Hair on top of foot

The Reason Why Long, Dark Hairs Pop Up in Weird Spots

It can be startling—and embarrassing—to find random hairs popping up in places you wouldn’t expect them, like on your chin, nose, toes and breasts. Turns out it’s quite common, especially as you get older. Here’s the scoop on why it happens and how to get rid of them for good.

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Why it’s happening:
It could be a harmless gene mutation. If you randomly find one long, dark hair, it may be that a single hair follicle diverted from its normal path. Atlanta dermatologist Angela Love Bookout, MD says, “The growth phase in a hair‘s lifecycle determines its characteristics, such as its length and diameter. At any point, a gene mutation of a single follicle, due to trauma or environmental influences, can result in a longer, darker hair. And, once it has mutated, it will continue to grow that way.”

It most likely related to your hormones. New York dermatologist Debbie Palmer, MD says that women in their 40s or 50s often experience hair growth in areas they hadn’t previously. “Androgens (male hormones), specifically testosterone, are responsible for the changes,” she explains. “Estrogen levels decrease during menopause, creating a disruption in the balance between estrogen and testosterone that can cause hair to grow darker or longer.”

Miami dermatologist Marcy Alvarez-Pinsly agrees, saying hormonal influences can make dark hairs (or “man hairs” as her patients call them) pop up in less-desirable places such as the cheeks, lower face or around the areola. “It can also be a familial or ethnic trait, so context is important,” she says. However, Washington, D.C. dermatologist Sarika Snell, MD says hypertrichosis—excessive hair growth that is not related to hormones and typically caused by medications or medical conditions—is also possible, although not as common.

How to get rid of them:
Pluck individual hairs or use a depilatory. “Plucking a random hair may work better than shaving it because there is typically a longer time for regrowth when you pluck,” says Dr. Palmer. Depilatory creams are another effective solution, as they work to dissolve hair at the skin’s surface without any pain. Some depilatories also reduce the density and length of the hair so that it grows back lighter, shorter and less frequently. To target an individual hair at it’s root, try a pair of tweezers that light up your trouble spot, like Tweezerman Exertweeze Lighted Slant Tweezer ($27). And to keep hairs at bay in general, use Nair Facial Hair Remover Cream ($7), a daily moisturizer with depilatory benefits that leaves skin super smooth.

Use an at-home hair removal device. If you’re looking for a more permanent answer, Dr. Bookout suggests laser hair removal, which she says is considered the gold-standard for those with darker hair. “The advent of FDA-approved, do-it-yourself laser and light-based hair removal systems has made these pesky hairs easier to treat on your own at home. I consider these systems safe as long as you follow the manufacturer’s directions.” We like TRIA Hair Removal Laser Precision ($299), which has been shown to deliver impressive results in as little as three weeks.

Try in-office laser hair removal. When DIY methods aren’t producing the results you hoped for, it may be time to see a doctor. “Some at-home hair removal systems aren’t advised for those with certain hair or skin colors, but a dermatologist has access to different tools and technologies,” says Dr. Bookout. “For lighter skin types with dark hair, I suggest the BBL laser, and for darker skin types with dark hair, the Nd:YAG laser. Both will reduce unwanted hair.” Laser hair removal also requires multiple sessions—sometimes up to six—to experience results.

Opt for electrolysis. Electrolysis uses applies a minuscule amount of electricity to the base of the hair follicle to destroy it and permanently remove unwanted hair. “The only permanent way to truly remove the hair is by electrolysis,” says Fort Lauderdale, FL dermatologist Dr. Matthew Elias. “While lasers may diminish these hairs for a while, hormonally controlled hairs typically always return.”

See a doctor. “If you find yourself becoming hairier than usual—a condition known as hirsutism—it is time to see your dermatologist or internist for a medical workup,” says Dr. Alvarez-Pinsly. This can be related to an underlying medical conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and should be determined sooner rather than later.

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Every woman expects to find dark hair on her legs, armpits, and lady parts. But dark strands in other spots—like around your nipples or on your big toe—may seem a little…alarming. Chances are you’ve looked in the mirror and convinced yourself you’re the only one with a random smattering of out-of-place body hairs. There’s no way your friends have black toe hair, right?

Wrong. They all probably do—if not on their toes, than on some other part you’re not likely to see on a waxing menu. They’re just also feeling self-conscious and quietly shaving it off so that no one will know their dark secret, either. But if you have hair in any of the places below, rest assured you’re not the only one. And it’s totally, completely normal. There, we said it. Secret’s officially out.

