Does Melatonin Help With Hirsutism Symptoms?
Hirsutism refers to unnatural or excessive growth of facial hair on woman, typically on the upper lip, chin, and along the front of the neck. Most women who suffer from hirsutism have a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, which is linked to a hormone imbalance and increased levels of androgens.
PCOS is not typically dangerous, although in some cases it might lead to difficulty to conceive, diabetes, heart conditions, and other health conditions. For many women, however, their most prominent symptom of PCOS is hirsutism. While there are many ways to address excessive facial hair, many women are asking if melatonin could be used to treat this and other symptoms of PCOS, and if a melatonin supplement can be useful for anyone, even those without PCOS symptoms.
First note a bit more information about PCOS so you understand the best treatment methods for this condition. Both men and women produce a mixture of testosterone, the “male” hormone, and estrogen, the “female” hormone. However, men produce far more testosterone than women, and high levels of testosterone are what give men their distinctly male features, such as a deep voice and excessive body hair.
Unlike its name, not all women who have PCOS necessarily develop cysts in their ovaries, but some might also experience hirsutism, or an excessive hair growth, because of these excessive levels of androgens such as testosterone. PCOS can also interfere with healthy menstrual cycles, causing a woman to have irregular periods; some women also struggle with infertility and an inability to get pregnant due to PCOS.
What Is Melatonin?
To better understand if melatonin can help with hirsutism due to PCOS, it’s also good to know what melatonin is and how it affects the body. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the body’s pineal gland, and this hormone helps to regulate the sleep/wake cycle. Light is thought to affect the pineal gland and how much melatonin it produces, so that more melatonin is released in the body as the sun starts to set, making you sleepy.
Persons who have insomnia or any sleep disturbances often have an interrupted production of melatonin in their system. The pineal gland may stop producing sufficient levels of melatonin before the sun rises, so you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep. Overproduction of melatonin, especially throughout the day, can make a person sleepy and fatigued no matter the amount of sunlight outside or sleep they’ve had the night before!
What Are the Benefits of a Melatonin Supplement?
A melatonin supplement may help anyone who has trouble sleeping occasionally, no matter the cause. Added melatonin in the system can make a person feel drowsy and sleepy, so they fall asleep faster and then stay asleep throughout the night.
Melatonin supplements are also often used by those who travel between time zones and have trouble adjusting their sleep/wake cycle accordingly. Shift workers who need to sleep during the day and those with anxiety or other conditions that can cause restlessness during sleep can find relief with melatonin supplements.
If you’re interested in starting Melatonin, make sure to discuss it with your doctor first, as they can guide you about the dosage and schedule.
Side Effects of Melatonin
Melatonin is relatively safe, but it can cause too much drowsiness especially if you were to use it too often. A person might also have difficulty getting melatonin out of their system, so that they have a “heavy head” feeling or lack of energy and motivation.
Misuse of melatonin can also interfere with the body’s natural production of this hormone, so that sleep disturbances only become worse. Some persons also report an increase in anxiety as well as dizziness, stomach upset, and headaches.
Make sure to only use melatonin short-term. If you experience sleep problems for a longer period of time, talk to your doctor about it.
Does Melatonin Help With PCOS?
There currently is very little evidence available about the role of melatonin in PCOS, however first early studies are done to explore it. In one study, melatonin led to a decrease of androgen levels in women with PCOS, and an improvement of the regularity of their menstruation.
Event though there is first evidence available that there might be an effect of melatonin for women with PCOS, more evidence is needed to show a clear connection and positive effect.
Does Melatonin Help With Hirsutism Symptoms?
While there currently is only little data to suggest that melatonin might help with hirsutism symptoms in particular, note that healthier, normal hormone levels can reduce all the symptoms associated with PCOS. Regulating hormones and lowering your overall androgen levels can mean less excessive facial hair, as well as all the symptoms related to PCOS in particular.
Hirsutism Treatment Options
There are a number of treatment options available for PCOS and Hirsutism. In many cases, hair removal procedures are very successful in restoring your appearance, and in breaking down hair follicles so that they eventually stop growing back. Note some effective hair removal treatment options you might consider:
- Waxing removes hair roots from under the skin so that it takes days if not even weeks for the hair to grow back. Waxing also removes surface skin cells, which can result in healthier, more radiant skin overall!
- An epilator traps hair in a rotating metal head, also pulling that hair follicle out from the root. An epilator can be uncomfortable but it’s very effective for removing even the toughest, thickest hairs along the lip and neck.
- Laser hair treatments or other permanent hair removal can be costly but they break down hair follicles so that the hair eventually stops growing back. A laser hair treatment administered by a professional also ensures that your hair removal is thorough and complete, and this treatment can be applied to virtually any area of the face, chin, and neck.