by Angi Ingalls
PCOS in ConnecTion
“Oh, how I wish I could just soak in a big vat of some magical gel that will take away my hair problem for at least the summer.”
For many women who suffer from PCOS, excess hair, called hirsutism (1) is a big ordeal and often times detrimental to our self-esteem. It seems to be the hardest symptom to deal with physically, medically and with the biggest impact on our emotions, mostly due to social issues.
I can’t tell you how many times I have had women tell me that they fear dating and the ridicule they may suffer. Take me for instance. I have a huge hirsutism issue. I don’t let people touch my face, not even my boyfriend of three years. It makes me feel super self-conscious. Thankfully, he is a wonderful man who understands that I have medical issues that cause this problem and can look past it. There are men out there ladies, I assure you. Just have to do a lot of screening to find them before letting them touch – wise advice for anyone if you ask me.
I digress. Oh, how I wish I could just soak in a big vat of some magical gel that will take away my hair problem for at least the summer. Ya know? But, I do deal with it, as well as I can.
Hair removal can be expensive and time consuming. It may even make you feel more self-conscious if it involved a second person to help you, like electrolysis or laser. I am much too self-conscious to go that route, and that is quite odd for my personality. So you see, you are not alone, and I have completely outted myself to the world for you. 😉
One way to remove hair is using those wipe-off-creams. As with all products, there are warnings. Cream removals can be harsh on our already-problematic skin. I realized several years ago before I was more savvy about our environment, I can not use it because it burns my skin making it red for a couple of days, then turns hard and crusty for a couple of weeks. Not pleasant. Remember, these are chemicals. Side note; chemicals can absorb into the skin and cause other problems not associated with point-of-contact.
Bleaches are great in theory, but again, you are dealing with chemicals and risking the same problems as with the cream removals. The other added problem is with coarse hair. It will help wonderfully for fine textured hair, but it will not eliminate the touch-problem with the coarse hair.
When contemplating electrolysis and laser there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost – your wallet. Can your finances handle it? Because each person is going to have a different result and because we deal with issues of hormones, you definitely have to go into this realizing that you will probably have more visits than other women who do not have hormonal problems. Hormones are what trigger our hair growth, so even though the procedure is considered “permanent” it does not mean the hair will stay away.
I get a lot of questions about the cream Vaniqa (2) (which has an active ingredient called eflornithine), a cream you put on your skin to help remove and keep hair away. Again, we have issues with hormones so there is the first concern. Next, it is a prescription medication. As with all medications, you really need to do your homework to see what the ingredients are and the entire background of the drug. As always, do research on this drug, thoroughly. There is valuable information supplied at the links below that may impact your choice – especially if you are an environmentalist.
I also get questioned about Spironolactone (3) – a drug that you take orally to help reduce the effects of androgens and testosterone on the body. This prescription drug also has several concerns and can take months to show effectiveness. See research links below.
Finally, after you research all of your options, see what works for you. Heed all warnings and don’t get discouraged.
(2) Wikipedia Vaniqa, Drugs.com Vaniqa, FDA Vaniqa, WebMD Vaniqa
(3) Wikipedia Spironolactone, MedicalNet Spironolactone, MedlinePlus Spironolactone, Drugs.com Spironolactone, ConsumerReports Spironolactone
Angi Ingalls: PCOS in ConnecTion
Guest PCOS writer
Educator for over 18 years
Diagnosed in 1985 at 12, living with PCOS since 1981
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article and the Insulite Labs website is for the sole purpose of being informative. Information obtained is not and should not be used or relied upon as medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician, nurse or other qualified health care provider before you undergo any treatment, take any medication, supplements or other nutritional support, or for answers to any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.