The presence of terminal hair especially on the face of women can be disturbing due to the cosmetic implications. In most cases of hirsutism, facial hair growth does not progress beyond a fine, visible mustache similar to a young teen male. A facial beard may only involve the growth of a few strands of hair and does not develop into a complete or extensive beard as is present in adult males.
Treatment of hirsutism should focus on the cause of the thick hair growth, however in idiopathic hirsutism (hirsutism due to no known cause), most women may have to employ hair removal (epilation) or masking techniques throughout life. These techniques may include :
- Plucking or ‘tweezing’ with hair tweezers
- Hair removal or depilatory creams
- Bleaching to blend the color of the hair with the natural skin pigmentation
- Shaving, although this technique is avoided in facial hair growth due to the possibility of stimulating thick hair growth.
- Laser hair removal
None of these hair removal or masking techniques are permanent and may have to be repeated at regular intervals. Unconfirmed reports advocate waxing, electrolysis and laser hair removal procedures as it may reduce the thickness of the terminal hairs on the target areas when the hair grows again. Any hair removal technique should be undertaken carefully as it can result in folliculitis and complicate into skin infections like a staph skin infection.