What is PCOS?
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a disorder diagnosed by your doctor. This disorder generally causes menstrual irregularities and excess male hormone levels in women. This disorder has many complications; however, we are going to talk about one of the side effects that women complain about the most, one that is visual and causes significant self-esteem issues. Excess hair growth (Hirsutism).
Due to the higher than normal levels of hormones secreted through the ovaries or adrenal glands and produced in the hair follicle; women with PCOS can grow dark, coarser hair in visible areas like on the face (above the lip & chin), neck, and chest where typically women grow fine hair or no hair at all.
If you have facial hair, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have PCOS. Contact your doctor if you suspect that you may have PCOS.
Other common symptoms include;
- irregular periods or absence of periods.
- difficulty becoming pregnant
- excessive hair growth (called hirsutism) – usually on the face, chest, back or buttocks.
- unexplained weight gain.
- thinning hair or hair loss from the head.
- excessively oily skin or acne
Excess Hair Treatments
Since our hair grows in different phases, hirsutism is generally a lifelong condition; but lucky for us there are ways to remove excess hair temporarily, so it’s less noticeable. Two popular methods discussed below, waxing and laser hair removal offer smoother skin for much longer than shaving.
- Wax can be used to remove your unwanted hair; however, this is definitely the most painful option.
- One of the pretreatment recommendations before waxing is that you have to grow the hair out about half an inch to be effective for each appointment. This could be devastating to women that have thick, dark hair on their face and neck.
- Can see the hair growth as early as one week after waxing depending on your hair growth cycle.
- It is common for waxing to result in ingrown hairs.
Laser Hair Removal
Laser is typically the less painful option.
• It works best on someone who is with dark hair. Blonde hair cannot be removed with a laser.
• Laser hair removal slows the growth by targeting the hair follicle in PCOS patients.
• Less likely to develop ingrown hairs compared to waxing.
• Most women will need treatments spaced four to six weeks apart to target the hair follicles at different stages of the hair growth cycle.
- While typically, Laser Hair Removal is permanent after 6-12 sessions, with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, unfortunately, the laser only works temporarily. Due to the excess hormones, the body that will eventually create new hair follicles even though the existing ones have been destroyed.
For further treatment of acne and acne scars resulting from PCOS symptoms, consider IPL Photofacials or Morpheus8 treatments for the best results.
Revive Laser and Skin Clinic in Calgary commonly see patients with excess hair growth due to PCOS and are offering a reduced price for these patients.
If you bring in a doctor’s note showing your diagnosis, the Face and Neck Laser removal price drops from $250 to $150 per treatment.