1. Nipples

Hair on the areola (the skin surrounding the nipple) is actually completely normal and more common than you think. “It’s thought that roughly 30 percent of women have hair growth in this area, but the number is likely higher as many women probably don’t mention it to their doctor,” Sejal Shah, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and RealSelf advisor, tells SELF. “Like most areas of the skin, the areola contains hair follicles, so it’s not surprising that those hair follicles would sprout hairs.” Most women have anywhere from 2-15 hairs on each side, she says. Regular hormonal changes from things like puberty, pregnancy, or menopause, or medications like birth control, can spark their growth. However, nipple hair can also be a side effect of a hormonal problem like PCOS, “so if you feel that your hair growth is rapid, abnormal or thicker than it should be,” or if you have other symptoms of PCOS, see your doctor.

2. Belly

You know, that line from your belly button to your lady parts. “Having fine hair on the abdomen is pretty common but occasionally a few thicker longer hairs may develop and this can be completely normal,” Shah says. Like most body hair, it’s typically more common in women with darker hair and/or skin. “Like nipple hair, it is due to normal hormonal shifts and genetics.”

3. Moles

“Moles are collections of pigment-producing cells, or melanocytes,” Shah explains. “If the mole contains a hair follicle, the excess pigment from the excess melanocytes causes the hair to be darker and coarser.” Having a hair or two growing out of a mole doesn’t mean there’s anything fishy going on—in fact, dermatologists say it probably means the mole is healthy. Of course, you should always take stock of any moles or other skin spots and keep a close eye out for potential signs of skin cancer.

4. Knuckles and toes

Slipping into sandals and noticing a few extra-long black hairs on your toe might be unsettling. It’s likely they’ve been there since puberty, though. “It’s usually genetic and normal hormonal shifts as we age can cause the hair to become thicker and darker,” Shah says.

5. Chin

If you look very closely, you’ll probably notice fine hairs all over your face, “but some women have darker, thicker hairs in the chin area,” Shah notes. Just a few that pop up every now and then is normal, thanks to genetics and regular hormonal fluctuations. Give them a quick tweeze and call it a day. But if the hair is very thick and coarse, or you have more than just a few strands, it could be a sign your hormones are out of whack. “It may still be normal, but it’s probably best to see your doctor to ensure you don’t have a hormonal issue that could be causing the hair growth,” Shah recommends.

Chin, Tummy, Neck… How To Get Rid Of Hair In Weird Places!

It’s every girl’s dream to have a body free of unwanted hair, with no trace of annoying fuzz whatsoever. Life would be so much easier right? Well in reality, hair can grow in the most strangest places on different parts of your body. So here are 10 ways to reduce hair growth in weird places. From your chin to your butt, here’s how to zap it all!

1. On Your Chin


Every woman out there has hair on her chin. The only difference is that some have light, fine hair that isn’t too visible, while others have it dark and thick. If you fall under the latter, it could be due to hormonal imbalances or genetics. Hirsutism could also cause the body to produce excess chin hair. To be sure, have a dermatologist take a look at it.
Remove It: Avoid waxing or using hair removal creams in this area because it will not just irritate your skin but will also create redness and swelling. You can try tweezing if the growth isn’t too thick and if you have the patience. Otherwise, threading is a safe and quick option. Book an appointment with your salon lady today!

2. On Your Nipples

Hair around the nipples is more common than you think it is. It’s caused when there are fluctuations in hormonal levels during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. Consumption of birth control pills too can trigger excess hair production. It can also be caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome. Consult your dermatologist and take medication to treat it accordingly.
Remove It: Since waxing can be too harsh on your delicate skin, and bringing a razor near your nipples is a terrible idea, give tweezing a shot! Laser treatment around the areola is also safe. It will consist of 4-5 treatments that are expensive but it will eliminate nipple hair for good!

3. Too Long Nose Hair


Having nose hair is a common body trait. It’s important because it prevents the pathogens, germs, dust particles and bacteria in the environment from making their way to your respiratory system. If you notice that you have longer nostril hair than most of your friends, it’s mainly because of hormonal imbalance.
Remove It: Using a nose trimmer is a quick and easy solution to remove long nose hair. If you don’t want to buy a trimmer, using a pair of scissors will do a good job at removing it too!

4. On Your Stomach

It’s fairly common to have excess hair around the navel. This is a problem that loads of Indian girls face and it can also occur after pregnancy. It could get embarrassing especially when you want to wear your favourite saree or bikini. However, there’s always a solution!
Remove It: Since tweezing could take forever and cause your skin discomfort, waxing, bleaching, going under the laser and using hair removal creams are fantastic options as well. We think waxing will be your best bet!

5. On Your Back


Too embarrassed to wear your backless dress or blouse because of hair on your back? Well, don’t be! It’s to do with genetics and fluctuations in your hormonal levels. You can either choose to live with it or remove it by trying a hair removal method.
Remove It: Laser treatment is a long-lasting and effective treatment. If that’s not your cup of tea, maybe waxing is a better option. You can also simply try a hair removal cream at home to remove hair at back.

