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#1
Old 01-06-2010, 06:44 AM
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Do men lose hair on lower legs as they age due to use of socks or natural aging?

Just curious. If you don't use socks do you maintain hair on your lower legs even if you are older (50+) ?
#2
Old 01-06-2010, 06:59 AM
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In my case, it's related to being diabetic. In fact, when I was diagnosed, my doctor could estimate how long I'd been diabetic by the amount of hair loss.
#3
Old 01-06-2010, 07:34 AM
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I'm over 50 and the only hair loss I have suffered below the knees is do to wearing socks. And it's a fairly defined line too, from about 3 inches above my ankles and down.
#4
Old 01-06-2010, 07:40 AM
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Who can remember when they were 50?
#5
Old 01-06-2010, 07:49 AM
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The effect of socks makes hair loss more prominent and more extensive, but a lot of it is also due to poor blood supply. One of the hallmarks of inadequate blood flow to the lower extremities is hair loss on the feet and toes, as well as on the lower legs. Many people with diabetes, a notorious cause of impaired blood circulation, will have lower leg hair loss at an earlier age than non-diabetic individuals. Quite possibly, panache45, this phenomenon is playing a role in your legs too.
#6
Old 01-06-2010, 08:20 AM
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I think it is circulation, and even in non-diabetic individuals. I see it in women, also. It sometimes corresponds to dry skin, which makes sense because hair, oil, and sweat glands are fed from underneath. Even people whose circulation is supposed to be "okay" show some signs of this, I think this is because these structures are very sensitive to micro-circulation. I have noticed many people who get knee replacements or ankle surgery get a profusion of hair re-growth near the surgery when the healing and therapy stage begins. I feel this supports this hypothesis. Sock-induced baldness is very real, but sock-shaped. Circulation changes appear to progress more on the anterior inner shin faster then on areas with more muscle. (My info is just from looking at lots and lots of knees and feet at work)
#7
Old 01-06-2010, 08:54 AM
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my SO has a sock line hair loss thing - it was something i noticed right away. Especially because he's a snuggly teddy bear everywhere else!
#8
Old 01-06-2010, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melodyharmonius View Post
Especially because he's a snuggly teddy bear everywhere else!
I used to be too. But the diabetes has thinned or removed my hair everywhere . . . except of course in my nose and ears.
#9
Old 01-06-2010, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
I used to be too. But the diabetes has thinned or removed my hair everywhere . . . except of course in my nose and ears.
Isn't growing old fun! A lot of the hair that used to come out of my legs has been redirected to my ears and eyebrows apparently. Some sort of mix up in the hair distribution center of my brain I guess. I do have distinctly less hair in the sock area though, and some spots where my pants have caused this too. I used to wonder if it was the socks but it is pretty obviously so now.
#10
Old 01-06-2010, 02:45 PM
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Anyplace that gets regular friction on it can have hair loss.

My right butt cheek is bare, my left hairy. I keep my wallet on my right side.

Otherwise, I'll go with what the rest of the posters have said.
#11
Old 01-06-2010, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butler1850 View Post
My right butt cheek is bare, my left hairy. I keep my wallet on my right side.
someone hand me brain bleach please.


But to follow the friction theme, that doesn't explain certain hair i've found on men . . .
#12
Old 01-06-2010, 06:15 PM
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It has nothing to do with it. I noticed it on older guys many years ago, and had my husband switch to ankle socks when he was in his early 30's. He's worn only ankle socks for 20 years now, but, sure enough, all the hair on his lower legs has gone away. It just coincidentally happens to occur at the level at which regular socks would be. It's also common for women's leg hair to get sparser there, too, as well as everywhere else. You lose hair from where you do want it and gain it where you don't. Just because you wear calf socks or have diabetes it doesn't mean those are the causes, any more than hair loss on your head being cause by wearing baseball caps.
#13
Old 01-06-2010, 06:48 PM
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My wife (who is a nurse) tells me that it is a symptom of congestive heart failure, among other things.
#14
Old 01-07-2010, 02:23 AM
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It's also a symptom of being over 50. If you look next time you're at a place such as a pool or health club, you will see almost without fail every man beyond a certain age will have lost their lower leg hair. Maybe it can be brought on sooner due to lower circulation, but it will happen to nearly every male. I've read where it's due to the changes in hormonal levels of testosterone and progesterone due to ageing - circulation may well play a part in that, too. It is a natural balding pattern, like on the scalp. The fact that it is mid-calf is coincidental to wearing socks; eventually it will thin up to the knees or higher. Again, many women don't need to shave their lower legs after a certain age, either.
#15
Old 01-08-2010, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweeteviljesus View Post
My wife (who is a nurse) tells me that it is a symptom of congestive heart failure, among other things.
Well that's just great.

