Lifestyle

6 things your body hair says about your health

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Having body hair is normal, and most of us try to get rid of them as soon as we see them.


Did you know there are approximately 5 million hair follicles on a human body? While this might fascinate you, what’s interesting is that your body hair may tell you more about your overall health and well-being as well.

The fine hair that covers your body is made up of vellus hairs, also known as terminal hair. This makes up for eyebrows, eyelashes, chin, under your arms, pubic area and pop up in the scalp.

While some people have little hair on their body, others have it darker and coarser. Well, studies suggest that most of it have to do with your genes.

But when your body hair changes suddenly, it can be a tip-off that something might be wrong elsewhere.

Have you noticed unusual hair growth on your body? Here’s what you need to know:

1. Your hormones are out of whack

Hormones known as androgens are the main reason that body hair develop. Even though they are referred to as male hormones, both men and women produce them. A sudden increase in these hormones in a woman’s body may lead to male-pattern hair growth. Also, when the estrogen levels decrease during menopause, and testosterone levels rise, it may lead to hair thinning while the hair on your face may become coarser.

2. You have iron deficiency

Have you noticed a significant hair loss on your body? Noticeable hair loss on your body and hair can mean anaemia or iron deficiency in your blood. When you don’t have enough iron in your body, it becomes unable to produce the haemoglobin in your blood. Haemoglobin is a protein that carries oxygen for growth and repair of the cells in your body. It is also responsible to stimulate hair growth.

3. PCOS could be the reason

PCOS is a metabolic and hormonal imbalance that affects an estimated 1 in every 5 women in India. It is linked with weight gain due to hormonal changes and imbalances in the body. This can lead to many symptoms including irregular periods, acne, hair thinning, too much hair on the face, chin or other parts.

4. An underactive thyroid may be present

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located on the front of your neck. It is responsible to secrete hormones that help control the way your body uses energy. When you don’t produce this hormone, it could lead to problems such as hair loss. So, if you are losing hairs from eyebrows, you should your thyroid levels checked.

5. You are suffering from an autoimmune problem

In some cases, changes in your body hair could be a result of autoimmune conditions. In such cases, your immune system may start attacking your hair follicles, which may start to lose hair in circular patches from your scalp, eyebrows and eyelashes.

While these changes could be a sign of an underlying disease, it doesn’t always mean that something is wrong. Sometimes, it is part of normal hair shedding and regrowth. But if you are developing new changes in the hair, make sure to talk to a doctor.