hello, I am also an african american woman who is 27 and had symptoms of pcos since i was 14. I recently went to the doctor and they just told me that my testosterone levels werent high enough. but when i looked up pcos, i have every symptom including high blood pressure (extremely high) and within the last month, hair loss at the crown of my head. My chin and neck are scarred from plucking and pulling and im just at my wits end with this. I went to sallys and got a bottle of "skin tight" and i notice that it minimized the ingrown hair bumps which makes my skin feel and look ALOT smoother and i am looking for something for the hyperpigmentation. i understand what you have and been so frustrated with it because im the only one i know amongst my friends who have it. i hate looking in the mirror and my face is clear but my chin and neck are atrocious! a real confidence killer. let me know any pointers i can use.
Thanks for responding. I thought that I was a lonely soldier out here. PCOS is funny because you don't have to have every sign or symptom. My battle with hirsutism has been going on for a long time now and plucking and shaving has been my only uses. I tried TendSkin from Sephora but didn't notice a difference and I had a prescription for Vaniqua but I only used one tube. It's expensive and insurance doesn't pay for it.
I've seen Skin Tight but I thought it wouldn't work so I didn't buy it. My dermatologist told me that plucking is really bad because it causes ingrown hairs which causes the hyperpigmentation. It's a habit that's hard to break because I've been doing since I was 15.
It seem as if a dermatologist can help with the hyperpigmentation. I'm scheduling an appointment with mine to see if there are any available creams to lighten the dark spots and also to get another prescription of Vaniqua. Birth control pills with spironolactone can decrease hair growth, but I don't do well with synthetic hormones, so that option is out. My endocronologist told me that nothing he can give me will completely take the hair away. He talked about several options. Birth control and spironolactone, metformin, vaniqua and exercise. Losing a little weight has been shown to decrease hirsutism, but when I was thinner I had hirsutism just not as much.
This is an ongoing problem and I think the only options that will completely remove the hair is electrolysis and laser, both of which are expensive, and the laser hair removal can be tricky with dark skin.
I completely understand how you feel and I'm here for you when you get frustrated. If you learn anything let me know and I'll do the same.
hello. i am new to this site n it makes me feel better to kno that there are others out here wit the same problems. i am 24 and jus like you and others i have PCOS. i believe it started at 17. i had developed a cyst on my left ovary due to stress. i also have hair growing on my chest, chin, and face. and to top it off i have soo much free testosterone n not enough estrogen that my female features don't really show too much like small breast. now me n my fiance' are ready to concieve but because of my cyst n PCOS it is very difficult for us. i really don't kno of any cures but i kno prayer helps. it also help to kno that we are not alone out here. do you have any children at all. if i could just have me one, i will be happy.
god bless in ur quest....
Hello, I wanted you to know that it is possible for you to have children if you have PCOS. I have two children. What makes it difficult for you to conceive? Is your menstruation regular and how big is the cyst in your ovary? I don't know if you have regular contact with your physician regarding this concern of your's because you should. A lot of women that have problems conceiving take the drug metformin and this seems to help.
I'm a little older than you (12 years older) but I've been dealing with excessive hair since I was 13. It started on my chest and then went to my neck and stomach and a little on my chin. I've become pretty good concealing it with shaving, plucking (which is bad for your skin and causes ingrown hairs) and then applying makeup over the hyperpigmentation. It's still extremely aggravating and it seems so masculine. I'm using the cream Vaniqua to see if this will decrease the hair and I've considered taking metformin (this drug apparently helps with hirsutism also) but I'm still thinking about that.
So, don't worry just arm yourself with the most information you can and become extremely active in whatever quest you may have. I also wanted you to know that I have elevated free testosterone but my total testosterone is normal. I also smaller breasts but I do have children and I also breast feed both of my children (my daughter for almost two years.) LOL! Yeah I know that's a long time....she had teeth too:-). Good luck and remember to pray and DON'T be passive in your search for health and children.
