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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Auricular Hypertrichosis aka Ear Hair

     Before you were born, your body had soft hair all over, including your ears. This is called lanugo. It can sometimes take a few weeks for it to go away, especially for babies who are born early. But, when you get old, at least if you are a man, ear hair can come back with a vengeance. 
     It’s rare, but babies born to women with diabetes can have hairy ears. Studies show that the better a woman controls it while pregnant, the less likely the baby is to have it. 
     But, what about ear hair you see on old men...rampant tufts of hair springing out of their nose and ears and eyebrows that look like a caterpillar? It can be comical, but it can also cause problems. 
     Ear hair generally refers to the terminal hair arising from folliculary cartilage inside the external auditory meatus in humans, but it can also include the fine vellus hair covering much of the ear. 
Ear geometry

     Hair growth within the ear canal is often observed to increase in older men...together with increased growth of nose hair. Excessive hair growth within or on the ear is known medically as auricular hypertrichosis. 

# Hair that migrates so that it touches the eardrum may cause tinnitus. 
# Folliculitis of ear hair may cause acute and localized infections. 
# Severe hypertrichosis of the external ear during minoxidil therapy, where excessive hair covers the ears, may cause ear canal occlusion, potentially resulting in partial or complete deafness. 

     Scientists don't exactly know what causes excessive hair to sprout like weeds from places like the ears and nostrils but Dr. David Liebovitz, an associate professor of Medicine at Northwestern University, guesses that it has to do with hormones and the life cycle of hair. 
     Hairs grow in three stages: anagen - head hair naturally remains in the anagen phase for an extended period of time, up to several years. Catagen - hair on your arms moves on to the phase in a matter of weeks. This stage is when hair stops growing and transitions to the… dormant telogen phase - hair stops lengthening and eventually falls out naturally through shedding or external trauma such as pulling. 
    Dr. Liebovitz says some types of hair develop anagen sensitivity as we grow older. The long term exposure of hair follicles to hormones such as testosterone will disrupt and lengthen their growing period. That's why nose, ear, and eyebrow hair can grow like weeds as we age. 
     Testosterone is produced in hair follicles and different areas of hair on the body respond to testosterone differently. Testosterone causes hair to grow in the beard, pubic, and underarm area, and it causes hair to shrink on the scalp, which develops into thinning hair or hair loss. 
     When young, this manly substance fills a man's whole body, but it evaporates with age. The result is hair grows on the ears and out the nose, but not on the head. 
     There used to be a lot of beliefs about ear hair that have been proven to be false. It used to be thought that hairy ears were an inherited trait that was passed along on the Y (male) chromosomes, but nobody believes that anymore.
     Back in 1984, a couple of doctors announced that hair in the ear canal plus a crease in the ear lobe were signs that you were susceptible to heart attack. In 1985 the doctors conceded that hairy, creased ears were pretty useless as a predictor of a heart attack. In the 1984 study it was found 74 percent of the men had hairy ears, but you couldn't tell how old they were based solely on volume. 
     Generally hairy ears won’t cause any serious health problems, but most men want it removed. This can be accomplished by... 
Shaving. The results won’t last long; it will grow back in 1–3 days. 
Plucking. Use tweezers to grab the base and yank it out. Since it will come out by the root, it can take 1–8 weeks for it to grow back. 
Waxing. The results will last for 2–8 weeks. After you spread the wax on, it hardens, then pull the wax off quickly, which also pulls out the hair. 
Hair removal cream (depilatories) Use them only on the outer part of your ear. 
Laser hair removal. It take s a pro, it's expensive and can take 6–8 sessions, but it gets rid of the hair forever. 
     Let's talk about nose hair. First, a lot of nerves are routed through nose hair follicles which explains why yanking them out can hurt. 
     The thick, black hairs usually start to creep out of the nostrils around the age of thirty and it keeps getting worse and it can grow as much as one third of an inch per month. It can grow as much as 1/3 of an inch per month! 
     Many experts assert that nose hair growth is linked to an increase in the hormone dihytestosterone (DHT), which is more prevalent in men than women, and is the hormone responsible for causing male pattern baldness. 
     We have nose hair for several reasons. It acts as a barrier against bacteria and germs floating in the air, invisible to the naked eye. Secondly nose hair warms and moistens the air we breathe. 

Why you shouldn't pluck your nose hair.

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