. Sunday, September 21, 2008
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Some facial hair growth in women is normal-particularly in women of Mediterranean descent. Too much, however, could indicate a hormonal imbalance or other health problems, says Jerald Skral, M.D., a dermatologist at the Dallas Associated Dermatologist at Baylor University Medical Center.

Women have certain amount of androgens-“male” hormones that include testosterone and androstenedione. Too much can cause masculine hair patterns that include baldness or hair on the face and body. This can be caused by a malfunction or tumor in the adrenal glands of ovaries. Certain drugs, such as prednisone, minoxidil, or cyclospirin A, can also spur hair growth.

How much hair growth is too much? Because hair patterns vary from woman to woman, there ‘s no pat answers. But to help you make a determination, check off any of the following conditions that apply to you.
  • A change in menstrual cycle, including irregular periods
  • Body and facial hair that becomes thicker and coarser
  • Body hair that begins to appear in unusual areas such as the stomach or chest
  • A previous diagnosis of polycystic ovary disease
  • Unintentional increase in muscle mass, unrelated to resistance training
  • A deepening voice

If you have checked off any of these conditions, make an appointment with your physician or an endocrinologist. Some problems can be treated simply with hormones or with spironolactone, a drug that counteract the side effect of excessive androgen.


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