PCOS and electrology


#1

I just came across a nice piece about electrolysis treatment for women with PCOS.

It’s written by Dr. Ricardo Azziz and Teresa Petricca, Executive Director of the American Electrology Association. Terri Petricca is someone I admire a lot for her work in protecting consumers in the field of hair removal. Dr. Azziz is an OB/GYN on the faculty of U. of Alabama, and a published author on hirsutism and infertility issues.

The article is in PDF format, so it requires Adobe Acrobat to read.

PCOS and electrology (PDF)

[ May 07, 2002, 11:03 AM: Message edited by: Andrea ]


#2

This article has also just been put online in html:

pcosupport.org: PCOS ad electrolysis

[ July 16, 2002, 05:24 PM: Message edited by: Andrea ]


#3

Hi I am new to this forum. Let me just start off by saying I have been looking for a site like this one for some time now. I am very happy I found you. I am a 33 year African American women who has polycyctic ovary diease. I also have all of the symptomes. I began experiencing these symptoms in my 20’s and it has been an up hill battle every since. I have used every diplitory under the sun to try to control my facial hair. My facial hair grows at a very face rate and I have to use the hair removal everyday. My skin where the hair grows is very dark and I have to where make-up everyday all day long. Because I where so much make-up I am often thought to be a man in drag. this is so embarrassing, I am totally depressed and my social life is non existent. I have been in public places and people have pointed at me and said look at that man then started laughing. People stare at me all the time trying to figure out if I am a man or a women. I am afraid to go out with my husband to a public place for fear that someonewill say something to me and my husband or myself will get into a brawl. I had been under a doctor’s care but had to stop treatment due to insurance reasons. What can I do to improve my appearance. I have a gyn appointment in August and I know I will have to see a Endocrinologist. I need to know what hair removel treatment should I start now of should I wait until I see the doctor. :smile:


#4

Hi I am new to this forum. Let me just start off by saying I have been looking for a site like this one for some time now. I am very happy I found you. I am a 33 year African American women who has polycyctic ovary diease. I also have all of the symptomes. I began experiencing these symptoms in my 20’s and it has been an up hill battle every since. I have used every diplitory under the sun to try to control my facial hair. My facial hair grows at a very face rate and I have to use the hair removal everyday. My skin where the hair grows is very dark and I have to where make-up everyday all day long. Because I where so much make-up I am often thought to be a man in drag. this is so embarrassing, I am totally depressed and my social life is non existent. I have been in public places and people have pointed at me and said look at that man then started laughing. People stare at me all the time trying to figure out if I am a man or a women. I am afraid to go out with my husband to a public place for fear that someonewill say something to me and my husband or myself will get into a brawl. I had been under a doctor’s care but had to stop treatment due to insurance reasons. What can I do to improve my appearance. I have a gyn appointment in August and I know I will have to see a Endocrinologist. I need to know what hair removel treatment should I start now of should I wait until I see the doctor.


#5

I’ve been having electrolysis on my face for the past year and a half…

Initially it wasn’t having much effect, but then my doctor managed to get my testosterone levels reduced to normal (I take cyproterone acetate - a.k.a. Androcure, but I think the usual prescription in the USA is Spironolactone). At the same time, he increased my oral prescription dose.

After about 3 months, when I had electrolysis I found the hair just wasn’t coming back.

I asked my electrolysist and she told me that testosterone actually helps the hair to regenerate, so it takes more treatment to ‘kill’ it.
She also said that higher estrogen levels lock the hair in the growth stage, so the treatment is more effective. (The same effect is noted in pregnant women.)

So, I’d say to try to hold off starting treatment until you’ve seen an endocrynologist and got your hormone levels under control: you’ll save money that way.

You could use the time until then to find a suitable electrolysist.
Tonic posted some good advice to me: book free trial sessions with various practitioners until you find one that zaps your hair without causing your skin too much trauma - I didn’t do that, and my face is somewhat damaged.

Good luck, and keep strong!!


#6

Toni, this is very true. Not only does testosterone make existing hairs stronger and harder to kill, it even makes dormonat follicles come to life and datrt generating hairs.

