Blog Hair today, gone tomorrow… how to tackle facial hirsutism

What is facial hirsutism?

For most women, the appearance of thicker, glossy hair on the head is an absolute must, and nowadays having thick, bushier eyebrows are the modern social trends. Most definitely don’t want hair anywhere near the lips, chin, bikini line or legs.

Some women are fortunate enough to only have a few unwanted fine hairs here and there. But for others, these hairs are darker and thicker in areas they most definitely don’t want.

Facial Hair

Facial hair is often a taboo subject people often avoid talking about, but there are certainly ways you can reduce the growth of facial hair.

Threading is a great option for removing upper lip hair and fuzzy chin growth, or you could try laser treatment or dermaplaning (exfoliating the surface of the skin and the fine hair using a precision blade) at a clinic.

If however, none of these methods are to your liking, or you want to try something a little gentler, there is a topical cream that might be the answer.

Vaniqa (eflornithine hydrochloride 13.9% cream) is an FDA-approved topical treatment for unwanted facial hair on the lower face and chin in women. The condition is commonly called facial hirsutism, which is the abnormal hair growth pattern on a woman’s face.

Changes in sex hormones such as excess androgen production over time are a contributing factor of unwanted facial hair growth, even in some young women. Some medical conditions are also related to excess androgen production in women, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome.

So how does vaniqa work?

Vaniqa works by inhibiting a specific enzyme called ornithine decarboxlyase. This enzyme is important for the growth phase of the hair cycle and the active drug in Vaniqa, called eflornithine blocks it to irreversibly reduce the growth of hairs in the treated area.

Vaniqa is only helpful in mild cases of hirsutism. If there is significant growth in facial hair, it may not appear to be very effective and additional hormonal control may be needed along with topical Vaniqa.

The result is the reduced appearance of hairs and slower growth overall.

Vaniqa is also helpful in preventing and reducing ingrowing hairs, skin discolouration and irritation and scaring from waxing and shaving facial hair.

Where can I buy Vaniqa, and how much does it cost?

Vaniqa is an MHRA and FDA approved, prescription-only medication, only available from a GP or a doctor or from a licensed online doctor such as Accessdoctor. Prices starts from £79.99, and one tube can last up to 6-months depending on the size of the area treated.

Vaniqa is applied twice a day while still maintaining your usual method of hair removal. But users have seen that in as little as 4-8 weeks their hair growth has slowed down, and they do not need to remove the hair as frequently. The effects of Vaniqa are noticeable from before and after treatment with Vaniqa in a very short period of time.

Vaniqa treatment for hirsutism should only be considered if hormonal or more technical hair removal procedures (laser, electrolysis, waxing/plucking/shaving) are not desired, and it’s aim is to reduce the hair burden and stigma associated with facial hirsutism.

Hair growth does however return once treatment with Vaniqa is stopped, and it must be stressed that it is not a permanent cure for hair growth.

What are the side effects of treatment with Vaniqa?

Most common side effects with Vaniqa use include allergic contact reactions and skin irritation on the treatment areas. These often improve over time, with continued use, but can occasionally persist. The advice is to discontinue use with Vaniqa if side effects are persistent or particularly bothersome.

For more frequently asked questions on Vaniqa, and other health related problems, visit an online private doctor service such as Access Doctor, where your order is checked, and approved by a qualified prescriber, and sent out in discrete packaging to your door.

Other names for Vaniqa:
  • Hair removal creams
  • Facial hair removal
  • Hair remover
  • Excessive hair growth remover

Vaniqa – Important Information

A cream to stop hair growth, Vaniqa contains the active ingredient eflornithine. Eflornithine works within the hair follicle and helps to block production of the hair shaft. This helps to reduce the rate of hair growth. In trials it has shown a significant improvement in the unwanted facial hair of 70% of women.

Vaniqa has also been shown to significantly reduce how bothered patients are about their facial hair and how long they spend removing, treating or concealing their facial hair.

