The removal of unwanted
hair is a common
cosmetic problem, especially affecting
women. If hair growth
is excessive, a physician
should examine the individual
before any treatment is undertaken, because occasionally the cause is an underlying
disorder of the ovaries, pituitary gland, or adrenal
glands. In most cases, however, no such problem
exists and hormonal treatment
is both ineffective and potentially dangerous.
A variety of local treatments
is available to remove
hair without unnecessary damage
to the skin. Shaving
is one method. Depilatory
creams can be applied
to the area but must be used in the correct concentration and not left on too long. Alternatively, the skin can be dusted with powder and hot wax applied. When the wax has hardened it is pulled off, bringing the hairs with it. Both depilatory creams and wax treatment are only temporary
solutions; the hairs reappear
within a month or so.
of superfluous hair may be achieved by electrolysis. This technique destroys the papilla that carries nutrients
to the hair follicle
in the skin. In the hands of a skilled operator, electrolysis should
be relatively painless and not leave visible scars.