6. On Your Butt

You’ll be surprised to know that this one too is a common phenomenon. While it maintains body temperature it also prevents foreign particles from entering and irritating skin. After removing the hair on your butt, read about how to make it smooth and bootyful here.
Remove It: Getting rid of hair up your butt is part of Brazilian wax girls, that’s proof enough of how common it is! Waxing is the best way to banish butt hair.

7. On Your Knuckles


Hair on your knuckles and toes can get super annoying. While some women don’t have it, others do. You can blame it on genetics!
Remove It: Waxing, plucking using a tweezer or simply using a hair removal cream will make the skin on your fingers and toes feel smooth and soft.

8. On Your Ears

Fine hair on the outer skin on the rim of your ear can make you feel self conscious of tying a ponytail and exposing that area of skin. But it’s nothing to feel embarrassed about. If you still haven’t come to terms with it, we bet you can experiment with various ways to get rid of it.
Remove It: While tweezing is effective, for some it could be time consuming and painful. Use small scissors to trim it or simply invest in an ear trimmer.

9. On Your Feet


We’re talking about the kind of hair which grows on your toes and the top of your feet. Usually some have it light and thin but if yours is dark and thick, you could blame it on genetics or hormonal imbalances.
Remove It: The best way to get rid of it is with waxing. Your waxing lady waxes your toes and the top of your feet if necessary as part of a leg wax.

10. On Your Neck

If the hair on your neck is thick and dark, it’s again to do with genetics. Don’t be embarrassed, stray, dark hair is easy to tackle.
Remove It: You can either bleach or ask the salon lady to thread the area. You’ll have a smooth and soft neck in no time!
Images:

How to Get Rid of Hair on Feet and Toes

Many of us have unwanted hair on our feet and toes, and it can be challenging to find effective, safe, inexpensive ways to remove it.

You can shave it, but this can be tedious, and hair that has been shaved grows back quickly, and it often begins to itch after it has been growing for a day or two.

You can simply learn to live with it, of course, but if you find hair on your feet and toes to be unsightly, there are many ways to handle it, some of which are more effective than others.

Electrology

Electrolysis, also known as electrology, is a form of hair removal that has been used in the United States since the late 19th century.

The advantage to this procedure is that it is permanent. There is a downside, however; electrology is an expensive, time-consuming, painstaking and painful process.

A tiny, hair-thin probe is inserted into each individual hair follicle. This probe delivers an electrical current to the follicle, damaging it so that it is no longer able to grow hair.

Although the probe does not puncture the skin if it is correctly inserted, the procedure is still painful, and a complete course of electrolysis can take years to complete. Electrolysis has been in decline since the advent of laser hair removal, but many people still use it to get rid of hair on their feet and toes.

Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal works by exposing the hair follicles to pulses of laser light, and it has been in use since the 1990s. Laser hair removal is not as permanent as electrolysis, but it is much faster and less expensive.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows practitioners of laser hair removal to claim that their technique achieves “permanent reduction” of hair, rather than “permanent removal.”

The reason for this distinction is that all the hairs growing on a given area of the body (such as the feet or toes) are at different stages of growth at any given time, and a laser can only affect hair follicles that are in the active anagen growth stage.

Because of this, multiple sessions are required to achieve complete hair removal, although a single session will noticeably reduce the density of hair growth on your feet.

Waxing

Waxing is, of course, a simpler method of hair removal, and many people favor waxing because it can be done quickly and inexpensively in the privacy of one’s home.

While waxing sensitive areas of the body (the face or underarms) is a job for a licensed esthetician, anyone can use wax strips to quickly and easily remove unwanted hair on their feet and toes.

Waxing is not permanent, but it removes the hair by its root, and significant regrowth does not occur for four to six weeks, although some people may see regrowth sooner due to the variation in hair growth cycles discussed above.

Some people are susceptible to skin damage from waxing. Do NOT use wax to remove hair from your feet and toes if:

  • You suffer from a skin condition such as psoriasis or eczema
  • You have recently suffered a sunburn on your feet
  • You have recently had surgery on your feet
  • You have unusually sensitive skin

Sugaring

Sugaring works in much the same way as waxing—a sticky substance is applied to the skin and torn away when it has cooled, pulling the hair out by the root.

Sugaring is a much messier process than waxing, but it requires a lower temperature, which may make it a better option for people with sensitive skin.

Sugaring paste is easy to prepare at home. The easiest recipe calls for one part fresh lemon juice (don’t use concentrate), one part water, and eight parts sugar.

Heat the ingredients until they are uniformly liquified, and the solution has achieved a light gold color. Do not allow it to become too dark.

Allow the solution to cool to room temperature and apply to your feet after dusting them lightly with baby powder. Press a strip of cloth into the solution and pull it away; the hair on your feet and toes will come with it.