I was recently diagnosed with PCOS. I am not African American, I am of Sicilian decent. I also have had problems with hursutism. I had something called laser hair removal on my face to remove upper lip hair, chin, neck and "sideburn" hair. It is really very effective and permanently removes hair as the laser kills the hair's root. You'll probably always have some hairs because you can grow new ones at any time in your life but it kills the hairs that are there. When I had my first rounds of laser hair removal I had to stay completely out of the sun because it was only for people with lighter skin because the laser targets the dark hair. I have olive skin so I had to really let myself get pale. However, in recent years the technology has improved and they now have lasers that will work on people with darker skin. So the last time I they could use it on my skin even though it was darker. I would definitely recommend it to anyone struggling with excess hair. While I still pluck a few hairs each day it had greatly improved my quality of life and my skin. It really got rid of the bulk of my hair. If I had more money I would go back for more treatments. It is costly but in my opinion having some treatments is definitely worth the quality of life. I would recommend searching for a place near you that does it but make sure they have the type of laser that can treat darker skin. Also make sure you go some place reputable and not just some random salon. Many doctors offices actually offer the service now so that is one option - your doctor may actually know someone. Good luck and don't get discouraged! I just had to tell you about the laser hair removal though because it's really improved my appearance and quality of life because now I don't spend so much time managing excess hair or feeling self-conscious.
My cousin and I have the hair problems although hers is worse and since she started electrolysis she has no issues... I've had laser hair removal in the past. It was the best and the worst thing I could do. The hair was gone for like 3mos...but it was extremely painful because the pigment in my skin is darker.. I literally couldn't close my legs for 3 day! Yes I was ice packed down. But the hair went away. You have to do sessions and it takes at least 3 to inhibit the hair growth. Make sure someone who is familiar with African American and lasers. It is also a little pricey 300 per session but hey whatever works. Just be consistent with whatever.
Thanks a lot for responding. I've thought about and researched laser hair removal. I want to do it but the cost of it has stopped me from getting it done. I'm going to save so that I can eventually, because it's extremely frustrating shaving and plucking.
Thanks for the advice. I've seen information about darker skin being harder to treat and having possible skin discoloration from the laser, so it's important to seek out a professional that understands darker skin and has experience treating it. This is a frustrating problem but I'm going to save so that I can have it done.
Coco, as well as all of the other ladies, I know that it is not easy to deal with this situation and the pressure that society puts on you.....On the other side of the coin, there are lots of people, men and women, who will recognize your beauty and value as a person instead of judging your appearance just because you happen to be hirsute.....I am sorry if people look at you strangely or put you down, but that does not make you an unattractive woman.....It is strength of character and personality that will define you....
Hang in there!
I was recently diagnosed with PCOS, but have had issues with acne and facial/body hair for the last few years. In the last 8 months my skin issues have worsen.I'm currently threading once a week on my neck, under my chin and upper lip. It helps slow the growth of my hair but I still have regrowth weekly. I used to have clear skin and no facial hair so this has been a tough issue to deal with. When at work or out people stare at my face and neck when they talk to me and its so embarassing. I'm so self concious of my appearence. Going out without makeup isn't an option anymore, unless I'm at the gym. Right now I'm using derma e skinbiotics treament creme and skin lighten creme. I've been using both cremes for about 3 weeks to help with the acne and dark marks. It helps to keep my skin smooth and my breakouts are less. Has anyone had negative side effects using birth control pills or stronger hormonal pills to deal with acne and hair growth? Also, what prescribed medications are people using for the hair? Any success with skin lighteners that don't use hydroquoine to help with dark marks? The products I currently use are all natural from the heath food store. Its great to have a forum to finally talk to people who can relate.
Thanks, I look forward to hearing from everyone.
I'm Jewish, and I'm told that my hirsuitism is caused by a genetic disease common in semetic and african peoples. I'm on Spironolactone, which has softened my hair, and it has slowed down the hair growth, some places my hair has gone, but this process takes months of taking the med (+6months) to see any difference. I still get hair on my chin, but most of my hirsuitism has been on my stomach, thighs and legs. I'm down to shaving every other day now, sometimes I can go 3 days. I was shaving twice a day in the summer before. I'm too old to go on the pill, but I think this has worked better!
Hi, I am writing an article about PCOS in African American women. If you would be interested in contributing your experiences, please send me an email at ***@****
Has anyone tried vaniqa?
There are many choices when it comes to managing unwanted facial hair. VANIQA® is the only prescription product approved by the FDA and clinically proven to reduce the growth of unwanted facial hair in women. VANIQA works by slowing the growth of hair rather than just removing it. Many women will see results within 4 to 8 weeks when used twice a day every day but for some women it may take longer. With VANIQA, you'll feel confident that people won't notice your UFH, even when you're up close...
