (a) bleaching, (b) depilatory (removal of unwanted hair from the skin surface) such as shaving and chemical treatment, (c) epilatory (removal of the hair including the root) such as plucking, waxing; electrolysis and laser phototherapy as a more permanent solution. Despite perception to the contrary, shaving does not increase the rate or density of hair growth.

A.  Slight growth of hair on chin cannot be categorized as hirsutism. Hirsutism generally includes several disorders such as acne, unwanted hair not only on face but other places as well, and male-pattern balding. Additional features include deepening of voice, breast atrophy, increased muscle mass etc. In most documented cases of hirsutism there is excess of male hormones (androgens). In your case none of the above factors are present. The drug treatment (such as Oral Contraceptives sold as Femilon, spironolactone sold as Aldactone) in established cases of hirsutism is meant to suppress excess production/availability of male hormones. Blood results in your case do not show any excess of male hormones. Using drugs can result in side effects. In a case like yours, the first and only option is to use non-drug treatment such as (a) bleaching, (b) depilatory (removal of unwanted hair from the skin surface) such as shaving and chemical treatment, (c) epilatory (removal of the hair including the root) such as plucking, waxing; electrolysis and laser phototherapy as a more permanent solution. Despite perception to the contrary, shaving does not increase the rate or density of hair growth.

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