Hirutism: What You Can Do About Unwanted Chin Hair
Hirutism is a condition that causes male-pattern hair growth in women. What this means is that if you have hirutism, you might experience hair growth on your face, upper arms, chest or back. While a few hairs here and there are nothing to worry about, many women suffer in silence from this potentially embarrassing condition. The first thing you should do if you notice excessive hair growth in places that you would not expect to see on a woman is to see your doctor. Many times, hirutism is caused by conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, a tumor or thyroid problems. Once you have your medical issues under control, you may still need to remove your chin hair. Laser hair removal is one popular option. Here are some things you should know.
Laser Hair Removal Works Best With Dark Hair
The way most hair removal lasers work is to target tiny areas with high levels of melanin, or dark pigment. While there are lasers available that can effectively remove light hair, it helps if the hair is as dark as naturally possible. This means that you should avoid bleaching your chin hair before your appointment. If you have a mixture of light and dark hair on your chin, such as when chin hair begins to turn gray during middle age, you may find that the lighter hairs tend to remain even after laser hair removal. This is normal and something to talk to your clinician about.
Laser Hair Removal Works Best With Pale Skin
Since the laser is looking for a high contrast, those with lighter skin will tend to see better results than those with darker skin. It's important to stay out of the sun if at all possible for two weeks before your laser hair removal appointment. This will allow your skin to be as light as naturally possible. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 (or 30, if you have very light skin or are prone to sunburn) every time you leave the house. It can help to simply use sunscreen immediately after moisturizing as part of your daily routine.
You Can't Wax or Pluck Before Laser Hair Removal
The hair has to actually be at the surface of the skin for the laser to "zap" that hair follicle. Since your hairs are constantly in a pattern of either growing or resting, plucking a hair can mean that it won't regrow in that area for several weeks, or even longer. This fact puts off many women who want to have laser hair removal, because they are used to plucking or waxing and they don't want to just let their hair grow.
There are two options for effectively removing hair on your chin that will not affect the laser hair removal process. One is to shave. Shaving is effective and removes hair at the surface of the skin, but many women don't like to shave because it needs to be done often. As a temporary measure prior to laser hair removal, however, it might be an acceptable option.
The other option is to use a depilatory cream formulated for use on the face. This dissolves hair just under the surface of the skin. Depilatory use has to be discontinued two days prior to your appointment so the hairs can grow to the surface of the skin. Also, try this method several weeks before your appointment; you should not use it if it irritates your skin, because the laser will also be irritating, and this can cause increased inflammation and discomfort.
Talk to your laser hair specialist or dermatologist like one at Jordan Valley Dermatology about ways that you can treat excessive hair growth on your chin. There's no need to suffer in silence; in a matter of weeks or months, you could be enjoying smoother, more attractive skin without worrying about stubble or plucking.