Getting your hormones in check will help reduce the time, money, and possible side effects of hair removal. It should be the first order of business for anyone with PCOS.


#7

Thanks Toni for responding to my post. It really makes me happy to be able to talk to people who really know what I am going through. Thank you for your med names I will surely mention them to my doctor. Thanks for the poem too.
Thank you Andrea for this web site. I don’t know about other women who have PCOS but for me it felt like I was the only women in the world who had this disease.

Toni I am going to take your advice and look around for electrologist so I can start my treatments after I see my doctor.
For the women who are using diplitories like my self I used this one call Marzena (I hope the spelling is right) It worked very good on removing the facial hair and lefted no stuble. I used it a few times. I ran out of it and the store I got it from doesn’t sell it anymore. I have tried to find it on line but have been unsucessful. :frowning:


#8

Awww - that’s OK - I’m glad we could help!! :grin:

As for feeling like you’re the only one with PCOS, you’re definately not!! I’ve not seen any numbers, but my electrolysist says she’s treated quite a few women with it. I think it’s probably far more common that you’d think … :frowning:

BTW - I’m glad you liked the poem - we did Tennyson at school, and this is about the only poem that stuck in my head ever since. It’s got a special relevance for me, and I thought the quote line had a (horrendously out of context!!) relevance to this site… :smile:


#9

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services:

“An estimated five to 10% of women of childbearing age have PCOS (ages 20-40). At least 30% of women have some symptoms of PCOS.”

For more, check out this interesting FAQ:

National Women’s Health Information Center: PCOS FAQ


#10

marie, it’s sad to say, but there are a lot of women who have to deal with comments from others because of unwanted hair. Many doctors, etc. think it’s just a “cosmetic” issue, but you and I know that it causes very real problems that are far more serious than a simple question of vanity.

You face two of the most difficult challenges in hair removal: you have PCOS and are African-American.

AA men and women tend to have a lot more problems with hair removal (shaving bumps, keloids, discoloration from devices like electrolysis and laser). The options for AAs are much more limited and must be done with extreme care.

PCOS adds another layer of difficulty, since the hormonal imbalance caused by the condition can often make hair growth worse.

There is hope, however. You definitely need to get to an experienced endocrinologist for a hormone level check and possible medical intervention like Metformin or anti-androgens.

Definitely head to PCOSuppport.org for help in locating a sympathetic doctor in your area.
PCOSupport.org website

Once that’s dealt with, you might consider looking into a permanent option for facial hair, but only after you get your hormones dealt with. Spending a lot of money on permanent methods now will sort of be like trying to swim upstream. It’s possible, but it will take more effort.

I’m glad to hear that you have a good husband who stands behind you. Many women have to go through this alone, and we all know how important it is to have support and understanding when dealing with a poorly understood medical condition!

I am also very glad you found my little corner of the web, Marie! I will do whatever I can to help you find the information you need. Please let me know if there’s anything else we can help you with! :smile:


#11

</font><blockquote><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>quote:</font><hr /><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Originally posted by Andrea:
<strong>I just came across a nice piece about electrolysis treatment for women with PCOS.

It’s written by Dr. Ricardo Azziz and Teresa Petricca, Executive Director of the American Electrology Association. Terri Petricca is someone I admire a lot for her work in protecting consumers in the field of hair removal. Dr. Azziz is an OB/GYN on the faculty of U. of Alabama, and a published author on hirsutism and infertility issues.

The article is in PDF format, so it requires Adobe Acrobat to read.

PCOS and electrology (PDF)</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Hi Andrea,
I learned about Dr. Ricardo Azziz from a lady that did my electrolysis in FL. I mentioned to her about my PCOS and told her that I may be moving back to AL. I was diagnosed with PCOS in FL, by a Infertility specialist I was seeing there. When I moved to AL, I asked to see Dr Azziz in Birmingham. I had many visits to him, and was also diagnosed with NCAH by him. He is a wonderful doctor, and I would go see him again. but… He is no longer in Alabama, he moved this summer to California. :frowning:
His information is helpful though…