Excessive Hair Growth on Face, Neck, etc. What to do????

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Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 4/19/2010 10:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Sigh...I've had this problem for years but its escalating to my neck and cheeks. I've noticed that the hair growth has gotten worse every time I stop prednisone. I also break out more once the medication is stopped. I really don't know what to do anymore. I am a vibrant 31 year old who has all this excessive hair growth. Its disgusting and unattractive. I've had at least 10 or 15 laser hair removal treatments which only worked temporarily. I've paid over 2,000 dollars for this procedure over the span of four years. I am really upset about this. I've been thinking about doing threading but don't know if that's good for the neck and face. Any suggestions?
Colazal 750 mg 3x3 daily
6-MP 50 mg (2) daily
Miralax-when needed
Rowasa-when needed
Been diagnosed with UC for 5 years

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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7150
   Posted 4/19/2010 10:05 AM (GMT -7)   
No, I don't. :( I'm sorry, though, because that must be really frustrating and hard on your self-esteem. Have you maybe talked to your OBGYN about this? Perhaps there's some sort of hormonal imbalance that could be causing it. I know that pred causes hair growth, but given the nature of yours, it might be worth exploring a little more.
Co-Moderator, UC Forum
Status: Remission since May 2009!
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son
Diagnosed with pancolitis on 1/30/09
Meds: Apriso (4 0.375g pills ONCE!! daily), mesalamine enema twice weekly, Natural Factors Ultimate probiotic 12/12 Formula, multivitamin.  Used prednisone (starting dose 40 mg) to get into remission.

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   Posted 4/19/2010 10:31 AM (GMT -7)   
The hair growth from Pred typically goes away when you go off the drug, so perhaps there is something else going on as fruitgirl mentioned. You might also consult a dermatologist; there is supposedly a new prescription product that helps prevent facial hair growth.

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Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 312
   Posted 4/19/2010 10:35 AM (GMT -7)   
My acne worsened once off the drug as well. I'm a guy though so the hair thing isn't an issue.
juju / UC Since July 2001
Flares: Jan 2006, Feb 2010
Currently: Flaring since 2/25/10 :(
Meds: Asacol HD 800mg x4/day

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 4/19/2010 1:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Does this seem to be a permanent thing or a temporary one? I had temporary (several months) insane hair growth from prde--my face, neck, back knuckles!!
The writer of the book Coping with Prednisone, recommended Surgi Cream--a hair removal product similiar to Nair, etc, but one that will not burn skin made sensitive by pred. I used it faithfully. It was a giant pain in the butt and I did give up on the back, but I pretty much put it on my face, neck, and knuckles weekly. It made me feel so much better. I have sensitive skin and it did not break out as long as I followed the directions exactly and it did temporarily get rid of the hair. The good news for me was that the hair stopped growing in after I was off the predniosne. Is this not the case for you?

10 years of UC
Currently taking: VSL#3, Apriso, Prednisone, Remicade (first infusion 4/16), Canasa

Ugh Just Ugh
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Date Joined Jan 2010
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   Posted 4/19/2010 5:46 PM (GMT -7)   
I swear I have more NOSE hair. Ewwwww...
Originally Diagnosed: 7/08 Mild left sided UC
Current Flare started 12/26/09: Severe Inflammation through Entire Colon, some patchiness indicates might be Crohn's.
Current Meds: Prednisone 25mg (tapering form 60mg since 4/1/10)
Imuran 150mg, Lialda, Ambien CR 12.5mg, Xanax, Lexapro
Past Meds: Mesalamine Enemas, Canasa Suppositories, Hydrocortisone Enema & Supp. Asacol.

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Date Joined Mar 2008
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   Posted 4/19/2010 6:11 PM (GMT -7)   
It's temporary! But it can be the last thing to go away, in my experience.
I have some luck using exfoliators, the hairs are not particularly strong so it scrubs some of them away.
I also think some of the those new creams to reduce hair growth might help.
49 year old female attorney, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985. 
Asacol for 20+ years with Prednisone & Rowasa for flares (But nothing since Remicade). 
Food sensitivity test by Naturopath showed wheat/gluten, other intolerances, helped some. 
Remicade started April 2009 (Humira denied) and doing great~ learning what normal is~ wow

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 217
   Posted 4/19/2010 6:23 PM (GMT -7)   
i think there's a prescription you can get from a dermatologist.  i get hair growth on my face, chin, eyebrows, knuckles, arms, etc big time while on pred and for awhile while off too while it's still getting out of my system.  i know this sounds funny, but i bought a tiny trimmer "finishing touch lighted hair remover" from bed bath and beyond for $9.99 and i use it on my face, because i have sensitive skin too.  i don't want a hairy face, so i just zip that thing over my face every day or every other day and it works pretty good.  hope that helps!
UC since 1994
35 mg prednisone,50 mg mercaptopurine, folic acid, vitamin D, vegetarian diet

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 4/20/2010 3:25 AM (GMT -7)   
I think I am going to try a different Laser center than the one I've been going to. The doctor spoke to me on the phone yesterday and said that the laser removal is not permanent and the hair can grow back! What's the point then?
Kate- I like the device you mentioned. I am going to check it out.
Surgi cream- I think I have it. I will try it this week.
Thanks for the advice. So annoying!
Colazal 750 mg 3x3 daily
6-MP 50 mg (2) daily
Miralax-when needed
Rowasa-when needed
Been diagnosed with UC for 5 years

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 351
   Posted 4/20/2010 3:59 AM (GMT -7)   
I have had the same experience with the hair growth...especially when i was pregnant. I dealt with it and it did eventually go away. Im back on prednisone now and haven't had that...thank goodness...hoping it won't happen but do have the stupid moonface. Wish there was something to do to get rid of that!!!
Ulcerative colitis (whole colon)
since 2002
 Feeling well....as normal as we can I guess!
  • 6MP 50mg daily
  • Canasa supp prn 
  • Flinstone vitamins
  • Asacol 3 pills 3 times a day....going to change to sulfasalazine
  • Remicade started 9/09
  • tapering off prednsione....been on since 6/09...finally off...but suffering arthritis from it.
  • Had 1st baby 9/15/09!!!!

New Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/22/2010 9:28 PM (GMT -7)   
This is a response to iluvsunflowers15's 4/19 post: This is a long one, but I am a peer who is dealing with the same man-hair problem..

I am 32 and I have a hormone imbalance - polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) that has caused thick hair growth on my chin and upper lip (a very common symptom due to the body producing increased androgens - male hormones). When left unplucked, it looks like straight-up thick manbeard hair and it covers an area on my chin about the size of two silver dollars - one on each side of my jowel, not to mention it's sliding down my neck. Totally obvious. I found that plucking them produces ingrown hairs and dermatitis. So, I tried laser hair removal in Feb. 2010. The laser tech burned my face causing cystic acne which left pits and scars after only one treatment. That, and most if not all of the hair returned within one month.

I recently found a forum on healingwell.com where women were posting who had both UC and POCS. My father had UC (really advanced stages), and my aunt (his sister) has IBS as do I in addition to the POCS. That forum suggests that there may be a link between the two syndromes, or at least that they often occur simotaniously. Increased hair growth occurring after discontinuing steroids may indicate a hormonal imbalance. You might want to see an enodcrinologist about getting your hormones checked out. At the very least, you could research polycystic ovarian syndrome on the healingwell.com website and see if any of the information helps you.

Many laser hair removal clinics will not even work on someone with POCS because the excessive testosterone creates new hair follicles even after the old ones are killed. And though I've heard that you need to undergo several treatments to make it permanent, I won't go back.

Some advice was given to me just yesterday by a skin care specialist while she was examining my excessive man-hair growth problem. She told me that once my hormone imbalance was addressed and corrected, the hair removal should be more permanent. However, she insisted for me not to use the laser procedure: it is too easy to mess up the setting on the laser, and it should only be administered by a doctor (unfortunately for my newly pitted skin, my procedure was not). She then described in detail some of the laser messup horror stories that she saw first-hand where they have permanently bleached, scarred, and damaged skin and nerves. She even told me about a doctor's wife that messed someone up pretty bad with that laser. She said that electrolysis is a much safer way to go for permanent hair removal, so I will probably do that next time. I trust her and she has had years of experience with different people and their skin issues.

In the meantime, I am just going to wax and pluck until I get my hormones figured out with the hope that once they're back in balance the excessive hair growth will slow down. Good luck!

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   Posted 5/22/2010 10:36 PM (GMT -7)   
I recommend trying spironolactone. It can help with hormonal issues, acne and hair growth. I don't know if it would be appropriate for you, I am not a doctor, but I do know that it has helped me. I've done a lot of research on the topic and seen loads of people have positive improvement from using it. You should ask your doctor, I had to ask my GYN for it and she was very understanding and seemed to have experience with other patients using it which made me feel better about taking it for acne. I have ready that you have to take 100mg+ in order to see improvements in facial hair but I have seen people taking 50mg who have had improvments in acne. Definitely ask your doctor.
March 07: Diagnosed with mild proctitis - Canasa as needed
August 08 - December 08: Flare & Anemic - Started Asacol
January 09 - December 09: Remission!!
December 09 - January 10: Massive Flare - Asacol + Prednisone + Canasa / Colazal
Current: Mild Active Pancolitis: Prednisone, Lialda, Cort Enemas, Canasa

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 205
   Posted 5/22/2010 11:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Threading is fabulous. You can have them remove just the longer hairs if you want or go smooth. It hurts the first time and then gets easier (just like waxing). I get microdermabrasion for my UC acne and use benzoyle peroxide. Oh I'm a 14 year cosmetologisy btw.

Ugh Just Ugh
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1004
   Posted 5/23/2010 4:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh! Heidi, I have a question for you! Is threading easier on the skin than waxing? I have some extra facial hair from prednisone as well and was thinking about waxing but my skin is also thinned a bit and was sensitive before the prednisone. Would threading be safer?
Originally Diagnosed: 7/08 Mild left sided UC
Current Flare started 12/26/09: Severe Inflammation through Entire Colon, some patchiness indicates might be Crohn's.
Current Meds: Prednisone 20mg (Trying to taper again!), Imuran 150mg, Apriso, Lexapro (5mg), Xanax (.25mg) as needed.
Past Meds: Mesalamine Enemas, Canasa Suppositories, Hydrocortisone Enema & Supp.
Supplements: Multivitamin, Fish Oil, C, Iron, D, Calcium, Potassium, Bio-K, Primadophilus Reuteri.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 205
   Posted 5/28/2010 1:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, sorry just checked this page. Yes threading, if done correctly, doesnt touch the skin. Its good to thoroughly cleans afterwards because you can still get razorburn from the exposed follicle. Good luck!
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