Threading

Threading is one of the oldest methods known to man for getting rid of hair on the toes and feet. The practice originated in ancient India, but has recently gained popularity in the West.

The practitioner takes a length of thread and doubles and twists it, rolling it over the area where the unwanted hair grows.

Like waxing, threading pulls the hair out by the root. The accuracy that threading allows makes it ideal for areas like the eyebrows, where precision is important, but it is not as effective or simple a method as waxing for removing hair from the feet or toes.

Depilatories

Depilatory creams such as Nair and Veet are less messy than waxing or sugaring, and not as painful. They are also inexpensive and easy to use. The downside to them is that they smell terrible and can irritate the skin if they are used incorrectly or if the user is allergic to them.

Also, depilatories are only marginally more effective than shaving; they only affect hair above the skin’s surface, so regrowth happens within a few days

Hair Removal Methods to Avoid

Many companies manufacture products for getting rid of hair on the feet and toes, and it is important to be skeptical of the claims they make. In the 1920s one company made a device called the Tricho System, which promised to remove hair with x-rays.

Some women went in for as many as 20 treatments or more, and many of them suffered severe skin damage or contracted cancer. Reports of injuries caused by these machines appeared in medical literature as late as the 1940s. Today, x-ray hair removal is illegal in the United States.

Some of today’s hair-removal methods are no more effective and no less dangerous than the variety of snake oils con artists have peddled throughout human history. For your safety—and to save yourself from being conned—you should be very cautious about:

  • Photoepilators
  • Dietary supplements that claim to reduce unwanted hair
  • Transcutaneous hair removal
  • Microwave Hair Removal
  • Over-the-counter ointments or pills

Given that hair slivers can lead to infected wounds, pain and chronic drainage, these authors present case studies of several patients who presented with hair slivers in the foot.

Material such as glass, plastic, metal objects and wood comprise 90 percent of all foreign bodies that can enter into the foot.1 However, there are many other objects that the podiatrist should be concerned with as well. One foreign body in particular that is unusual but seems to occur more frequently in our practice than one would imagine is the hair sliver.

Foreign bodies can be diagnostic dilemmas since many may not be visible on X-ray. One may employ many other modalities for diagnosis such as computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or tangential X-rays, but these imaging tools can often be unsuccessful as well. However, if suspicion is high, surgical exploration may be warranted for the area in question. Overlooking a foreign body is the second most common reason that patients file malpractice lawsuits against emergency room physicians.1,2

In 1942, Allington and Templeton described a pilonidal sinus, which was an important step leading to the discovery of an occupational acquired disease seen in barbers and hair dressers.3 Studies in the 1950s found a rate of approximately 13 percent problems with hair slivers among these two groups.4 The hair slivers in these groups are unusual in that they occur in non-hair-bearing areas such as between the toes or on the bottom of the foot. Other occupations such as dog groomers and sheep shearers are also at risk, but hair slivers can occur in anyone who owns an animal. We have seen them in runners who get pet hairs in their shoes as well.5,6

The method of penetration is controversial but it can be related to the old trick of pushing a needle through a coin. Drive a needle through a cork stopper of equal length and then place the cork on the coin. The cork acts as a splint and prevents the needle from breaking apart or bending as the needle drives through the coin. One can relate this to the penetration of the hair sliver as well. The mesh of the sock combined with the pressure between the foot and the shoe allows the hair to pass into the foot with the repeated blows of ambulation.5,6

Hair slivers can be a source of pain, infection and chronic drainage. In our office, we have found they can mimic a wart, an interdigital tinea or bacterial infection. The number of bacteria needed to start an infection is 102 for a foreign body. Therefore, treatment may involve excision as well as oral antibiotics.1,2 The best time to remove a hair sliver is as soon as one discovers it via clinical examination and history (including an occupational history). Waiting may only drive the sliver deeper into the tissue, requiring more aggressive surgical exploration and removal.

Case Study: When There Are Recurrent Hair Slivers From Pets

A 55-year-old male presented with a history of a wart that he had been self treating with topical anti-wart medications with limited results. The patient’s family physician detected a purulent, sanguineous drainage in the area and the patient had a pain level of 6 out of 10 on the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS).

At that point, the patient got a referral to our office for further treatment. On inspection, an apparent sinus tract developed in the fourth webspace to the dorsum of the foot. At the time of presentation, a dry eschar was present in the location of the sinus tract. After anesthetizing the patient’s fourth interspace, we removed four individual pieces of what appeared to be dog hair from within the fourth interspace. We placed the patient on antibiotic therapy postoperatively.

