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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hair Removal

You've got it, you know you don't want it, and it can appear anywhere.

Unwanted hair is common on the upper lip, the chin, cheeks, on the back, legs, fingers, feet or toes. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, certain medications such as hormones or steroids, or even medical abnormalities, such as higher androgen (male hormone) levels or conditions of the endocrine system, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Have you already tried plucking? Most people can get used to this painful method, but it won't work effectively on large areas covered with unwanted hair. There are several hair removal strategies, but be warned: None is 100% permanent.

Hair Removal Strategies

There are several ways to remove your unwanted hair, including over-the-counter methods and those administered under a doctor's care. With most of these methods, the hair eventually grows back.


Your hair growth rate will determine how often you have to shave the affected region. Shaving is best for legs, arms or facial hair. However, this hair removal method can cause ingrown hairs in the pubic region.


Plucking is the most painful method, but may be the most worthwhile when there are just a few hairs you want to remove. Examples include reshaping your eyebrows or pulling out those few stray hairs that may appear on your face, especially for a woman. You should not use this hair removal method for large areas because it can cause ingrown hairs or scarring.


Be cautious when selecting hair removal creams over-the-counter: All creams are not the same. For instance, a hair removal cream designated for pubic hair should not be used to remove facial hair. The chemicals in these products dissolve the hair shaft and drawbacks can be significant. The chemicals can also cause superficial burns. If you have a history of allergic reactions, you may want to seek the advice of your doctor before trying any hair removal creams.

Hot Waxing

You can do this at home or you can also have it performed by a professional in a salon. Hot waxing can be messy and may leave some hairs behind because they can break off. Infection is one side effect to watch for. Still, many women use this hair removal method in the bikini area and for hair on the upper lip.

Laser Hair Removal

This is one of the longest-lasting methods and generally requires 3-4 or more treatment sessions, but it is not for everyone: your hair must be dark in color.

Laser hair removal The laser beam or a light pulse works to destroy the hair bulb itself. The treatment can be expensive and sometimes painful. Be sure to select a doctor or technician who is highly trained and knowledgeable. You may require multiple sessions, but it can be used on many parts of the body where unwanted hair may appear.


There are two primary hair removal methods of electrolysis: galvanic and thermolytic.

Galvanic. Chemically destroys hair follicle. It is the oldest method used, but requires several treatments.
Thermolytic. Uses heat to destroy the hair follicle.
In either case, be sure to find a professional who is highly trained and knowledgeable with this hair removal method. Electrolysis can be used on all parts of the body to remove unwanted hair.

Oral Medications

If none of these hair removal methods seem to address your particular problems, ask your doctor about oral medications to inhibit hair growth.

There is a topical cream called Vaniqa, recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the slowing of facial hair growth in women. This cream slows growth, but will not remove the hair.

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