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Video

Emma: I just don’t feel normal, I feel like a freak and I feel like I should be in a circus. I suffer from excess facial hair. I’ve tried waxing, I’ve used electrolysis, I pluck, I’ve done pretty much everything, I hoping there’s something that you can do to help.

Dr Dawn: Is the hair just on your face or do you have hair elsewhere,

Emma: No, I’ve got some in my cleavage, round my nipples, on my stomach.

Dr Dawn: And treatments you’ve tried to date haven’t been successful?

Emma: Well they take the hair away until it grows back again a couple of weeks later. So no.

Dr Pixie V/O: About 1 in 10 women suffer from excessive bodily and facial hair, it’s often caused by unusually large levels of the male hormone testosterone in the body.

Emma: I would love to be able to go out in public, talk to other people. I mean I’m a recluse now, I might as well not exist anymore.

Dr Dawn: We have to get your hair sorted, has anyone ever talked to you about laser treatment?

Emma: No.

Dr Dawn: Because laser treatments today are amazing, and they really can achieve, hopefully a permanent hair loss.

Dr Pixie V/O: Hair today, gone tomorrow, it’s time for 37 year old Emma to have her excess hair lasered. As this treatment works on the hair follicle beneath the skin, it’s actually better to be clean shaven. The laser beam disables the follicle and prevents the hair from growing. With hair as coarse as Emma’s, it’s going to take about 6 treatments, but with each treatment you can see results.

Dr Pixie V/O: After just two laser treatments to remove excess hair, Emma is back at the clinic so Dr Harper can see if things are going smoothly.

Dr Dawn: Hi, come on in, how are you? Wow, I’m amazed at that in two treatments.

Emma: I feel wonderful.

Dr Dawn: Go on then, tell me. What have you done since you were better?

Emma: My husband’s taken me out for dinner, we all went out to the park for the day, I’ve just done loads!

Dr Dawn: So what’s the timeframe for the next treatments?

Emma: Once a month for four months and that’s it, finished.

Dr Dawn: Are they quite optimistic that that will be permanent then?

Emma: Yep, all I know is that it’s working for me. I feel happy, I feel wonderful.

Dr Dawn: I think you look fantastic; you just look like a different person.

Emma: Thank you.

Dr Dawn: Take care.

Read the video transcript

Consultation: Excess Facial Hair

Excess facial hair affects around one in every ten women and it can take a severe toll on their social lives as well. Dr Dawn Harper talks to a patient who feels she is living like a recluse because of this embarrassing illness, and advises a course of laser treatment to alleviate the symptoms – with remarkable results!

If you’re suffering from any of the conditions featured on this site and want to apply for an onscreen consultation with one of the EB team then you can find more details here >>

Remember that you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.

If you are worried that you child is suffering from excessive hair, read the condition guide especially for parents on Embarrassing Bodies: Kids.

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Comments and Questions

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why doesnt emma ever respond to us i have written many questions to her and she never replies





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emma i just saw you on the internet. you looked great. you are lucky that you tony have skin problems and losing you hair on your scalp with sores on the scalp like me. i have darkish skin and have hairs all over my body/arms and legs. i look like a freak. you dont please get in touch with me i am so despondent





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I am 19 and basically as scary to admit it I have this problem too. When I was doing my GCSEs and had many family problems to calm me down I would just tug on my facial hair as a stress removal. Now I have found better ways to manage my stress. I have corse facial hair on my chin, nipples and belly. I have been bleaching for a few years on my face and plucking the really bad ones and shaving my belly... I have always been quite confident but this is really bugging me as my brother keeps teasing me about it, digging at my self confidence. My face isn't too bad but you can notice my blonde facial hairs when bleached and when they grow they turn black again. I'm of asian origin which doesn't help. Im not going to shave despite others have said its a treatment because I'm worried that all my fine hair will turn black and corse too. Is there any creams Emma? I can't go on the combined pill as I have a have a family history of blood clots. I'm not made of money so laser is out and so is electrolysis. If I wax or thread thats just as bad so in reality there is no treatment. Emma please prove me wrong.





