An individual’s skin is mostly covered with hair and hair follicles. The hair grows in varying thickness and size according to its place of origin. For instance, on top of our head the hair growth is long and thick, whereas on other parts it is thin and transparent.
Hairy nipples are common in women and is rarely a cause of concern as it does not indicate any health issue. In some women, the hair becomes long, coarse, dark and might signify something more serious which makes the individual to seek a physician’s advice. While we are not quite aware of the prominence of hairy nipples among women as most of them don’t report this issue due to embarrassment and try managing it by themselves, it is likelier for the hair that is fine and transparent to turn dark and coarse with age.
There are several causes for nipple hairs to grow and those include:
Hormonal changes: Women undergo tremendous hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy and menopause mostly and these changes can cause various symptoms of which hairy nipples might be one of them.
Increased male hormone production: Hormone imbalances, especially overproduction of testosterone can cause hair growth along with other symptoms such as oily skin, untimely stop of menstrual periods or male pattern baldness.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): PCOS is due to hormone imbalance and it affects the functioning of ovaries. Infertility, irregular periods, ovarian cysts and excessive hair grown in unusual places such as nipples are common. 1 in every 5 women are victims of PCOS nowadays. PCOS can be treated without medications by following a healthy lifestyle and staying on a healthy weight. Fix an appointment with a registered dietitian nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com who can help you start embracing healthier lifestyles.
Medications: Certain medicines such as testosterone, glucocorticosteroids and similar other drugs can cause nipple hair.
Cushing’s syndrome: This is a condition that occurs due to excess cortisol production (hormone imbalance). Symptoms include increased hair growth, abnormal menstruation, big purple stretch marks, increased blood pressure, weakness in upper arms and thighs, decreased libido, fertility problems, mood swings and increased sugar levels.
Mostly, treatment for hairy nipples is not for health reasons but women try to get rid of it for cosmetic purpose. You can trim, tweeze, shave or wax the nipple hair or choose laser hair removal treatment option. If the problem is due to hormone imbalance, a physician can prescribe the right medicines to readjust hormone balance.
There is no need to visit a physician unless the individual faces unusual symptoms alongside nipple hairs. If the doctor diagnoses some underlying condition such as PCOS which can cause nipple hair growth, he/she will guide the patient and recommend medication therapy to manage the condition. A doctor can also help the patient choose the right option to remove hairy nipples.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.