Ive actually been wondering about this for awhile now. I've noticed that in the last 5 years or so the hair on my calves has all but disappered, mainly on the lower "outside". Is this actually something that I should take more seriously than I am?

I'm a 29 year old male in (seemingly) good health.
#16
Old 01-08-2010, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuntanTigerTamer View Post
Well that's just great.

Ive actually been wondering about this for awhile now. I've noticed that in the last 5 years or so the hair on my calves has all but disappered, mainly on the lower "outside". Is this actually something that I should take more seriously than I am?

I'm a 29 year old male in (seemingly) good health.
I can guarantee you that heart failure will cause other symptoms besides hair loss on the legs.

I neglected to say in my earlier post that smoking, of course, impairs the circulation, especially to the legs and feet. So, if you smoke, stop! Yesterday!
#17
Old 01-13-2012, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweeteviljesus View Post
My wife (who is a nurse) tells me that it is a symptom of congestive heart failure, among other things.
good lord, you just said that so cavalierly.

it could be a sign of nothing...could be a sign that you've already died.
#18
Old 01-13-2012, 08:18 AM
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i second the "don't think it's socks" thing. i have a friend (41yo) who is really concerned and thoroughly bummed out about his calve-down leghair loss.
he has been wearing ankle socks for years and years.

meanwhile i started losing my head hair when i was sixteen. i took it in stride like michael jordan (our heads share a common sillouette).
#19
Old 01-13-2012, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butler1850 View Post
Anyplace that gets regular friction on it can have hair loss.
Then why are my palms so hairy?
#20
Old 01-13-2012, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John DiFool View Post
Then why are my palms so hairy?
How's your eyesight?
#21
Old 01-13-2012, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butler1850 View Post
My right butt cheek is bare, my left hairy. I keep my wallet on my right side.
Dude. Just....dude.

TMI.

#22
Old 01-13-2012, 11:10 AM
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For me the answer is strictly socks. Noticed it at least by my early 20s and have no health issues.
#23
Old 01-13-2012, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butler1850 View Post
Anyplace that gets regular friction on it can have hair loss.

My right butt cheek is bare, my left hairy. I keep my wallet on my right side.

Otherwise, I'll go with what the rest of the posters have said.
Really? I have to go check my husband's butt cheeks now....
#24
Old 01-13-2012, 01:39 PM
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In my case it appears to be genetic. My father and one of my brothers have the same pattern of calves being hairy only on the inwards side.
#25
Old 01-13-2012, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dontbesojumpy View Post
good lord, you just said that so cavalierly.

it could be a sign of nothing...could be a sign that you've already died.
Quoted to post out the username/content combo...
#26
Old 01-13-2012, 02:49 PM
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Do women who regularly wear pantihose/tights lose hair on their entire legs? Or is the hair/hosiery connection a strictly male phenomenon?
#27
Old 01-13-2012, 03:38 PM
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As long as we're responding to statements made two years ago:

Quote:
Originally Posted by needscoffee View Post
It has nothing to do with it. I noticed it on older guys many years ago, and had my husband switch to ankle socks when he was in his early 30's. He's worn only ankle socks for 20 years now, but, sure enough, all the hair on his lower legs has gone away. It just coincidentally happens to occur at the level at which regular socks would be. It's also common for women's leg hair to get sparser there, too, as well as everywhere else. You lose hair from where you do want it and gain it where you don't. Just because you wear calf socks or have diabetes it doesn't mean those are the causes, any more than hair loss on your head being cause by wearing baseball caps.
(My bolding)

Do women WANT to have hairy ankles?
#28
Old 01-14-2012, 12:07 PM
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I think hair loss on legs, with age, is due to hormone changes.
#29
Old 01-14-2012, 10:37 PM
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I am not 50+ but I am over 40 and wear socks all the time. I feel extremely uncomfortable when I don't wear socks (my feet get cold, even in the summer). I've been a "socker" all my life.
I have very hairy legs, with no noticable hair loss below the sock line.

Last edited by Apocalypso; 01-14-2012 at 10:39 PM.
#30
Old 01-14-2012, 10:43 PM
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Ever since I was on the swim team in HS I have had jumbo thighs and calfs. The back of my calfs have always rubbed against my pants and have no hair on them. Thighs have some hair but not as much as my arms.
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#31
Old 01-21-2012, 12:06 PM
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I just checked (I am into sockless/shoeless computing) and while there may be less hair on my lower legs than in my youth, I retain moderately hairy feet and toes.* This suggests I have decent lower extremity circulation even with the ravages of socks, or something like that.


