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Old 03-07-2008, 11:36 AM   #16
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Re: hirsutism. definitely a 'hair problem'

Electrolysis is effective on all colors of hair and all colors of skin. Laser is a little picky. Laser is most effective on dark, coarse hair on pale skin. For most cases of female facial hair, electrolysis is the better choice.

Electrolysis prices vary greatly. Most electrologist charge for the amount of time each treatment lasts. From what I see online, an hour can be anwhere from $40-$120. 15 minute treatments seem to be running $20-$30. Laser prices are usually per area. I personally wouldn't let the price be one of the top 3 reasons for choosing a particular electrologist. Training requirements vary from state to state. I believe there are still 16 states that still do not regulate electrolysis. Because it's a small profession, it can be difficult to find the information online. If you tell me what state you are in, I can tell you the requirements. Skill and equipment are important, as are sterilization and sanitation. Because electrolysis requires several treatments on a weekly or bi-weekly basis in the beginning, you also want an electrologist that you feel comfortable with. You need someone you can communicate your concerns with and not be afraid of her reaction.

Most electrologist offer free consultations. It usually includes a case history, explanation of the process and aftercare procedures, and a sample treatment. Most people are red after the treatment, but show no signs the next day. Others with sensitive skin may have some minor irritation. This should always be discussed with the electrologist because she can make adjustments.

Newer computerized, digital epilators are the best. But the equipment is only as good as the person operating it. A great electrologist with an older analog epilator is a better choice over an unskilled electrologist with great equipment. This is why, if possible, you should have as many consultations as possible.

Permanent hair removal is a journey. Hair doesn't grow over night, and we can't get rid of it over night. You just want to make sure you take the right path and don't have to backtrack too often. You're starting off in the right direction by researching it first.

Something you should always remember is, you are far from being the only one with this problem. It's considered a taboo subject, and before the Internet existed, no one had conversations about their unwanted hair. Never be embarrassed to show your doctor or your electrologist how much hair you have. You will never shock them.

As far as temporary methods go, any type of removal by tweezing, waxing, threading, those epilator gadgets are the worst choice. What you do to the root of the hair, the portion under the skin, effects how it grows. So, electrolysis and laser destroys the follicle. Pulling the hair out strengthens it. What you do above the skin will not change the hair. Shaving, clipping, bleaching and depilatories all have their pros and cons, but do not change the structure of the hair.

Have you been diagnosed with a hormone imbalance or PCOS? Is that why you were interested in spironolactone?

There's still so much to tell you, but since this is getting really long, I'll wait until you ask specific questions.

 
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Old 03-09-2008, 11:18 AM   #17
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Re: hirsutism. definitely a 'hair problem'

that was definitely a lot of info. thanks :]

I'm not diagnosed with PCOS although it's something Ive been meaning to get to my doctor to start testing for it. Ive discussed it with her and I just need to make a follow up appointment but with school, I just have to wait until I have some time to get over there.

I live in california, and I've seen quite a few hair removal places, one right down the street from my house and its been there for as long as I can remember. Do you think my doctor or an endocronologist could possibly refer me to a good place?

I guess youve more or less answered my specific questions. Its just a matter of pursuing it now! I've been waxing my upper lip for over a year now, so does that mean I have less of a chance of electrolysis working on me?

I definitely think electrolysis is the way to go, it is just a scary name so ive been avoiding it!!! The price range doesnt sound too bad though, I thought it was would be a lot more. Do you know how many sessions one area takes on average? And how long it takes for a small area, like upper lip?

And yeah! Thank god for the internet! Ive seriously been dealing with this problem allllll my life, allll alone. I don't know anyone who is as fury as me and its totally embarassing. Its nice to ask questions and get feelings off my chest. Its actually been really helpful just to talk about it and realize I'm not the only one!

Thanks :]

 
Old 03-11-2008, 08:54 AM   #18
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Re: hirsutism. definitely a 'hair problem'

It's very possible your doctor may know of an electrologist to refer you to.

Electrolysis will work on everyone. Having waxed prior to electrolysis may mean a few additional treatments, but it will still work.

The name is scary. There are 3 different modalities of electrolysis, galvanic, blend, and thermolysis. Microflash thermolysis using digital, computerized equipment is showing to be the quickest and most efficient method. All methods are only as good as the electrologist.

Without seeing exactly how much hair you have, and knowing if there is an underlying cause, it's hard to predict how many or how long it will take for you to obtain the desired results. Because of the different growth phases, the very minimum amount of time, in a perfect world would be 9 months. Because we don't live in a perfect world, I would say at least 18-24 months, and then if it's shorter, all the better!

Because the upper lip is such a small area, it's easy to over treat and treatments should not be done more than 30 minutes over a 7 day period. If using microflash thermolysis, a lot of hair can be removed in 30 minutes.

 
Old 04-06-2008, 10:22 PM   #19
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Re: hirsutism. definitely a 'hair problem'

Ugh, I have the exact same problem... it's disturbing. I'm also 22 and it's been a problem since I was like 15 or so. I tried taking birth control pills since some help reduce hair growth... it didn't work.
I went to a doctor thinking maybe I have a hormone problem. He tested everything and it all came back "normal."
I don't know what to do about it either... it's awful but I think I just have to learn to live with it.