There was an immediate reduction in the patient’s pain level and the wound appeared to heal two months later. At that time, the patient presented to our office with a black spot on the dorsum of the fourth interspace with increasing pain at 3 out of 10 on the VAS. We then lanced the area and collected another apparent dog hair as well as purulent drainage. Culture results were negative for bacterial growth. This appeared to be a foreign body reaction to the hair sliver that was in the foot. The area healed uneventfully with local wound care.

Again, one month later at follow-up, the patient presented with similar findings, which resulted in multiple hair structures being removed from the area. Due to the recurrent nature and location of the issue, we performed an open, deep incision of the foreign body. After surgical intervention of the fourth interspace and removal of what appeared to be a foreign body hair inclusion cyst, we closed the incision wound. Both the pilonidal sinus and the incision went on to heal uneventfully without recurrence.

Case Study: When A Hair Sliver Looks Like A Wart

A 43-year-old female presented to our office with a painful area underneath the fifth metatarsophalangeal joint, which had been increasingly tender over the last few weeks. She described the pain as a dull ache that radiated up to 6 out of 10 on the VAS with any type of ambulation and running. The physical exam revealed a focal lesion consistent with a porokeratosis or wart-like lesion. Upon debridement of the area, we noted a black dot centrally, which appeared to be a possible foreign body hair.

At this point, after the administration of appropriate local anesthesia, curettage of the wart-like lesion revealed a foreign body hair in the area. Removal of the foreign body hair resulted in resolution of all symptoms.

In Conclusion

Hair slivers can be a diagnostic challenge. After obtaining a thorough history and physical examination (including the patient’s occupation as well as exposure to any type of foreign body, including animal hair), one should institute aggressive early treatment. Encourage barbers and hairdressers to wear socks and closed-toed shoes on a regular basis to prevent hair sliver penetration. Also encourage patients to clean their feet and interdigital spaces regularly.

Dr. Mozena is in private practice at the Town Center Foot Clinic in Portland, Ore. He is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, and is board certified in foot and ankle surgery. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Western University of Health Sciences.

Dr. Jones is in private practice at the Town Center Foot Clinic in Portland, Ore. He is a Diplomate of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, and is board certified in foot surgery. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Western University of Health Sciences.

HAIR can get everywhere – clogging up plugholes and hoovers alike.

But it’s not very often that you hear of a case where a single hair has managed to transform into a painful splinter.

2 A man turned up to A&E with a mystery pain in his heel…which turned out to be a tiny hair 2 It had lodged itself into the top layer of his skin, stimulating the nerve endings

And yet, that’s exactly what happened to one Brazilian man.

The 35-year-old went to A&E after experiencing a mysterious pain in his right heel that kept getting worse and worse.

The Journal of Emergency Medicine reports that he hadn’t had any foot or ankle injuries, and that doctors couldn’t see what was wrong at first.

Medics got the man to walk on his tiptoes and then his heels – when again, he started to complain of the pain.

Single strand of hair

So doctors from the University of São Paulo took a closer look at his right heel and found a single, tiny strand of hair lodged in his foot.

Examining the patient’s heel under a magnifying lens, they found a tiny hair had penetrated the main’s skin.

Rare condition

After removing it with tweezers, they found the hair measured 10mm.

Stunned medics diagnosed the man with cutaneous pili migrans, a rare condition in which a hair shaft or hair fragment becomes embedded in the skin’s surface.

It’s so rare that only 26 cases have been reported of the condition in the past 60 years, according to a 2016 report published in the Medical Journal Armed Forces India.

The Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology says that other incidents have involved areas including the ankle, toe, breast, cheek, jaw and belly.

Freshly cut hair often to blame

It’s often down to freshly cut, sharp hair which then enters someone’s socks and penetrates the skin by the repetitive motion of walking around.

The authors of the case report speculated that the man stood on the hair strand with his bare feet, which caused the hair to become embedded.

Once it had broken the skin, the hair then started to migrate further into the foot, stimulating nerve endings in the top layer of the skin.

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As soon as the hair was pulled out, the man said that the pain disappeared.

“Physicians should be aware of this unusual foreign-body reaction in patients with discomfort on the soles of the feet,” the authors concluded.

Just another reason to wear slippers or flipflops at home!

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6 Surprising Things The Hair On Your Toes Can Tell You About Your Health

You’ve probably noticed that hair can grow on your body and face in places where you might least expect (or want) it. And while some hair has specific purposes for as to why it might exist (or, at least, it’s somewhat useful), like eyebrows and eyelashes keeping dirt, dust, pollutants, and sweat from getting in your eyes, other body hair might not have as clear-cut a purpose. But that doesn’t mean that it’s totally and completely useless. There are some surprising things the hair on your toes can tell you about your health that you might not have ever realized it could. From chronic conditions to hormones and more, the look, and even presence of it at all, can give you some hints about what’s going on within your body.

