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What do you need to know about facial hair?

Unwanted facial hair is a problem for more than 40% of women, but despite being such a common issue, it can be highly embarrassing and upsetting. The Pharmacy2U Online Doctor service can offer Vaniqa (eflornithine) cream as a treatment for unwanted facial hair from as little as £30. Vaniqa is the only prescription-based cream that is medically licensed in the UK to treat unwanted facial hair.

Many women go to great lengths to disguise their unwanted facial hair and even their partner may not realise the problem exists. For some women, the effects of unwanted facial hair can go beyond embarrassment and cause real psychological problems. Despite this, many women are unwilling to visit their GP as they believe the problem will not be treated seriously or they are simply too embarrassed. However, there are safe and effective prescription-only treatments available to combat the problem. The Pharmacy2U Online Doctor service offers the professional and discreet service you need without the need to visit your GP.

If you are suffering from unwanted facial hair, act now and click to start your secure facial hair consultation.

Our service is not suitable for women who are under 18 years of age or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Our UK-registered GP will assess whether our service is suitable for you depending on your answers to our questionnaire.

What causes unwanted facial hair?

Unwanted facial hair is not usually related to a serious illness, but there are occasions when it can be. It may be caused by a number of different factors, sometimes in combination. The three main factors are:

  • Hereditary
  • Hormonal
  • Medication

Hereditary. This is a common cause of facial hair. It’s a personal trait passed down from your family in your genes. It may be related to your ethnic background. For example, women from Mediterranean or South Asian families are likely to have thicker, darker hair, and so any hair in unwanted places is more easily visible and therefore more problematic.

Hormonal. Every woman produces some male hormones such as testosterone. This is produced in the adrenal glands, the ovaries, fat tissue and muscle tissue. Fat tissue can also act to bind male hormones and hold them in the body longer. Unwanted facial hair can result if too much male hormone is produced from these sites. Such an increase in male hormones can be caused by a number of medical conditions. The most common conditions that cause an increase in male hormones are:

  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
    This is quite frequent in women of childbearing age and often causes unwanted facial hair. There are many other symptoms associated with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome such as absent or infrequent periods, acne, infertility and obesity. However, in many cases, unwanted facial hair may be the only symptom.
  • Cancer
    Cancer of tissues that produce male hormones can result in facial hirsutism.
  • Obesity
    Increased fat tissue binds male hormones thus increasing their activity in the body – and it can also increase the amount of hormones produced. This can lead to hirsutism.
  • Menopause.
    When a woman goes through "the change", the hormonal balance is often altered, resulting in increased and unwanted facial hair.

Medication. Some medicines prescribed by your doctor may have androgenic effects. Steroids commonly used to treat asthma or allergies can be a culprit, as can anabolic steroids used by body builders. Certain intra-uterine devices used as a form of contraception can also cause unwanted facial hair, and various drugs that treat epilepsy (for example phenytoin) or high blood pressure (minoxidil) can also cause hirsutism. If you are worried about the medicines you are taking, you should not stop taking them without first consulting your doctor – if you do, this could have very serious consequences for your health.

What treatments are available for unwanted facial hair?

Vaniqa Vaniqa Eflornithine

Treatment of unwanted facial hair can be difficult and many women will try a combination of approaches. In many cases, the treatment can be very time-consuming, uncomfortable and not very effective. The good news is that effective medical treatments are available.

Cosmetic approach. Most women will have tried bleaching the unwanted hair or removing it by plucking, shaving or waxing. The problem is that the hair will always grow back and shaving can actually cause it to grow back even thicker. A more permanent removal can be achieved by electrolysis or laser treatment. Electrolysis can only treat small areas at a time and can cause scarring if not done carefully. Laser treatment is most effective on dark hair in pale skin and so is not as effective for blonde, red or grey hair or on dark skin. Repeated treatments are required but it can be very effective, especially if used in conjunction with Vaniqa.

Psychological effects. The worry and depression caused by unwanted facial hair can be treated. If you feel very concerned or your daily life is affected by your problem, you should seek help from your doctor.

Medicines available. There are a number of medicines that can reduce the androgenic effect of male hormones in the body, but only a few are licensed for the treatment of hirsutism and as such have been proved as safe and effective in clinical trials. Vaniqa blocks an enzyme called ornithine decarboxylase, which is involved in the production of the hair shaft by the hair follicle. Vaniqa has been shown to reduce the rate of hair growth.