Hairy legs and arms

How to help your pubescent daughter cope with embarrassing body hair

Q: For the past couple of years, my 10-year-old daughter has complained that she doesn’t want to wear shorts and short-sleeved shirts for gym class because the other students comment on her hairy legs and arms. With the school year starting up again, what can we do to help? Leg waxing and laser treatments are more painful than I want her to submit to.

A: First, please check that your daughter’s body hair is related to family tendencies and not due to a hormone issue. The fact that she is healthy and 10 makes it unlikely that the hair growth is due to a hormone problem, but you should mention it at her next physical exam.

Meanwhile, it sounds as though she has found a solution to her problem (albeit temporary) by dressing in a way that makes her comfortable. This is terrific. All (and I mean all) of us have a time when we have to come to terms with the fact that our bodies do not look the way we might wish. If the hair really holds her back from enjoying normal, fun activities, mild peroxide bleaching, shaving and waxing are all safe options. Just remember to let her lead this solution.