Why transsexuals have less body hair


I got the letter below the other day:

</font><blockquote><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>quote:</font><hr /><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”> Hi there, I just wanted to ask you a quick question. I have tried laser
hair removal and it simply does not work.

My question is, why is it a person who has a sex change does not have
all of the hair? Is there some way through surgery that the hair can be
removed? Is it simply drugs, shaving or a combination, or can some type
of surgery actually do the job? Lastly, I had a deep cut on my leg, and
no hair grows in that area, this is why I ask, can sugery somehow be a
solution? By the way, I am a male.
</font><hr /></blockquote><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>The main reason is the elimination of androgens through anti-androgenic oral medications. These drugs require a prescription and have significant side effects. They can cause strain on the kidneys, and they also can cause serious sexual dysfunction in males and sterility. For these reasons, they are rarely given to males.

In addition, they can have a feminizing effect that changes fat redistribution, metabolism, skin and hair texture, and a host of other body changes. While these changes are welcome for transsexuals, they are generally not welcomed for non-transsexuals, especially males.

Having said that, even with anti-androgens, it’s rare to eliminate body hair. Usually, it reduces the amount and rate of growth, but the effect takes a long time and varies widely by individuals. The younger you are when you start, the more likely you will have a beneficial result. Most transsexual women still need to do some hair removal on thei bodies, although oral anti-androgens can cut the amount of hair removal needed significantly.

As far as your scar, that tissue does not contain follicles. It’s also possible to damage sorrounding follicles when you have a serious skin injury like a deep cut or serious burn. In fact, all that the permanent methods of hair removal do is cause permanent scarring (in a very tiny spot the follicle) while sparing the surrounding tissue.

As you might guess, this is easier said than done. Doctors have tried all sorts of surgical options, like tiny little bores that ripped out individula follicles, or attempting to scrape away follicles by cutting open the skin and digging them out or cauterizing them from the underside. This usually caused very bad scarring, and is currently only used on skin that’s being prepared for grafts.

Hair removal is a big challenge, and there’s no perfect answer yet.