*I come from a long line of hairy men.
#32
Old 01-21-2012, 01:37 PM
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One thing that no one has mentioned is a decrease in sex hormones. Low estrogen and testosterone will cause the lost of seconday sexual characteristics, such as pubic, axillary, and leg hair. Women lose mammary tissue as well. YMMV.
#33
Old 01-21-2012, 02:02 PM
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My legs are quite hairy, right down to the sock line. My arms are quite hairy, right up to the shirt sleeve line.

I'm sure it's a coincidence.
#34
Old 01-21-2012, 04:37 PM
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I thought it was from scratching. I seem to be doing much less the last few days having switched from Irish Spring bath soap to cheap Dollar General. Further reports later.
#35
Old 01-22-2012, 09:59 AM
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Any thoughts here on itchy lower legs? I've been seeking an itchy lower leg support group to no avail and feel cast adrift - and then here is this conversation, about socks (I've gone to ankle length) and hair loss (I've lost most of it in the sock zone including feet) and age (54) and circulation (whenever I am in a group thermal infrared photo, I'm the one with black hands).

So, is itchy lower legs, mid-calf to ankles, a correlate of this hair loss???????
#36
Old 06-12-2013, 08:51 PM
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I too started losing hair on my shins and calves at age 39. It started with intense itching on my shins. I basically scratched my hair off. It never grew back. At age 41, I suffered a mild heart attack, which was followed by open heart surgery.... quadruple bypass.

Losing hair on your lower legs is a sign of poor circulation and possible future heart disease. It can also be the onset of peripheral artery disease, or PAD, which also is related to poor circulation and heart disease. Anyone who loses their hair from the ankle up to midway to the knee on their shins or calves, or both, get it checked out.

Hair that is pulled out by friction from socks or pants grows back. Hair that falls out from poor circulation does not grow back.
#37
Old 06-12-2013, 10:32 PM
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I used to have bare and shiny knees back in the 70s when I wore polyester pants. When I discovered the joy of cotton slacks the knee hair grew back. Also, always wearing cotton socks, too, and no hair loss where they cover the feet and ankles.

For some men, the culprit is the type of material that can catch and pull hair.
#38
Old 06-12-2013, 11:00 PM
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Is there any Vitamin D component to Hair growth?

Apart from the friction element on people who always wear long pants as opposed to shorts and the impact on the legs, there's the bit that legs covered in long pants and feet covered in shoes get little to no sunlight or vitamin D.

The question is raised because of some people I know who work mainly outside and wear a singlet all the time. Take the singlet off and the parts usually covered on the back are white and hairless and the parts usually open to the air are tanned and furry.
#39
Old 06-13-2013, 02:38 AM
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Cracking heels, enlarged sternum? Diabetes or MPS - just quessing

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mucopolysaccharidosis

Avoid sugar for a week and feel the difference. Your hair won't grow back within a year though.
#40
Old 06-13-2013, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by komolono View Post
Cracking heels, enlarged sternum? Diabetes or MPS - just quessing

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mucopolysaccharidosis

Avoid sugar for a week and feel the difference. Your hair won't grow back within a year though.
Is this a whoosh? MPS is a type of storage disorder affecting much, much more than hair on the legs (read your own link). More to the point, dietary sugar ingestion has no effect on the body's production of the culprit glycosaminoglycans which accumulate in the various types of this disorder. (The Wiki statement about dietary sugar decrease and decreased mucous production is unreferenced, as it should be - there are none.)
#41
Old 06-13-2013, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach View Post
For me the answer is strictly socks. Noticed it at least by my early 20s and have no health issues.
Yup. Same here, although mine started in my early thirties when my job(s) required me to wear tube socks due to needing boots. It's the same thing with guys that wear hats all the damn time and wonder why they go bald.
#42
Old 03-31-2014, 08:53 PM
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Hair loss at 42 with great sex drive, no heart issue or diabetiic.

I have noticed that the hair on the back of my legs has left me. I do have dry skin, I use oils and other alpha hydroxy lotions. I was told to use sugar and yogurt mixed as a paste, it has really helped the dry skin, still no hair. I do not wear high socks or pants. I wear ankle socks and shorts, year around. I am very active and have a great sex drive. The posts above make me laugh, the best so far seems to be the age issue. I have noticed most men my age or older have hardly any hair on their legs at all. Best wishes to you at accepting what comes naturally.
#43
Old 03-31-2014, 11:24 PM
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66 and my legs are just as harry as when I was 20. And I wear socks all the time unless I am bare foot. Though they are a little harder to see. White.
#44
Old 04-01-2014, 05:00 PM
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This thread keeps dying and coming back, with a shorter hiatus each time.
#45
Old 04-02-2014, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug K. View Post
This thread keeps dying and coming back, with a shorter hiatus each time.
Over 100,000 views so it's apparently a common question, at least for zombies.

