Vaniqa® (eflornithine HCI) Cream, 13.9%: Getting to the Root of Facial Hair Removal
Like wrinkles, blemishes or sunspots, unwanted facial hair is an aesthetic nuisance—one that millions of women take steps to correct each year. Enter Vaniqa: a clinically proven way to reduce unwanted hair growth on the face in women without downtime.
Vaniqa is an FDA-approved, prescription-only facial cream that works within the hair’s follicle to reduce hair growth on the face for women. It blocks the formation of polyamines, the building blocks for enzymes in the follicle responsible for hair synthesis. As the hair re-grows, it does so at a decreased speed, which makes shaving, waxing and tweezing less frequent over time.
Results can typically be seen after eight weeks of twice-daily use. Hair growth slows, and the hair tends to grow back thinner and thus, may look lighter. The hairs may also feel finer and softer. Vaniqa is intended to be used with your preferred hair removal method.
Vaniqa’s benefits make it a better option for women who are not ideal laser candidates due to their hair color or skin tone. Unlike lasers—which are most effective on dark, coarse hair in light-colored skin—Vaniqa is equally effective on all hair colors, skin tones and ethnicities, and even responds well to thin, fine hair.
No one treatment is best for every patient, and like any medication, Vaniqa has its limitations. Patients seeking a relatively permanent, long-term solution may wish to consider laser hair removal, provided they are willing to modify their lifestyle during treatment (e.g., avoid sunning and tanning) and commit to the several—often costly—sessions needed for optimal results. Light-skinned, dark-haired patients are the best candidates for laser hair removal.
Though Vaniqa is not a substitute for laser hair removal, studies support the benefit of combining the two treatments. Vaniqa is a smart supplement to laser procedures, as it can work to slow the growth of the remaining terminal (growing) hairs that do not respond to the laser.
In one clinical study with 31 women, 94% of the subjects that used Vaniqa with laser hair removal experienced complete or near-complete removal of hair, versus only 68% of women who achieve complete hair elimination with laser hair removal alone.
Since Vaniqa only works on growing hair, facial hair will eventually return to its normal rate of growth approximately eight weeks after stopping use of Vaniqa, so it must be used continually to achieve the best results.
As at-home hair removal systems grow in popularity, look for Vaniqa to eventually become an over-the-counter option. In the meantime, visit your dermatologist or skin care provider for more information on the benefits of Vaniqa.
Vaniqa is contraindicated in patients with a history of sensitivity to any components of the preparation.
Adverse events reported for most body systems occurred at similar frequencies in VANIQA and vehicle control groups. The most frequent adverse events related to treatment with VANIQA were skin-related such as acne, pseudofolliculitis barbae, stinging, headache, burning, dryness, pruritus, erythema, tingling, dyspepsia, skin irritation, rash, alopecia and dizziness.
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