Causes for Leg & Under Arm Hair Loss in Women

By Paul Favors

  • Overview

    Women often spend a lot of time and effort getting rid of leg and underarm hair. However, when there is a sudden loss of hair in these areas, it may be indicative of some other condition. If there is an inexplicable loss of hair in the legs and underarm, a consultation with a licensed medical professional is recommended to find out the cause of the problem.
  • Hormonal Imbalance

    Hormones are one of the major determinants when it comes to a woman's hair loss. Oftentimes, women who have given birth will experience hair loss in the underarms and legs. This is because pregnant women have such high levels of hormones that hair that would normally fall out doesn't. Once hormone levels return to normal, the hair is no longer retained. A decrease in estrogen in a woman's body during menopause is another example of how hormones can affect hair loss.
  • Malnutrition

    The levels of vitamins and minerals could be a factor in whether or not a woman will lose hair on her legs and underarms. For example, biotin is needed by the body to strengthen the hair. If there is a biotin deficiency, hair will most likely fall out in certain areas of the body. In this situation, levels can be increased through a supplement and eating food rich in biotin, such as liver and eggs. An iron deficiency can also contribute to hair loss in the underarms and legs.

  • Trauma

    Hair follicles can be damaged when they are exposed to severe trauma. When this occurs, hair in the traumatized areas can fall off. Trauma can be caused by thermal burns from fire or excessive sunbathing. Chemical burns, such from the use of creams and lotions, can also cause hair loss in these particular areas. Chronic tension on the hair shaft can also cause the hair to fall out. Unfortunately, damaged hair follicles are usually an irreversible condition resulting in permanent hair loss.
  • Illnesses

    Some illnesses such as thyroid disease can cause hair loss. When the body produces too much or too little of the hormone thyroid, it can produce strands of hair that are easily pulled out by the stress it is exposed too. Fortunately, this particular kind of hair loss in women is reversible. Once the thyroid problem is treated, hair loss is halted and hair is replaced within a few months. Some infections caused by bacterias and viruses can also cause hair loss in the infected area. Folluculitis and herpes simplex are some examples of infections which can result in hair loss.
  • Medication

    Hair loss can also be a side effect of taking medication to treat a certain illness. Medicine used to treat cancer and radiation can cause hair from all over the body to fall out. Blood thinners such as heparin are also culprits when it comes to overall hair loss. Other medications that are known to disrupt hair growth processes are the antidepressants tricylclics and amphetamines, as well as some drugs to treat ulcers, such as cimetidine and ranitidine.
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