I have more facial hair than usual for a girl. I am embarrassed by this. Though I have opted for threading and waxing, I cannot always manage time to visit the parlours and I cannot do it myself. What are the other options for me to get rid of my facial hair — upper lips, forehead, cheeks. I am quite depressed.

Anonymous

Excessive hair may cause cosmetic embarrassment as well as significant emotional distress, particularly if extensive. Hair reduction treatments have advanced and are available readily in hospitals and clinics. So, get over your worries.

Excessive hair growth is a common problem and classified as either hypertrichosis or hirsuitism.

Hypertrichosis is the growth of fine and lightly pigmented hair on any part of the body, uninfluenced by male hormones (androgens), in excess of the amount usually present in persons of the same age, gender and ethnic background. Hirsutism refers to the growth of thick and dark hair in areas where women typically grow fine hair or no hair at all — above the lip and on the chin, chest, abdomen, and back. This excess hair growth is caused by an increased level of male hormones. Although all women produce androgens, increased levels of androgens can lead to hirsutism. Both the conditions may be due to medications, hormones, malnutrition, tumours, and metabolic errors or without any problems.

If the hair develops or worsens rapidly along with irregular menstruation, worsening acne and weight gain, then consult a gynaecologist to rule out underlying condition.

Lasers and Intense Pulse Light (IPL) are the common procedures in today’s time to get rid of unwanted hair painlessly and are relatively faster. Laser hair reduction treatments are safe and effective. It works by selectively targeting the melanin (pigment) in the hair root, generation of localised heat and subsequently damaging the root. The response to treatment is area dependent. Thicker and darker hair requires fewer sessions, while thinner and lighter hair require more sessions. These treatments reduce hair up to 50-80 per cent and results are long lasting.

Oral and topical medicines can also be considered for its treatment, depending upon the underlying condition. I suggest you to

consult a dermatologist and plan your treatment accordingly.