I feel so bad

  1. I just started working in an ab/gyn office and yesterday the doctor went in to see a patient. This young woman (approx 30 years old) asked the dr if there was anything that could be done about the hair around her nipples. She showed it to the doctor and it was dark hair that she obviously felt uncomfortable about. He told her nothing could be done because tweezing it would lead in ingown hairs and depilatories would be too strong to use in that area. His behavior seemed very uncaring. I was sure it must have been difficult for this woman to speak up. She looked so upset and the doctor and I left the room to allow her to get dresses. Can nothing really be done to remove this hair and could this be a sign of something more serious?
  2. Visit LovebugLPN profile page

    About LovebugLPN

    Joined: Aug '06; Posts: 306; Likes: 271
    from US
    Specialty: 7 year(s) of experience in LTC, Home Health

    13 Comments

  3. by   walker shaw
    Wouldn't electrolysis work?

    Tweezing would hurt, could lead to ingrown hairs, and the hair will come back.

    Dilapatories might not be good due to sensitivity as the doctor said (and speaking of sensitivity, sounds like the doctor might need a refresher course in sensitivity training IMHO)

    But electrolysis is supposed to permanently remove unwanted hair, which I assume is what the patient wanted. Only question I have is whether electrolysis could in any way harm her milk ducts, etc. I wouldn't think so, but that is the only concern I can think of.
  4. by   jjjoy
    With tweezing, ingrown hairs can be a problem, but not everyone experiences that. A few ingrowns aren't dangerous anyway, are they? I've never heard of anyone discouraging tweezing nipple hair. Should I be more concerned?

    I agree that it was rather insensitive of the doc to be so dismissive. I've found many docs to be this way. If something doesn't fit into a neat, easily addressed problem and doesn't seem to be a health threat then too many docs just dismiss it. Even if they can't do anything, it sure feels better if they listen and acknowledge the concern.
  5. by   LPN_mn
    I have been tweezing the hair around my nipples since the birth of my first child 23 years ago and have never had a problem. My girlfriend had electrolysis and it worked great for her.
  6. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Our docs recommend electrolysis.
  7. by   Curls105
    I tweeze mine. Never really had a problem!
  8. by   whiskeygirl
    How about laser hair removal? It would be permanent. And, I would think that the laser txs would be easier (less painful) than tweezing.
  9. by   CEG
    I can't believe I am typing this on a public message board but I am another nipple tweezer with no issues :imbar Just a few dark hairs, but I have never had a problem with ingrown hairs.
  10. by   LovebugLPN
    I felt really bad for this woman. Could it be indicating a possible hormone inbalance? I mean this was not just a few sparse hairs and she also had some chest hair and chin hair. I was just thinking it may be something more.
  11. by   cardiacRN2006
    I think it's normal, but sometimes abnormal hair growth can indicate PCOS.
  12. by   weirdRN
    I thought hair around the nipples was supposed to be normal. I read approximately 30-50 hairs at any given time.

    Our culture seems to be such that women are expected to be smooth all over. Therefore, many people assume that ANY hair is abnormal when that just isn't the case. Maybe playboy models are perfectly smooth but normal women are not.

    Hirsutism is the abnormal overgrowth of male pattern hair on a female's body. That means excessive facial and chest hair. Not a little hair around the nipples.
  13. by   Keepstanding
    Quote from cardiacRN2006
    I think it's normal, but sometimes abnormal hair growth can indicate PCOS.
    What is PCOS ???
  14. by   CRNI-ICU20
    You are all starting to sound like my neighbor.....whom I hardly know....who told me that she dyes her pubic hair to match her head of hair....she said this to me without the benefit of alcohol or valium....HA! (people tell nurses anything....we are such safe listeners!!)
    But....SINCE YOU BROUGHT THIS UP....AND I AM READING THIS AND RESPONDING....(oh...bruther)
    tweezers hurt....laser is good
    but the other issue you brought up is good!!
    The increased hair growth on chin, chest, and other parts of the body could be a hormone imbalance, and the doc could be nudged?? to consider some blood tests? Like a pituitary gland that isn't working due to TUMOR??
    Sometimes, after the birth/pregnancy a woman's body has trouble getting the hormonal balance back...and too much testosterone is being hung on to....and not enought estrogen and progesterone in balance...
    This can be due to lots of reasons....but bear in mind, they are not to be just 'blown off'.....so I think your gut instinct about this woman was correct...
    If she's getting whacky periods, or no periods....
    If she's developing more male characteristics...like a deeper voice, etc...
    If she's having weight changes that involve more muscle mass, and less body fat mass
    If she's growing hair in places women usually do not grow hair
    If she's changing metabolically.....like thyroid function...etc...
    These are cardinal signs....
    I would lean on that doc a little...and ask him in a nice way if he could reconsider doing some blood work on her....
    you might throw in a few good articles on the subject....tell him you ran across these and 'they reminded me of so and so...thought you might like to see these, let me know what you think about them"....
    He may not be approachable....
    If she comes in again, or developes further symptoms....I would push for her to get some tests done....after all, you are her ADVOCATE....
    good luck....and great question...heheheh!!

close