There are tons of ways that certain features on your body, like body hair or the arch of your feet, can give you clues about parts of your health. And not only can they give you an inkling about what’s going on inside, but they can also help your doctor know if anything is up or if everything is as it should be. When it comes to toe hair and your health, some of the clues it might give are subtle, but potentially important things to know.

1. Your Circulation Isn’t Super

stokkete/Fotolia

Though most people have some fine hair on their toes, if your toes are naturally hairless or you’re losing your toe hair relatively rapidly, it could be a sign that your circulation isn’t all that great, Everyday Health reported. You typically should have some fine, soft hair unless you actively remove it. If your toes don’t have any hair (or you’re losing it), talk to your doctor because, in some cases, the poor circulation could actually mean that there’s something else going on.

2. You’re Dealing With Natural Hormone Changes

Mat Hayward/Fotolia

In an interview with Self, Dr. Sejal Shah, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, said that as you go through natural hormonal changes over the course of your life, the hair on your toes might get coarser or darker in color. So just because your toe hair was blond and relatively invisible when you were younger doesn’t mean that it won’t get dark and very noticeable as you age. It doesn’t mean that there’s something terribly wrong.

3. You Have PCOS

Artem/Fotolia

Polycystic ovarian syndrome can cause unwanted facial and body hair to grow due to the levels of androgens in your body. Teenspeak noted that excess hair on your toes could be due to PCOS. If you’re concerned about the hair on your toes as it’s related to your PCOS, using common hair removal treatments or some medications might help.

4. There’s Something Going On With Your Genes

zinkevych/Fotolia

How much hair that you have on your toes, as well as how it changes might also have to do with your genes, as Shah told Self in the aforementioned article. So if your parents or extended family members have a lot of hair on their toes or it gets a lot darker or thicker as they get older, your toe hair might do the same.

5. You Have Peripheral Vascular Disease

s_l/Fotolia

One of the causes of poor circulation is peripheral vascular disease. Cleveland Clinic noted that if you have diabetes, it might affect your feet through peripheral vascular disease, which, again, will likely result in bald toes.

6. You Have Great Circulation

Кирилл Рыжов/Fotolia

Just like having no hair on your toes or experiencing hair loss can mean that your circulation isn’t so great, having a lot of hair on your toes (and legs) might indicate that you actually have pretty good circulation. In a blog post she wrote for Lexington Podiatry’s website, Dr. Nicole G. Freels wrote that though you may not love the hair on your toes, it can, in fact, mean that the circulation in your feet is good, which is a positive thing.

If you’re worried about the hair on your toes (or lack thereof) or are embarrassed by it, talking to your doctor or seeing your esthetician to have it removed (or both) can make you feel better about things and make sure that everything is A-OK.

Is Toe Hair Normal? You Shouldn’t Be Worrying About How Your Feet Look This Summer

The sun has got his hat on and you’re probably looking forward to soaking up some rays soon. However, you may be struggling with body hair issues, in particular, wondering if your toe hair is normal. If Western society was a person, they’d probably be a total ass most of the time. Amongst the shocking things that would come out of their mouth, there might be a plethora of beauty rules for gals and guys alike to follow. But, during the summer months, there’d probably be a huge focus on body hair.

The stereotypical (but totally unimportant) body hair commandments we have all come to know and hate are lengthy. For men these include: Either totally hairless or very hairy chests with no in-between, shiny shoulders, no monobrows, no hairy ears or noses, and zero hairy backs. That list is not exhaustive, but in Western society, they’re probably the main offenders. For women, the list is endless; we’re told we basically have to look like bald, newborn rats with not a hair on our bods from the eyelashes down. Thankfully, many folks are rebelling against this ridiculous beauty ideal; some ladies rock rainbow colored armpit hair to show how beautiful their body hair is, while others flat out refuse to shave anymore.

You’d think a body part as tiny as a toe would fly under the radar of most folks, however, even these small foot phalanges have to live up to a crazy beauty ideal. Remember that insane scene from Shallow Hal, when Hal tells his friend how he ditched a girl because her second toe was longer than her big toe? Of course, this is an exaggeration, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some extremely vain people out there in the world like Hal.

So with all that in mind, where does this leave us ladies with hairy toes? According to a study, reported on by The Daily Mail, out of the Top 20 Beauty Secrets Women Hide From Men, the number one spot was, “Pluck / shave hair from toes” which speaks volumes about how totally common toe hair is. My guess would be that it depends on how hairy you are as a person, to how sparse or thick your toe hair is. IMO, you should treat your toe hair as you do the hair on the rest of your body; if it bothers you get rid of it, if you’re okay with it leave it alone.

In this day and age nobody should feel pressured to get rid of any hair on their body, so don’t let other people pressure you into doing so. If someone’s giving you some grief about your foresty feet, they’re probably not worth knowing, because nobody has the right to shame anyone else’s body parts, no matter how big or small. So, embrace your Hobbit feet this summer, invest in a Barbie comb to neaten up your toe knuckles, and don’t be held back by body hair insecurities – toe hair is perfectly normal.