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I know where you are coming from I had the same problem and it's associated with polycystic ovary syndrome. I can't stress it enough you need to go to a specialist and have your hormone levels checked. I had exactly the same issues and was told I may never be able to have children- Not True!! This was forty years ago I got my hormones under control and The embarrassing hair stopped growing and I had two lovely daughters. It is actually Sugar Resistance and you can help yourself by cutting out sugar and getting your weight down. No terrible medication or Operations just cut that sugar out read all the labels on food! Been there done that and so can you !! Good Luck!!

Hello everyone. I've had a battel with really bad facial hair since i was 12 years old. I've been told it's just life really and that shaving, waxing and other treatments was only way to deal with it. I had 4 laser treatments and this helped carm ot dowe, but did not get rid of this isSue. Last year I had an eptopic pregnancy and had my left tub removed and after found out I only have half a uterus. My facial hair is worse than it has ever been before, to much to pluck out and to corse to wax and now is down to the op I had last year. I'm trying to get pregnant and now via ivf, so can't do anything about my face Now. But have just purchased a philliphs lumea precision plus and it's amazing ladies. I have hairy arms, legs, belly aswell as my face and after 1st go can already see big patches of where hair is missing. I will say in my case nothing is perment removed but these treatments do carm things down. I'm 30 now and let this issue stop me from going to school and living life to the full. I will beat it one day and I don't let it stop me dodoong anything again xx





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I would really like to no how to stop it I shaved my sideburns as a teen belly boobs and now im covered in discusting hair its got worse since I had my kids. Im sure my ex left me because of it its making me suicidal please help I cant afford laser treatment I cant even get the confidence up to get a job !





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I am 25 years old and have been suffering with facial hair for years I have shaved, waxed etc and all I have done is made my skin more sensitive and sore. I have used cream etc and have been told there is nothing else anyone can do. This is ruining my life. I feel very manly.





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I've heard that spearmint tea twice a day for 5days is meant to help stop facial hair growth on women





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I'm 20 and have suffered for about 7 years with facial hair, it's very embarrassing but no one had said anything about it yet so I guess I have good friends, I have to shave my chin and top lip almost everyday as I have dark hair and it will grow in to stubble if I leave it for around 2 days without shaving. Sometime I don't mind as much as I know other people can have worse problems but it's somthing that knocks your confidence and I now worry about finding a boyfriend but what I say is it could be worse, should be lucky it isn't life threatening in some cases.





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I feel like a bearded lady as soon as I take my hair off by any means by the night there is a stubble the worse thing is it is all over not just the face and it's as hairy as robin williams the actor I have tried everything to get rid of it I know I have polycystic ovarian syndrome which doesn't help but it is so annoying because I am getting sore and frustrated with it





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Hi, I have a lot of hair growth over my chin and the under Chin.I have gone through waxing and now laser one sitting but my hair is growing like it is being shaved.Please guide me will it go as this is very embarrasing for me .very





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It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





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More Information

  1. Quick Health Advice: Unwanted Facial Hair

    In Videos - Dr Harper explains the causes of unwanted facial hair and some of t…

  2. Hirsutism

    In Conditions - A condition where a woman grows too much body or facial hair in a p…

  3. Dr Dawn Harper

    In Videos - Find out more about Dr Dawn Harper

  4. Dr Dawn Harper

    Doctor Info - Find out more about Dr Dawn.

  5. James Russell

    Doctor Info - Find out more about James Russell.

  6. Dr Priya Manickavasagar

    Doctor Info - Find out more about Dr Priya.

  7. Quick Health Advice: Male Hairloss

    In Videos - Dr Christian explains the causes of male hairloss and the treatment…

  8. Premature Greying

    In Conditions - When hair turns grey at a young age, many years before it would nat…

  9. Alopecia

    In Conditions - Baldness or loss of patches of hair amongst women.

  10. Quick Health Advice: Athlete's Foot

    In Videos - Dr Harper gives out some advice on how to avoid getting the particu…

  11. Doctor Responses: Excessive Hair

    In Videos - Dr Pixie answers your most frequently asked questions about excessi…

  12. Quick Health Advice: Psoriasis

    In Videos - Dr Harper explains the causes of and treatments available for psor…

  13. Ingrowing Pubic Hair

    In Conditions - A pubic hair that grows at an abnormal angle and then turns back in…

  14. Quick Health Advice: Stress Incontinence

    In Videos - Dr Harper discusses stress incontinence and what can be done to sto…

  15. Pediculus Capitis

    In Conditions - More commonly known as 'nits'. These are pin-head sized grey-brown…


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