March 20, 2012


Girls, I am sick again.  Unexpected downside to working with kids, I guess.  Viruses come and go through that place like its a hotel.  So, as a combined break for my throbbing head and the granting of a request, I'm going to use this week's post to share some beardy pictures.  Of my beard.

The only successful photos I have are from before I started treatment and after I finally decided what treatment to go with, so I really don't think they're the best example of how the various meds have worked on me.  But if they're at all helpful to you, Anonymous, or any other readers who haven't asked, I will be happy. 

These are from November 2009, before my first visit to the endocrinologist.  I believe I had just been sick in bed for a week or so, so the hair on my face is quite a bit longer (and much of the acne and irritation caused by shaving is absent).  You may have seen the first one on tumblr.  Click for large size:

Below are the only other photos where you can actually see the facial hair, and they're from January 2012, just after my most recent endo appointment.  I'd been on Spiro since the first photos were taken (with a brief break on Finasteride), and on Spiro with Diane-35 for 6 months.  This is about two days growth, which I was able to cultivate thanks to a brief break before starting my new job:

You can see the beard has really thinned out, especially on the sides of the face and under the jaw.  I mean, look, the neck-beard is almost gone!  But there's still plenty on the chin which is why I still complain about shaving every day.  Your results might be different if you try this treatment--they could be disappointing, or they could be even more satisfying.  My endo says its rare for Spiro to completely clear up facial hair, especially if your hirsutism was as severe as mine (or worse), but you won't know for sure until you try, right?

For those of you just joining us, I usually post photos of how the different meds worked on my stomach hair.  If you want to see those, try any of the tags below, like "medical" or "spiro."


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting these! It looks like spiro is working very well for you. I'm really hoping I'll have some results with it. Did spiro have any effect on your skin? Mine gets pretty irritated from shaving so I'm hoping that also gets better.

Really, I appreciate the pictures. It's comforting knowing there are others out there dealing with this everyday. :)

Carly said...

I think it's fantastic that you posted those pictures. Brave lady! It seems like the med regimen is really working for you. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I think its really good of you (and brave) to post those pictures. Apart from all the obvious reasons, it also shows that we are different, our hairs (and the way they grow, along with the reasons for their existence) are different and our treatments would be different. I want to mention it just to point out that we're not all going to get same meds. So if anyone thinks - Al's got spiro and it helps but my gyn told me to shave forever which means my gyn is stupid - that may not always be correct. As Al knows, I've been on spiro twin for some time and not only did it not help but also caused some damage. I guess what I am saying is - we need to be careful when we self-diagnose and accept the diagnose the doctor gives. Which is not always easy... s.

Allerleirah said...

Anonymous 1 - Irritation from shaving has stayed the same, but my skin is definitely less oily and more resilient to spots and acne... things that were definitely exacerbated by shaving.

Absolutely my pleasure. Starting Spiro was rather scary for me and I wished I had had pictures like these to look that. I might have felt more confident that I was on the right path.

It is a comfort to me, too, so thank you so much for commenting!

Carly - Getting braver the more encouragment I get from other brave ladies like yourself!

You know, if I didn't see photo evidence, I wouldn't be quite sure myself, since I still have to shave every day as always to hide it, but the proof is right there in the pudding.

Soph - Absolutely; each situation is different, and self-diagnosis is dangerous. I hope all my readers are aware that these photos are meant only to show my experience with the medication that works for me, a woman with idiopathic hirsutism.

Anonymous said...

Hi Al, i'm Maria and i write from Italy (sorry for my poor English :))
I just want to say: thank you.
hirsutism has overwhelmed my life in this last months. I don't know why, but facial and body hair started to think that i'm such a good place for them :D
My body is changing and i cannot stop it. it's not easy to love and to accept a body that i don't recognize, that it's so different from the body i used to have.

Read your blog, read that there are other girls in the world with my problem, read that i CAN LIVE with my problem and i can -it's incredible- BE's such a miracle.

thank you, with all my heart and my awful english ;)

Allerleirah said...

Hi Maria, and thank you for your heartfelt expressions!

I didn't feel it was possible to live as a hirsute woman and be happy, either. It comes with time and being good to yourself in other ways. You are still the same person, only made stronger by this challenge. It's scary, watching it happen. I remember seeing it get worse every year, trying to ignore it, wondering why it was happening to me. But hirsutism can change you in good ways, too. And as so many courageous women have shown, it is definitely possible to accept being hirsute! I draw so much encouragement from them.

Jeff said...

hope Im not outta line here, but I think that's sexy as hell. Women shouldn't be made to feel insecure because of their unique beauty.

jenn macfar said...


i have the same problem. doctors can´t explain my goatee, because all my hormones are in check. they think i have hypersensitivity to the hormones i do have. the receptors are just going off. i too have spent countless dollars on laser treatments that don´t work. so a couple of questions:

the doctor offered to put me on a birth control pill which i tried before, it lightly reduced the hair, but i don´t want to use it now in case i want to try to have kids. is there anything else you have been prescribed that you know from experience really works?? i.e. medications, creams, type of laser?

my expereince with IPL laser was that it didn´t work as well as the diode (light sheer). With the light sheer, the hair fell out, but grew back in.

Like you, i would like to find the best method to make this permanent. My self esteem goes through loops because of it. I have been diagnosed with 8 different problems from 8 different shrinks as a consequence. what they don´t want to see is that antidepressents wouldn´t be necessary, if they would just treat the root of the problem; the fact that the FACIAL HAIR is what is affecting my self esteem, and that i just can´t "get over it"

but the health insurance won´t pay for it, because they still see it as an "aesthetic" problem I have to pay for privately. it basically f*cking blows...