I saw a commercial for it last night I'm really thinking about it.
hi i'm new to here but i just want to say that i am also african and have had hair on my chin since i was 11 and am now 17 and it has gotten so bad that i have thick hair on my cheeks i have pcos and it is difficult having a beard but also more difficult being the only black person i know who has one. you usually see women of other races with hirsutism and that made me feel like a freak i'm so glad to know that there are other black women out there with this disorder. i just want to know if you all can keep me posted on what's working for you
I"m so glad for this support blog. We all need this site to support each other. I too have suffered with hirsutism in my 20"s and now I'm 36 and still suffering from it. At first when it started I was on Depovera the birth control injection that you get every three months and I was practically on it for four years til I stop to start my family. At first I noticed a mild hair growth under my chin and that's when I started using depilatory cream to get it off and at that time it worked out fine. After I got married that's when I started to see like an increase on hair growth and I stop the depilatory and started to shave from time to time. Like every other day. The hair started to spray out throughout my side burns and the corner of my mouth. So all that time i kept on with shaving. So i saw an add in the paper about laser. So I called and wanted to try and see if it will work. So i went for my free consult, the doc told me about the price and however many treatments I will need to minimize the hair growth. So i was very happy and started the treatment. The first treatment was fine, didn't get burn and anything. 2nd treament was also fine and the3rd and then the 4th but no sign of hair slowing down so I stop the laser and went back to shaving again. So after few years I said to myself maybe I will try electrolysis, but I did not have any money and wanting to learn more before i try it out. When I was ready to try out I was already in my 30's and at that time I had tolerance for pain so i begin the treatment . The cost was high but since it is a permanent way of reducing the hair I did not care. It cost me about $45dollaars for 30minutes. So I tried it for about 6months and it didn't work so I stop. Went back shaving every other day.One day I started doing more research on the net and found out about a medecine that block the men hormones called ALDACTONE generic SPIRONLACTONE and read about it and wanted to try it and this is what saved me and made me feel like the way I felt once before... Now I took the generic before and also took the brand name . In my opinion the brand might cost a little bit more but it is the best because all of that breast tenderness the side effect are minimal compare to the generic. So I'm using it now in conjunction with vaniqua and it has been working fine and I can see the hair slowing a lot and of course you have to keep taking the pills to get the result that you have been seeking.Now about large pores and the highpigmentation that I had from doing laser and electrolysis, Im planning on getting microdermabrasion done to smooth the skin out a bit, but will keep everyone posted.... Please do not be discouraged... There are a lot of people that are dealing with this excessive hair problem then what you think...Some women are just embarassed about the whole thing and please do not pluck, because it makes the hair growth coarser and dark. Plus it makes you have large pores and you do not want that so if you want to do anything shave with an electric razor to minimize the bumps or just shave with a regular razor. When you use a regular razor shave at the direction of the hair growth and and use a single blade and so it won't be hard on the skin. Shave gently and when you do that you end up not having any bumps and always put on a moisturizer afterwards. When you wash your face try to wash it with cold water so your pores will not open but when you wash with hot water it opens up the pores and it become more apparent when you apply makeup. Avoid OC skin lighteners unless it is prescribed because it can contain some chemical that will worsen your situation.. Alright I can go on but will stop here. Anyone that has any question for me can write me... Lets check back on this blog... thx..
I am a 25 year old African American female and I was diagnosed a year ago with PCOS, but i started having an irregular period when i was 20 and hair growth on my face when i was 21 and slim. My doctor wants me to take birth control and metformin. I feel like its too many pills, however i feel the same way everyone else feels about the hair growth. I feel really hesitant to take so much medicine, but i don't want to keep dealing with this excess hair on my chin and neck.
I am happy that I found this post because i felt so alone with this issue.
