Facial hair
February 24, 2005 10:16 PM   Subscribe

I'm female and have girly facial hair to boot (i.e., peach fuzz). But, a few pores on my face predictably sprout whiskery, dark hairs. They're always in the same place. Why? What's up with these specific holes?
posted by mudpuppie to Grab Bag (15 answers total)
Response by poster: (And also, I think in three days I'll probably be kicking myself for wasting a question on this. Still, I want to know.)
posted by mudpuppie at 10:17 PM on February 24, 2005

I can't really tell you why, but you're not alone. It happens to me too and I know my mother had the same problem. I guess we keep the tweezer companies in business.
posted by amandaudoff at 10:40 PM on February 24, 2005

Best answer: androgen production perhaps.
Here is a quickie link (product site I think)

Here is a longer, better article, but is pdf.
posted by edgeways at 11:01 PM on February 24, 2005

You can clense it with fire.

(Where fire = laser hair removal).
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:36 AM on February 25, 2005

Same thing happens to me. The little buggers grow out of the middle of an old scar. Before the cut, no hairs. Go figure.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 1:21 AM on February 25, 2005 [1 favorite]

With me, it's an androgen thing. I have polycystic ovaries (and is mentioned in the link), which is really not as bad as it sounds, but mainly, means that my hormones don't get produced at the right rate and I have extra male hormones lying around, leading the occasional dark hair in places that are undesirable. (Also, wildlyirregular periods! And sometimes acne! (I do not suffer especially from this symptom, but some do, apparently)). It is not a big deal, but fun, it is not.
posted by SoftRain at 2:03 AM on February 25, 2005

Um, you're a mammal. Mammals grow hair.
posted by alana at 5:03 AM on February 25, 2005

fwiw this happens to men too. i have a few "spots" which grow hairs noticeably thicker and darker than normal facial hair. i think is at the site of where i had a boil (yuck) when i was a little kid.
posted by andrew cooke at 5:38 AM on February 25, 2005

Most cells in our bodies have certain basins of attraction in their development. This is why mutant fruit flies sometimes grow legs for antennae, the mutation doesn't just create something crazy, it puts the right body part in the wrong place, the mutation just bumps the group of cells in a different basin of attraction.

Now onto the question: For skin cells those basins are likely sebum glands, sweat glands, & the two types of hair, vellus (peach fuzz) and terminal hair (the dark stuff). When something traumatic happens to a bunch of cells (like a boil, a tetanus shot, a mole removed, or what have you), I wouldn't be surprised to see them bumped into another basin, like the fruit fly antennae.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:55 AM on February 25, 2005 [1 favorite]

Similar situ as SoftRains with a bit of nakedcodemonkeys scar phenomenon thrown in for good measure. I've been on all sorts of hormone treatments for my endometriosis (which can also be not as bad as it sounds in case any newly diagnosed endo-gals are watching) and since I've been on the androgynous Danocrine drug/hormone, I get a few stray manly hairs in my chin scar and a few other spots I'd rather not mention. (ugh) I have tried plucking and waxing, plucking is best as waxing takes the peachfuzz as well which does not bother me at all, but their regrowth can cause small pimples. If it keeps up I'll hit the lasers.
posted by dabitch at 7:36 AM on February 25, 2005

I am so glad someone asked about this-- I have been wondering the same thing for years! I call those occassional dark, thick hairs my "whiskers". And they are ALWAYS in the same spot. My mom has 'em too...
posted by fabesfaves at 7:52 AM on February 25, 2005

Response by poster: Um, you're a mammal. Mammals grow hair.

Um, read the question again, alan.

Thanks for the help, everyone. The pdf is great, edgeways. Who knew -- once a hair switches over, it can't go back. Makes sense from an empirical evidence standpoint, but I wonder why?
posted by mudpuppie at 10:49 AM on February 25, 2005

I have the same problem and i spoke to the dermatologist about laser hair removal. Apparently i'm not a good candidate for that either because i'm black, and it could lead to scarring/keloids. So basically there's nothing i can do but just keep buying tweezers! I find however that when the hairs are growing back (chin, concentrated on one spot) it hurts like hell, like i have pins pricking my face. Any suggestions besides hydrocortizone? Thanks. (sorry for piggybacking off your question mudpuppie)
posted by ramix at 11:44 AM on February 25, 2005

The illustration on the Vaniqa site is unusual, and I'm guessing not intended as realistic. I found the pdf useful too. Specifically, the following info from it indicates that "You can clense it with fire" is not certain.

The only permanent way of removing excessive hair is by "electrolysis"...Lasers have also been used for the treatment of unwanted facial hair. Their effect is not usually permanent.
posted by PY at 12:20 PM on February 25, 2005

I'm not the only one!

I have a few on my chin and around my belly button. I hate them and pluck them when I can. The problem is that the area becomes red and irritated and the hairs come back ingrown.

Has anyone any experience with electrolysis?
posted by Constant Reader at 1:20 PM on February 25, 2005

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