Obtain a Vaniqa cream prescription from your doctor or buy online from

Vaniqa Information

Suitable for Age: 18 years +

Maximum supply per order: 3

Pregnancy: Avoid

Breastfeeding: Avoid

Other Precautions for Vaniqa cream

Vaniqa is used to reduce the growth of hair. Suitable for women who are suffering from unwanted hair on the upper lip, chin and neck.

Before using Vaniqa, you will need to have a medical review with a doctor to assess your suitability and rule out any underlying causes of excessive hair growth.

Treatment with Vaniqa is very effective and highly recommend because they experience such positive Vaniqa results, but it must be stressed that Vaniqa is not a permanent solution to hair removal.

However, when used regularly this effective topical treatment can slow down hair production so much that it is vastly reduced or, in some cases, doesn’t grow at all.

Does Vaniqa work on coarse hair?

Vaniqa is effective on coarse hair, typically found on the upper lip or chin.

It is important to know that Vaniqa does not permanently stop hair from growing, but it should help make a difference to coarse hair.

However, with regular use Vaniqa is shown to slow down hair production and in some instances, hair production is stopped altogether.

How long does Vaniqa take to work?

Applying Vaniqa Cream consistently and regularly at the start allows the treatment to work properly.

You should see noticeable reduction in hair growth in four to eight weeks of using the treatment. For some women, they notice a change within a week of use and for some it may be longer.

Vaniqa should ideally be used regularly for four months before switching to an alternative.

If no benefit is seen in that time, you should stop the treatment and speak to your GP regarding alternative treatments.

Alternative ways to reduce excess hair growth includes losing weight if you’re overweight and taking a contraceptive pill to help to control hormone levels.

Vaniqa alternatives

There are a few non-prescription alternatives for facial hair removal.

  • Shaving
  • Waxing
  • Plucking
  • Bleaching
  • Threading
  • Laser and electrolysis treatments

Remember that laser and electrolysis treatments should always be carried out by a trained and registered professional.

Your GP may also suggest:

If Vaniqa hair removal cream and the above Vaniqa alternatives do not work for you, your GP may refer you to a specialist for further advice and treatment.

*Prescription medicines are supplied subject to a medical consultation at the discretion of a doctor.

Who is not suitable for treatment with Vaniqa?

An Access Doctor online consultation will assess for suitability to Vaniqa. The treatment is not suitable for women with a history of kidney or liver disease.

Access Doctor will not prescribe Vaniqa to women who are pregnant or are breastfeeding.

How to use

Apply a pea-sized amount (approx 25mg) of cream twice daily to clean dry skin of the face and rub it in until no longer visible. Leave at least 8 hours between applications. If irritation occurs, reduce application to once daily.

See a doctor if irritation persists. Avoid contact with the mouth, inner nose and eyes. Wait 5 mins before applying makeup and other skin preparations. Leave for at least 4 hours before washing off.

Use only on affected area, usually the chin, cheeks, and upper lip.

If Vaniqa is accidentally swallowed, in anything but a smear of cream, consult a doctor.

Can I buy Vaniqa over the counter?

Currently, Vaniqa is a prescription-only medication in the UK. This means you are unable to buy it from your local pharmacy.

Can I still shave or puck hair whilst using Vaniqa cream?

Yes, you can, however, ensure you apply the cream after hair removal and leave at least a 5-minute gap to prevent stinging.

How often do you use Vaniqa?

Vaniqa should be used twice daily on the affected area of the face.

Where can I use Vaniqa?

Vaniqa cream can be applied to face and areas just under the chin.

Can I apply makeup whilst using Vaniqa cream?

Yes, you should apply the cream, wait 5 minutes and then continue on with your make up regime.

How to soothe your skin after hair removal

In order to calm the redness and irritation after applying Vaniqa, apply a small amount of aloe vera gel or balm. It will cool the skin and smells great too.

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