Sometimes we may discover oddly placed hair on our chins which is not usually a serious cause of concern. Shifting hormones, aging, and genetic problems are some reasons for the cause of chin hair.
Cause of chin hair
We have vellus follicles in our skin which produce very fine, tiny, light-colored hair referred to as ‘peach fuzz’. This hair helps to regulate our body temperature. During puberty, there is an increased production of a hormone called ‘Androgen’ which causes these follicles to gain size and start making terminal hair which is longer, coarser, and darker. Androgen is produced in all humans but it is made at a high level in males and so men usually have more terminal hair as compared to females.
The hormone levels shift periodically because of aging, weight gain, and other factors including pregnancy and menopause. A slight increase in androgen or imbalance between the male and female sex hormones results in more terminal hairs in unexpected places like the chin. Some of the facial hair is normal and harmless while some can be a sign of an underlying medical issue.
How to get rid of unwanted chin hair
To get rid of chin hair some of the things that can be done are as follows:
- Tweezing-It is also called plucking. It means the removal of human hair by pulling them out mechanically from the body surface with the help of tweezers. It is part of personal grooming purposes. A motorized hair plucker called an epilator can also be used for the same purpose. The downside of this process is that tweezers remove hair temporarily but do not keep them from coming back.
- Shaving-Shaving is the removal of hair by using a razor. It is most often done by men to remove facial hair and by women to remove the leg and underarm hair. It can remove chin hair but may lead to irritation that causes shaving bumps. The medical name for these bumps is Pseudofolliculitis Barbae. As with plucking, shaving is only a temporary method of hair removal.
- Waxing at home or professionally–In waxing a special wax is applied to the area of skin and using strips of cloth or paper hair is removed. The procedure is painful. It is also a short-term option and it can irritate the skin. Waxing can lead to ingrown hairs during regrowth of hair.
- Professional threading-It is a method of hair removal in which unwanted hairs are plucked out by using a twisted cotton thread. It is a less painful process than waxing.
- Professional sugaring-Sugaring is a hair removal technique that lifts hair from the roots as against shaving which only removes hair from the surface layer of the skin.
- Laser hair removal–It is one of the most commonly done cosmetic procedures in the U.S. In it beams of highly concentrated light are directed into hair follicles. Pigments in the follicles absorb this light which destroys the hair.
- Electrolysis–It is a type of hair removal technique done by a dermatologist. It disrupts hair growth. In this process, an epilator is inserted into the skin. It uses shortwave radio frequencies in hair follicles to stop new hair from growing.
When chin hair may mean something serious
At times chin hair growth may mean something serious going on with your health. Excess of the chin or facial hair or a sudden increase in hair on any part of the face can be a sign of a condition called Hypertrichosis. And the type of hypertrichosis specific to women is called Hirsutism. This condition is common and affects 5 to 10 percent of women of childbearing age. It can cause dark, coarse hair growth on the chin, upper lip, chest, abdomen, and back. The exact cause of hirsutism is unknown but it can be caused by many medical conditions such as:
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS)
PCOS is the leading cause of Hirsutism. It is a common condition affecting as many as 12 percent of women of childbearing age. It has the following symptoms which affect the ovaries.
- Tiny cysts in the ovaries.
- High levels of androgen and other male hormones.
- Irregular or missed periods.
- People with PCOS also apart from having excessive or unwanted hair often experience—Weight gain
- Heavy periods
- Skin tags
- Dark patches in skin creases
- Cushing Syndrome
Cushing syndrome results from the body being exposed to high levels of the hormone ‘cortisol’ for a long period. It happens when one takes corticosteroids for a long time or if the body produces more cortisol.
Females having Cushing syndrome grow excess facial hair and have irregular periods. Some of the common signs of this condition are a fatty hump between the shoulders, purple stretch marks, and a rounded face.
- Non-classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia(NCAH)
NCAH is a milder form of a genetic condition known as congenital adrenal hyperplasia(CAH)which occurs later in life. This condition is very rare and is not always accompanied by symptoms. Women have symptoms related to excess androgen-like:
- Excess facial hair.
- Frontal baldness.
- Menstrual irregularity.
Females with PCOS syndrome can benefit from lifestyle changes including eating a healthy diet, not smoking and getting regular exercise. Doctors can also prescribe certain treatments to reduce chin hair in the form of birth control pills which can help balance hormone levels by reducing androgen production.
Chin’s hair is generally not harmful but it leads to girls becoming self-conscious of their appearance which affects their confidence and many activities. Chin hair sometimes is a normal part of aging after menopause. But it can also indicate an underlying condition causing hormonal imbalances. It’s best to remove them by the given methods and just end the worries forever and the issue should be given medical intervention if it means something serious.