Images: Imani Clovis/Unsplash; RyanMcGuire, tookapic, shelley_shang/

This is a tad nasty…but I have some hair growing on my feet and toes. It really bothers me. It wasn’t such a problem before because the hairs were so fine and light. Now, they’re getting thicker and there’s more of it!

Should I shave or use something like Nair? Help!

Hey girl, you’re not the only hairy honey out there. My arms can give Wolf Man some competition. Believe it or not, your hair is there for a reason. It helps keep your skim warm when you’re cold. Chances are that no one’s really paying attention to it but you. After all, do you pay special attention to your friend’s feet and toes? Probably not.

Should you shave?

Still a li’l embarrassed? We understand and we’re here to help ya! Shaving may be the easiest, quickest and cheapest option. But the hair may grow back quickly. Your best option may be to wax the hair on your toes and feet. Removing hair with wax helps it stay away longer than shaving. The thickness of hair usually goes down when you wax, too.

Waxin’ away?

You can go to a salon to get your feet and toes professionally waxed. This is actually really common and the people in the salon deal with this all the time, so there’s no need to feel awkward. Or, if you want to do it in the privacy of your own home, you can buy a waxing kit at your local drugstore and do so in the comfort of your bathroom. Make sure you follow the instructions and you’ll be good to go.

Other fuzz fighters…

If you’re lookin’ for a less painful method, you could try Nair. This cream is a depilatory, which and removes hair by breaking its bond. Be sure to do a patch test first before you apply it everywhere. Remember to follow the directions exactly. It usually takes three to five minutes to get rid of hair. And don’t hesitate to ask your mom or another trusted relative, like an older cousin, for help if you need it. They’ve probably been there and done that and, best of all, they won’t judge you.

Lots of love,
L’Oreal

THINK YOU’VE GOT A BODY BLUNDER? to submit your own problem to be answered on Girl Talk!

Do you have hair on your toes? Most predominantly on your big toe?You may have assumed that it’s leftover from our ancestors and was there originally to keep our shoeless feet warm and protected.

Or maybe you think it’s got something to do with your diet accelerating your hair growth.

Why do you get hair on your toes?

Although those are pretty solid guesses, would you be surprised to know that whether or not you grow hair on your toes – and fingers, for that matter – is hereditary?

If your mum and dad have hair on their knuckles you have a 50% chance of growing it yourself. This is down to the dominant gene you may have inherited from your parents.

If they have bald knuckles, you are much less likely to see any hair growth in this area.

So, you’ve got hair on your toes and you know that you have your genetics to blame, but what do you do about it?

How to get rid of hair on toes

We spoke to Nathalie Eleni, Braun Beauty Expert, to ask advice on the best way to remove hair from your knuckles. This is what she suggested:

‘Many of us have unwanted hair on our knuckles and toes,’ Nathalie explained. ‘The good news is there are some simple hair removal options, such as epilation, which is a fast and effective method that lasts longer – perfect for the Summer when we live in sandals and flip flops.’

‘An easy tip to help you prepare your skin before epilation is to soak the toe and knuckles in warm water. It helps open your pores and weakens the hair strands, meaning they will be much easier to remove. When your skin’s prepped and ready for epilation, be sure to pull the skin taught by bending the finger or toes, so the epilator can cleanly and effectively pluck out your hair from the root, leaving your skin smooth and hair free.’

As well as epilation, you can also shave, wax and pluck knuckle hair. You can also include it in laser hair removal treatment.

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Related Story

We Might Finally Know Why Humans Don’t Have Hair on Some Body Parts

There’s no other way to say it: human hair is strange. Compared to most other mammals, human beings are decidedly naked, and the little fuzz that we do have is oddly patchy and quite diverse.

The most obvious of our bizarre bald regions are perhaps the soles of our feet and the palms of our hands. Here, our sleek and hairless skin sets us apart from other mammals, such as rabbits and polar bears, who both sport fur along their paws.

It’s an enigma that continues to puzzle, but researchers may now have an explanation for why some parts of the human body have hair and others don’t.

A new study on mice has revealed an important molecular pathway that keeps the undersides of our feet and hands as smooth as a baby’s bottom.

The explanation is centred on a small molecular messenger, called a Wnt protein, which carries information between cells about the initiation, spacing, and growth of body hair.

“We know that Wnt signalling is critical for the development of hair follicles; blocking it causes hairless skin, and switching it on causes formation of more hair,” senior author Sarah Millar, a dermatologist at the University of Pennsylvania, told Cosmos.

“In this study, we’ve shown the skin in hairless regions naturally produces an inhibitor that stops Wnt from doing its job.”

