3 Common Mistakes Women with Hirsutism Make
I was in my teens when I first started to struggle with excess hair on my chin and thighs. I didn’t know about hirsutism at the time and just assumed I was hairier than other girls. I stopped wearing shorts in the summer, because no matter what I tried, my legs just never seemed to be as smooth as everybody else’s, although I shaved every day. I stopped leaving the house without a thick layer of foundation to hide the little black dots on my chin. Often at night I would cry and would wonder: Why me? I was ashamed and didn’t want to talk to anyone about my excess hair. So I suffered in silence. I felt alone and started to struggle with body image. Depression. Anxiety.
Years later, when I was in my 30s, I finally found the courage to speak to my doctor, who eventually diagnosed me with hirsutism. I wasn’t just hairy. This was an actual medical condition. And I was not the only one struggling with it. Shortly after my diagnosis, I started to search for treatment options and support. I tried supplements, joined support groups, invested in self-care and actively took charge of my health by learning more about hirsutism and what my options were. Taking control gave me confidence and I eventually learned to live with my condition and find happiness.
Sometimes I look back and I think: “If only I had known…”. I made so many mistakes along my hirsutism journey. And although I eventually figured it out, it took me many years and a lot of heartache to get to where I am today.
In this post I want to share with you the 3 most common mistakes I think women with hirsutism, like myself, make and how to overcome them. Hopefully this will help women who struggle with excess hair to find answers, treatment and support more quickly than I did.
1. Treating the Symptoms, But Not the Cause
When I first noticed my excess hair, I pretty much immediately picked up an elaborate hair removal routine. I would spend hours in the bathroom plucking and shaving, experimenting with different lotions and skin care products. I never thought much about why I had all this hair. Being a hairy girl quickly became my new normal and I just had to live with it.
It took me many years to open up to a doctor and eventually understand that hirsutism and PCOS were actual medical conditions that could be managed and that it wasn’t just a cosmetic problem.
By the time I was diagnosed, I had already spent many years fighting my symptoms, while being completely blind to the idea that those symptoms had a cause, that could and should be treated.
My Advice: Talk to your doctor as soon as you notice first symptoms. Don’t wait for years like I did!
2. Trying Too Many Supplements At the Same Time
When I found out that some supplements can help with hirsutism symptoms, I went to my local drug store and bought EVERYTHING. From spearmint tea, zinc supplements and DIM to essential oils: You name it, I’ve tried it! Now, years later, I know that there IS such a thing as too much of a good thing.
And while I have seen great success with some natural remedies, I would have found out much earlier what works for me, had I tried one thing at a time.
My Advice: Do your research. Choose ONE Supplement. Take it consistently over a few weeks and see if it works for you. Consistency is key.
3. Thinking You’re Alone
I always thought I was the only one to struggle with excess body hair. When I was finally diagnosed and found support groups and other women with the same condition, everything changed. Suddenly there were people who understood, who I could talk to, who wouldn’t downplay my worries (Get over it! It’s just hair!). I learned how others were managing their hirsutism symptoms, what helped them and what mistakes they had made.
I slowly started to be less ashamed of my symptoms and started to except hirsutism as what it was: A medical condition.
My Advice: Find a Support Group. Near you or online. And know that you are not alone! You can and will get help!
My Challenge for You!
If you’re like me and have been struggling with your hirsutism symptoms for a long time by yourself, I challenge you to take a first step to address them TODAY!
Join a support group, learn more about hirsutism or make an appointment with your doctor. No matter what you do, I invite you to get active and start to take charge. You are more than your hirsutism symptoms and while you’re on your journey: Be sure that we have your back! You’re beautiful and unique and if you’re struggling, know that things will get better.
You got this. I believe in you.