My calf hair has really thinned out, but I've recently tested negative for diabetes or low testosterone. The rest of my hair is still thick. My doctor said it may be hereditary. I only wear socks maybe 1/4 of the day on days that I'm working or spending time in town. I do wear slacks quite a bit, so I wonder if the calves rubbing against the slacks would have an effect.
#46
Old 04-02-2014, 12:10 PM
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Anybody else remember bell bottoms? I had bald patches on the back of my calves since they acted like clappers. Since they were tight around the thighs, I had a bald patch where my car keys always rubbed my thigh.
#47
Old 10-07-2014, 01:44 AM
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add another to the list .. been shedding the hair from lower extremities for years now .. my niece randomly asked me one day, "do you shave your legs" .. a nice little sign of just how much has shed .. still have a good amount but there's a lot gone around the back and the area above the ankle ..

hopefully this little 'condition' doesn't start creeping up to my facial hair .. that's where I draw the line !

Last edited by dude77; 10-07-2014 at 01:44 AM.
#48
Old 07-27-2015, 10:37 AM
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Partial clue to my hair loss

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fanster View Post
I too started losing hair on my shins and calves at age 39. It started with intense itching on my shins. I basically scratched my hair off. It never grew back. At age 41, I suffered a mild heart attack, which was followed by open heart surgery.... quadruple bypass.

Losing hair on your lower legs is a sign of poor circulation and possible future heart disease. It can also be the onset of peripheral artery disease, or PAD, which also is related to poor circulation and heart disease. Anyone who loses their hair from the ankle up to midway to the knee on their shins or calves, or both, get it checked out.

Hair that is pulled out by friction from socks or pants grows back. Hair that falls out from poor circulation does not grow back.
I've also had a quad bypass and have PAD, but the hair loss on my legs is ONLY of the front, while the back of my legs are still pretty hairy. I DO have a few rare spots of hair on the fronts, like a bit just above and below the knees, so I don't understand how poor circulation would cause the pattern loss I have. Even though I'm about to turn 58, I still love to wear shorts(or preferably nothing while indoors) and I avoid socks and shoes as much as possible, so that rules out the friction issue. I'm completely at a loss here. I've had some issues that correlate to low testosterone levels, and my Dr. said my levels was "normal", but the normal he said I had was only 36 points inside a VERY wide range of numbers for T-levels, going all the way up to(depending on which lab is used) somewhere between 8-1200! I wonder who's "normal" I have, an 80 year old diabetic man? In anyone's opinion, would a vibrator(no, not THAT kind of vibrator! lol) be helpful with circulation issues? Just curious, because in spite of my age and cardiac health, I still LOOK like I'm in my very early 40's, not just a couple years shy of being 60! It's embarrassing to have my legs look like I've shaved the fronts while the backs look good, and I'm not about to shave the backs just so both sides match! LOL
#49
Old 07-27-2015, 04:18 PM
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I am 77 (78 in a few weeks) and the only place where I've lost any hair is on top of my head, but I started losing hair there in my 20s, and I think I stopped losing it there years ago (but there isn't much not to lose). I've only worn athletic socks since I retired at 65.
#50
Old 05-31-2016, 11:05 AM
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Recovering leg-baldy

I am 53 and live in south-west France which means I get to wear shorts (and no socks) from June - September. In recent years I was always pleased to see how in summer my leg hair seemed to flourish in the warm weather, which combined with a light tan just looked well, healthy. But last July my bro came to visit from Scotland (no-shorts territory) and I was shocked to see that he had lost all his leg hair and most of his arm hair. He still has more head hair than me tho. He is also rather overweight and I suspect the two are connected.

Anyway, this year disaster struck. I had been cycling and walking more and more this year, but wearing jeans, and in March I saw that I had lost all the hair on the outside of my shins/calves. The inside still went down to the ankles. Skin on back of calves is very dry, almost scaly looking. Had to trim remaining leg hair down to 1cm with my beard trimmer cos it looked so odd!

In April I took up running and now run about 30km a week, plus some cycling. I wear shorts and no socks for these activities. I also exfoliate and moisturise the skin on my calves to improve the skin texture. Am happy to say that my leg hair is now growing back, even down below the sock line, albeit very slowly. The thing about leg hairs is that they are very fine, and spaced far apart, but grow quite long, and it is only when the hairs reach about 1" in length that they start to overlap and form into bunches, giving the appearance of "hairy legs" which we so desire!

I am sure that in mine and in many cases it is the whiplash movement of jeans while walking and/or the restrictive elastic in socks that causes most lower leg hair loss. However, if you are overweight and/or have hormonal imbalances or diabetes it could be more serious.
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