The inhibitor is a protein called Dickkopf 2 (DKK2), and when it is removed from mice completely, the researchers noticed something curious. While the mutant mice continued to be hairy in all the right spots, the normally bare regions of their paws were now also sprouting little hairs.

In normal mice, the plantar region of the foot is free of fur, but in all 40 mutant mice, the researchers found fully-formed, mature hair follicles embedded in that very spot. And even when these hairs were plucked, these unusually hirsute bits grew back, just like normal fur.

When the researchers turned their attention to rabbits, they noticed something similar. Like polar bears, rabbits also grow hair on the bottoms of their feet, probably to keep their toes warm while they hope across snow and ice.

In this case, DKK2 also appears to play a role – or, rather, its absence does. In rabbit plantar skin, the study found that DKK2 is not expressed at high levels, and this is probably why fur is able to develop there.

The results were unexpected. When the study was first started, the researchers thought that DKK2 might be responsible for the pattern of hair follicles that develops on the body. But the new findings suggest that its role is kind of the opposite.

The researchers now think that the presence of DKK2 is responsible for keeping certain parts of the body free from hair. So, in certain cases where this inhibitor is not present, the Wnt signalling pathway is left to its own devices, activating the appropriate stem cells, called β-catenin, and causing hair follicles to develop in places where they shouldn’t.

As for why this happens, Millar and her team think the presence or absence of DKK2 is probably based on evolutionary benefits.

For instance, while rabbits and polar bears might need hairy paws to survive, if human hair extended all the way to our hands and feet, it would probably make our lives a hell of a lot more difficult, not to mention messy.

At this point, it’s still not clear exactly why humans would have developed bare hands and feet, but there are a few hypotheses.

Some suggest that it could be about sexual selection; others say it has more to do with thermoregulation, as we moved from the forests to the Sun-beaten savannah; while still others think our nakedness protects us from external parasites, like lice and other pesky bugs.

There are even those who think there is no evolutionary benefit whatsoever, and this was just a sneaky little trait that hitched a ride into the future.

Regardless of which explanation is correct, if the new findings extend to humans, it means that with just one slight genetic change, we could get hair to grow on the otherwise bare surface of our hands and feet.

As such, the authors of the study hope that one day, their research might help us figure out a way to block or promote the growth of body hair.

This sort of treatment could be extremely useful for a whole variety of health issues, including male pattern baldness, and helping to treat burns patients and people with skin issues, such as psoriasis.

“While more research is needed to improve our understanding of this pathway, our results suggest that therapeutics capable of decreasing levels of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in the skin could potentially be used to block growth of unwanted hair, and/or to treat certain skin tumours,” says Millar.

“Conversely, if delivered in a limited, safe, and controlled way, agents that activate Wnt signaling might be used to promote hair growth in dormant hair follicles in conditions such as male pattern baldness.”

This study has been published in Cell Reports.

Nothing should stop you from busting out your favorite pair of sandals on a sweltering day. But if you’d rather not parade your toe hair all over town, you may feel uncomfortable at the thought of a buying those cork mules you’ve been obsessing over. Of course, you have no obligation to remove your foot fuzz — full disclosure, the author of this post gives zero f*cks about her own. But just in case you do, we enlisted the help of two experts to reveal the best way to get hair the hell off of your toes — and surprisingly, this preferred method does not involve a razor.

“Most of the skin on your body has hair follicles.” ADVERTISEMENT

“Hair on the dorsal toes is perfectly normal, although commonly unwanted,” said Dr. Nava Greenfield of NYC’s Schweiger Dermatology Group. “Most of the skin on your body has hair follicles.” Your fur can be beneficial — it regulates sweat production and body temperature, while adding an extra layer of skin protection. Your own personal hormones play a large role in how much hair you have, along with the size and thickness of strands. According to Dr. Greenfield, “The most effective way to permanently remove unwanted hair is laser hair removal.”

If you’re ready to zap those suckers off, you should know a few things before you book a laser appointment. According to Ari Marom, founder of NY Laser Outlet, the procedure “works on most hair colors except blonde, red, and gray hair.” This is because the energy from a laser is less able to be absorbed on lighter colored pigments. That said, laser can be used on all skin types, as long as you discuss any existing conditions with your doctor first.

To keep your toes completely hair-less via laser, you’ll need to book six treatments every four to eight weeks to start. After that, you’ll probably need to go in for maintenance or touch-ups once or twice a year, depending on your hair’s texture. Make sure to shave one day before your treatment.

If you’re trying laser because you want to show off your feet in sandals during a sunny Summer getaway, be sure to plan ahead. Marom said that for any laser treatment, it’s important to avoid the sun for two weeks before and after your treatment, as the procedure makes your skin more susceptible to burning and scarring.

Image Source: Unsplash / Jonathan Zerger

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