Unwanted facial hair is a common and often distressing symptom of PCOS. The hair tends to be dark and coarse. Dealing with this aspect of the disease can be emotionally difficult but there are some options you can try. One product which is usually available on NHS prescription is Vaniqa ® cream. Vaniqa® is the commercial name for eflornithine hydrochloride cream (13.9%). This prescription medication is applied to the skin for the reduction of unwanted facial hair, rather than the removal of the hair. Vaniqa ® is designed ONLY to be used on the face and adjacent involved areas under the chin and usage should therefore be limited to these areas of involvement. It is NOT for use on other parts of the body.
Although, the product does contain parabens, it works by interfering with enzymes in the hair follicle in skin which slow the growth of the hair. Its important to note that Vaniqa® does not cure or permanently remove the hair but combined with other treatments it may help to manage your condition better and improve your appearance so that you feel better. It takes time for the cream to work and most see results after approximately 4 to 8 weeks (this may vary). Once you stop the treatment the hair will return to the same condition as before. There are some people for whom Vaniqa® may not be suitable so do speak with your GP or healthcare practitioner. It is not suitable for those under 12 years of age or if you are allergic to any of the ingredients. If you are pregnant or trying to conceive you must speak to your doctor as no clinical studies have been performed in pregnant women. Also, it is not advised for women who are breastfeeding. If you suffer from acne or sensitive skin I would suggest you do not use it or use with caution as it can cause irritation especially if your skin is damaged. You can use normal cosmetics or sunscreen a few minutes after application. Some side effects have been noted in its use, mostly rashes or redness and folliculitis (hair bumps). The key is in trying to find ways of managing PCOS that suit you as an individual. This is just one potential option.
© PCOS Vitality, 2020
This summary does not include everything there is to know about Vaniqa® for further information and advice speak to your GP or healthcare provider or visit www.vaniqa .com Not medical advice, always speak to your GP or healthcare provider. PCOS Vitality does not recommend any particular treatment or course of action.