When i read your story I cried .I know how you feel.I'm the same way, I have the same exact problems. The depressing part about it is, that I'm a teenager. I can't enjoy life the way I want to. Im glad that I found this web page
i am 30yrs old and found out i had pcos when i was about 19. im african american and i first noticed hair growing on my upper lip at in junior high school. then it got thicker when i got to high school and i started shaving. my aunt took me to the doctor when i was 19 and still never had a period and thats when i found out. not too long after that i started growing hair on my chin and now its on my stomach. i pluck all the time like when watching tv or ill wax it off. it hurts but i dont care as long as its off. i too wear makeup just to cover the dark shadow of where ive shaved. it is very annoying to deal with and know some doctors and pharamcists alike dont know much about it. ive tried metformin, spironolactone, birth control and now i was told to take a multivitamin with a high amount of folic acid. i want kids an was told it may be difficult for me. i try to stay positive but its hard. most time i wonder why i was cursed with this and not be like most other females. but i do believe that things happen for a reason, but im still trying to figure this one out. lol. im just glad to know there are lots of others out there like me so now i dont feel like a reject.
I'm 27, African-American, married for several years, and I've also been dealing with the issue of hirsuitism. I have regular periods, but every couple of months I'll have a really I have it the worse on my neck and chin, and bikini line. The doctor has recommended spiroactone, but said that it isnt recommended when you're trying to conceive... so I havent taken it. I have been using this tool: http://www.facialwork.com/
which works well on my neck and chin area... I I am looking for natural remedies, and so far, I found this website which offers these basic peices of advice: exercise 30 minutes per day- get rid of starchy carbs and sugar, reduce stress- spearmint tea 2-3 times per day (this definitely works) and read, read, read.
l am a black woman and l was diagnosed with pcos 2 years ago.my doctor had warned me about unwanted hair on my neck and face but he had assured me not to worry about it because l will not experience any excessive hair as long as l keep myself thin (low weight). l still havent experienced excessive hair.
I'm happy to find that I am not alone. I'm a 28 year old African American woman who has suffered with hirsutism since I was about 12 or 13. I hate it so much. Some days I can deal with it and then others are just the worse. I think today is one of those bad days. Does any have difficulty in the romance area because of the hair growth? I am always afraid to get close to anyone because I fear that if I let the guy know, he won't want to be with me. I'm in a relatioship now that is getting a bit serious but i have never told him about the hair. I am still afriad to. Then I'm afraid I won't be able to have any children. I just worry so much. And today i am feeling pretty down about it.
While hair growth/loss hasn't been the bigger of the issues with me, my gynecologist prescribed some generic water pills and they worked wonders. You might ask yours about it and see what they think. Only thing is you have to really watch your water intake, so that you don't dehydrate as they make you run to the restroom frequently for the first few weeks. What the water pills do is block off the hair follicles and stop them from growing as quickly. I put away my razor and forgot about stomach hair until I lost my insurance and had to stop filling the prescriptions for both bc and the wp.
Hello all, coco in particular! I have been struggling with excessive hair all over my body for years (since I was 13), I'm African American and all of my friends used to make fun of me for it because they were always so smooth. As a younger girl I tried to get rid of the hair by shaving and plucking but it scarred me so horribly...so now I have to deal with the hair and the scars...especially since I'm much lighter, the scars are very visible. I can't even wear a bathing suit. I run track, but surprisingly I have an extremely feminine build...wearing clothes you wouldn't suspect that I was so dang hairy. That's the upsetting part, I would feel so much more attractive if I didn't have this problem, I felt I was the only one, because I had not meat anyone like me. I'm currently in a serious relationship, (I'm now 22 years old), my boyfriend knows of the problem but accepts me luckily, though I can tell it does get in the way of certain things....I'm so happy to see I'm not alone, but it doesn't solve my problem, I want to know I don't have to "get ready" to go to the beach or make love to my boyfriend or even run track for fear that any area of my body will be revealed to show how bad my excessive hairiness is. I always thought women should just have to shave underarms bikini, and leg areas....even my sister makes fun of the fact that I have to do more. I have no clue where I get it from, the women on my father's side have hair on their faces, but not much else where from what I've seen, so maybe there? But it's so bad, and I'm so young and want to show off my athletic body but feel that I can't I always have to hide and shave :-( Any suggestions? Doctors? Anything?
I feel the same way as you do. I really do especially when you say you have to do so much more than others do. I always talk about this with my friends. Mnay times I just want to get up shower and go, but that is never the case. I try to just incorporate getting rid of the hair as part of any normal daily routine of showering anf brushing teeth. But sometimes I am just tired of having to do it.