Unwanted body hair can be embarrassing, but medically speaking, losing or growing body hair in unwanted places can also indicate an underlying health issue.
Learn what these body hair signifiers say about your health…
Male hormones (i.e., testosterone and DHEAS, or dehydroepiandrosterone, which is androstenolone or prasterone) exist in both males and females in varying amounts, according to endocrinologists from the University of Colorado’s Medical Center, in Denver, Colorado. For instance, during menopause—as estrogen levels decrease and testosterone increases, women can start to see hair thinning (or male-pattern type baldness) on their heads and coarse, thick hairs sprouting up on their faces, chins, and necks. This type of hair loss and growth is normal.
However, if male hormone levels shift suddenly (i.e., due to an ovarian or adrenal tumor releasing male hormones) a condition known as hirsutism (unwanted male-pattern hair growth in females) can result, causing hair growth on the upper chest, above the belly button, on the upper back, and around the nipples. A blood test can determine a shifting hormone profile and the potential presence of a tumor.