 
Old 04-17-2008, 12:57 PM   #20
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Re: hirsutism. definitely a 'hair problem'

Do the women in your family have a lot of excess hair?

If not, you should really consider seeing an endocrinologist. You could have a problem with your adrenal glands or another endocrine problem. It would be a good idea to have your hormones tested too.

Hirsutism can be caused by many things. Here are a few:

Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH)
Non-classical Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Excess Testosterone or hormonal imbalance
Hypothyroidism
Anorexia

There is a prescription cream that can help you in the meantime - Vaniqua. It takes about 3 months to work and it costs about $80 for a tube of it (your insurance may pay for it but most wont).

A dermatologist may also be able to help.

 
Old 04-17-2008, 01:05 PM   #21
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Re: hirsutism. definitely a 'hair problem'

If birth control is going to help (only does in a small percentage of people) it can take a year or more.

If the women in your family do not have the same issues with hirsutism, do not stop trying to get help. Try an endocrinologist (not reproductive).

<BY THE WAY>...your testosterone level changes throughout your cycle. Make sure you get your hormones tested approx 2-2.5 weeks after the beginning of your menstrual cycle. This is when it will be the highest. It will be the lowest when you are on your period - 4 days after. Also- make sure they test your FREE Testosterone and not just serum (or total) testosterone. If that is all normal see my above post.

Last edited by ms_mod; 04-20-2008 at 08:18 AM. Reason: Replaced text message, chat room words with the proper words. Please follow the posting rules. Ms_Mod

 
Old 04-19-2008, 10:33 PM   #22
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Re: hirsutism. definitely a 'hair problem'

I was taking bc pills for over two years and didn't really see any difference in hair growth at all.
Nope, women in my family definitely don't have this issue. My mother has hardly any body hair at all. I have no idea what my doctor tested for... he wasn't even sure that he needed to test for anything at first, but than later he called me and tested me for a whole bunch of different hormones and apparently they all came back "normal." So I just gave up since I don't really have anyone to talk to about it and I don't know which doctor to go to.

I also know that I don't have thyroid issues since he tested for that as well and for PCOS. I've never had period issues so I know that's not it. I have no idea... this is frustrating, especially now that it's getting warm out and shaving everything everyday is kinda obnoxious and embarrassing.

Last edited by ms_mod; 04-20-2008 at 08:17 AM. Reason: Removed unnecessary quote. Ms_Mod

 
Old 04-20-2008, 08:23 AM   #23
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Re: hirsutism. definitely a 'hair problem'

Don't assume that your doctor is on top of everything. Call his office and request your medical records. Then you will have copies of your labs so you know what has been done and what you still may need to check. Have your doctor refer you to an endocrinologist. They deal with endocrine disorders, which hirsutism is a symptom of.

Don't go through your life feeling like you do. It is only going to cause more problems. You are 22 now, but think of the effect this will have on you by the time you are 32. It is a very real problem and you deserve treatment for it.

Try Vaniqua (expensive but worth it). Also, there are some very good electric razors out there now. Pick one up in the mean time and shave the hair off.

 
Old 04-20-2008, 02:06 PM   #24
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Re: hirsutism. definitely a 'hair problem'

Hormone tests being "normal" doesn't mean a lot. What's normal for other woman may not be normal for your body. PCOS can be difficult to diagnose. You can have none of the "normal" PCOS symptoms and still have PCOS. Syndrome X is also something to be considered.

Dr. Geoffrey Redmond is a nationally recognized expert on issues such as this. You may want to check your library for his books. One is called "The Hormonally Vulnerable Woman."

 
Old 04-27-2008, 01:26 PM   #25
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Re: hirsutism. definitely a 'hair problem'

Quote:
Originally Posted by CDS75 View Post
Don't assume that your doctor is on top of everything. Call his office and request your medical records. Then you will have copies of your labs so you know what has been done and what you still may need to check. Have your doctor refer you to an endocrinologist. They deal with endocrine disorders, which hirsutism is a symptom of.

Don't go through your life feeling like you do. It is only going to cause more problems. You are 22 now, but think of the effect this will have on you by the time you are 32. It is a very real problem and you deserve treatment for it.

Try Vaniqua (expensive but worth it). Also, there are some very good electric razors out there now. Pick one up in the mean time and shave the hair off.
I had this stuff tested about 2 years ago. I think it's probably too late now to call him and ask for those records. I don't think that I can afford to go from doctor to doctor, getting everything tested, and hoping that they find something (I'm pretty sure that this kind of stuff isn't covered by my insurance).
I've pretty much learned to live with it since I was 15 so I really don't see very many other options.
As far as Vaniqa goes... I can't afford it, and I've also heard that it's only for the face. I don't have facial hair issues... I mean I do, but the hair on my face is very fine, light, and virtually unnoticable (except in bright/sun light). I don't do anything about it because I figure why make it worse when it's not as bad as it could be. I doubt that it would work on the rest of my body since the rest of my body is also covered in the same type of hair... very fine, blonde, but long (about 1cm). Hair creams wouldn't do much for that.

