Hairy Nipples? This Could Be Why
Nipple hair is normal — and way more common than you’d expect. Since nearly the entire human body is covered in hair follicles and hair, stray hairs can appear in the most random places, like your ears, butt, lower back and nipples.
If you’re dealing with hairy nipples and you’re wondering why, read on to hear about the causes and what you can do to get rid of nipple hair.
WHAT CAUSES NIPPLE HAIR?
According to dermatologists, most of us will experience nipple hair at some point in our lives. It is especially common around the times when you go through hormonal changes, such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.
"Hair growth is complex and not solely down to testosterone," says Babylon’s GP Dr. Claudia Pastides. "The female sex hormones also play a part and can lead to an increase in the amount of hair (as many women will have experienced in pregnancy, finding that their hair thickened considerably and then shed away after birth)."
In addition to hormonal level changes, here are some other common causes of hairy nipples.
Overproduction of Male Hormones
A high level of androgens such as testosterone can cause a variety of symptoms, including unusual hair growth, oily skin, breakouts, irregular periods of absent menstrual periods, and male-pattern baldness, which includes hair loss on your head.
Certain medications come with side effects such as unusual or excessive hair growth. These medicines include glucocorticosteroids, testosterone, and some immunosuppressants.
In spite of what many people think, contraceptives don’t tend to make you hairier. The opposite in fact. Because many contraceptives can improve hormone imbalances and fluctuations, birth control can actually be a treatment for hirsutism (excessive hair growth).
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
A common cause of excessive body hair or unusual hair growth is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS occurs because of a hormonal imbalance and is believed to affect around 1 in 5 women.
Common symptoms of PCOS include infertility, irregular periods, excessive hair growth (including the development of dark hair around the nipple area), and ovarian cysts.
If you suspect you have this condition, speak to a doctor or women’s health professional for treatment options.
Cushing’s Syndrome is usually associated with increased and prolonged exposure to high levels of cortisol, a glucocorticosteroid hormone. Some of the symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome include increased hair growth, abnormal menstrual periods, weight gain, high blood pressure, big purple stretch marks, low libido, and depression.
Once again, if you suspect you may have this condition, speak to a healthcare provider for the best treatment options.
WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT HAIRY NIPPLES
While nipple hair is usually nothing to be concerned about, it’s perfectly normal for you to want to get rid of it. It’s your body hair, your choice. Here are some of the best ways to treat hairy nipples.
Trim the Nipple Hair
A quick way to get rid of a pesky nipple hair is by trimming it with a small pair of nail scissors. Cut as close to the skin as possible, but be especially careful not to cut yourself. After using, wash your scissors thoroughly, pat them dry, and keep them in a clean, dry place until the next time.
Tweeze the Nipple Hair
One of the easiest and fastest ways to remove nipple hairs is tweezing. That said, you should keep a few things in mind before plucking. Since your areolas and the skin around your nipples can be particularly sensitive, plucking may cause discomfort. You can reduce this feeling by tweezing after a hot shower, as the warm water will open the pores and make the hair lift away easier. And always make sure you use a clean pair or tweezers before starting.
Wax the Nipple Hair
Waxing is another good hair removal option, however, it is likely to be painful. Book an appointment at your local salon rather than doing it at home to prevent infection.
Shave the Nipple Hair
Another quick solution for removing nipple hair is shaving it away. Just make sure you do it with caution to avoid cutting the skin. And always use a moisturizing shaving cream like Rainbow’s Smooth Shave Butter to prevent ingrown hairs and infection. You can also use this on other areas of your body like your armpits, bikini area, and legs.
Consider Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is a popular treatment for reducing hair growth and preventing regrowth temporarily. That said, it can also be painful. For the best outcome from laser hair removal, get it done by a cosmetic dermatologist. Another treatment is electrolysis which can significantly reduce nipple hair and other unwanted hair on the body.
Try a Hormonal Treatment
If a hormonal imbalance is the culprit behind your hairy nipples, your doctor might suggest hormonal medications to restore the balance. One of the most common treatments is birth control pills, which commonly contain both estrogen and progestin hormones.
Finish with a Moisturizing Treatment
Whether you’ve chosen shaving, waxing, or tweezing, always finish your chosen method with a moisturizing treatment like Rainbow’s Hydrate Serum. It’s made with hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 to deeply hydrate and nourish the skin, and diminish nipple dryness.
Nipple Hair Treatments to Avoid
To prevent infections and sensitivity, avoid treating hairy nipples with the following products: bleach and hair removal creams. These methods are usually too harsh for skin and may cause irritation and damage.
Most of the time, hairy nipples are not a cause for concern, but if you’re worried about your body hair or you’d like to find a way to get rid of it, speak to your doctor or a dermatologist.
Nevertheless, hairy nipples are entirely normal, and most other women have them. Try one of the above treatments to get rid of your nipple hair. Or if you don’t fancy any of them, try embracing your nipple hair instead! Like all body hair, it’s up to you whether it stays or goes.