Also shaving, I don't think I want to shave my entire body every day... or every couple of days. I already shave most of my body and it's extremely time consuming. I don't know... I'll just live with it for now and maybe someday when I have a whole bunch of extra money I'll go see an endocrinologist and see why this is happening.

Thanks!

 
Old 04-27-2008, 01:27 PM   #26
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Re: hirsutism. definitely a 'hair problem'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Choice View Post
Hormone tests being "normal" doesn't mean a lot. What's normal for other woman may not be normal for your body. PCOS can be difficult to diagnose. You can have none of the "normal" PCOS symptoms and still have PCOS. Syndrome X is also something to be considered.

Dr. Geoffrey Redmond is a nationally recognized expert on issues such as this. You may want to check your library for his books. One is called "The Hormonally Vulnerable Woman."
Thank you. I'll look into that. It's better to read about this or talk to a doctor who knows than just any doctor <BECAUSE> obviously many of them don't know much about this issue. They do figure that what's normal for most women is normal for everyone.

Last edited by ms_mod; 04-27-2008 at 03:47 PM. Reason: Please always use whole words in your posts.

 
Old 05-13-2008, 03:01 PM   #27
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Re: hirsutism. definitely a 'hair problem'

I've been thinking about this issue more frequently for a few days and it's really irritating. Some of the body hair I have has been getting worse and spreading more recently. I don't know why or what to do. So I think I need to go see a doctor soon.
Does anyone know if endocrinologist appointments/tests/treatments or whatever is required is covered by insurance (mostly)? I'm not really sure but I hope they are.

Also, how would I go about finding an endocrinologist? I did a search one a certain specialist website but it appears that endocrinologists are quite rare to find (at least in my area), and I only found two in my area - one who specializes in "thyroid disease only" and another who specializes in "pediatric endocrinology only." Should I go to the first one?
I found only one doctor who specializes in hirsutism in my state and she is located about 130 miles from here... definitely not close enough.

Also, if I go to an endocrinologist, what should I expect at my first appointment? I'm assuming that they would probably examine body parts, and although I know it's a doctor and they see everything all the time I still feel soooo embarrassed since the only ones I found are men. What should I do?

Thanks!

Last edited by EllieFrog; 05-13-2008 at 03:18 PM.

 
Old 05-13-2008, 05:05 PM   #28
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Re: hirsutism. definitely a 'hair problem'

Insurance should cover the tests and appointments with an endocrinologists. Just be sure to follow any referral requirements your insurance may have, so that they don't have any reason to refuse coverage.

Ask your primary care physician for a referral. Also call the thyroid specialists and ask if they can recommend an endocrinologist who specializes in reproductive endocrinology. If no one else is available, you can always go to the one who specializes in thyroid. I personally would seriously consider the doctor that is 130 miles away. It could be very much worth the time and effort.

For the first appointment, let the hair grow. They need to see it to believe it. And trust me, they have seen things far worse than hirsute women.

 
Old 05-13-2008, 05:41 PM   #29
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Re: hirsutism. definitely a 'hair problem'

Ellie- Doctors offices keep a patients records for many, many years. They WILL have copies of your previous labs all you have to do is ask (it may save you money and time). You could even have them send a copy of your record to the endocrinologist of your choice. I live in a mid to large sized city, there are only a handfull of Endocrinologists here and it takes a long time to get into one (months). Where I live, they require a referral (whether your insurance does or not). Most endocrinologists should accept insurance. I would call first to verify, though.

 
Old 05-13-2008, 07:23 PM   #30
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Re: hirsutism. definitely a 'hair problem'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Choice View Post
Insurance should cover the tests and appointments with an endocrinologists. Just be sure to follow any referral requirements your insurance may have, so that they don't have any reason to refuse coverage.

Ask your primary care physician for a referral. Also call the thyroid specialists and ask if they can recommend an endocrinologist who specializes in reproductive endocrinology. If no one else is available, you can always go to the one who specializes in thyroid. I personally would seriously consider the doctor that is 130 miles away. It could be very much worth the time and effort.

For the first appointment, let the hair grow. They need to see it to believe it. And trust me, they have seen things far worse than hirsute women.
I don't think that I can afford to drive 130 miles just to see a doctor (with these gas prices I avoid driving 10 miles, let alone 130). Luckily I found a bunch of endocrinologists/diabetic specialists in a couple of local hospitals. A lot of them work together in the same offices so that's always a good thing.
There is also an internal medicine/endocrinology center here so that is probably my best bet. Unfortunately they're all men but it's better than not going at all.
I'm probably just going to go to the internal medicine/endocrinology place and see what that doctor says. If he doesn't know enough about the problem than I will ask for a referral... but I did an extensive search online and looked at all specialists who are covered by my insurance and though there are a lot more of them than I thought, they're mostly general endocrinologists or thyroid/diabetes specialists... there don't seem to be any who specialize in reproductive endocrinology

I hope this one's reliable and that I can get an appointment soon.

Last edited by EllieFrog; 05-13-2008 at 07:32 PM.

 
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