How To Treat Unwanted Facial Hair

Aug 29, 2017 Unwanted Facial Hair


Unwanted facial hair is a common issue, as it affects both men and women. There are a lot of methods for hair removal available which are simple and don't cost very much, however it's not always possible to find a permanent solution. 

Some people have to be treated by a doctor or with medication, and we recommend if you have a lot of unwanted hair on your face, to see your doctor as it could be caused by a medical problem. 

What are the Causes of Unwanted Facial Hair? 

The medical term for unwanted facial hair is hirsutism, and it can occur on the face, neck, chest, back, stomach and thighs. 

There are a number of causes of hirsutism, which include: 

Eating Disorder

Eating disorders are psychological illnesses and are often difficult for family and friends to understand. Recovery is difficult and requires a great deal of support. 

If you're suffering from an eating disorder, a fine layer of hair grows on the body, which is called lanugo. This protects the body and is different to hormonal hair growth as it is reversible. 

If you believe that your hair growth is lanugo, it's important to seek medical help to access the correct treatment.

Hormone Imbalance

Hormonal imbalance can be caused by menopause, which usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. This is when oestrogen levels decrease, which is why some women may suffer from unwanted facial hair.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Another condition that is related to hormone imbalance is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. This is where there is an increase of androgens, which are the male hormones in the female body that promote hair growth in places that are more common in men. 

Suffers typically have irregular periods and other symptoms include weight gain.

There is no cure for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, so you have to treat the symptoms by adopting a healthy lifestyle using hair removal products. 

Underactive Thyroid

An underactive thyroid means you produce fewer hormones than normal, which results in a hormone imbalance. This affects metabolism, energy, and hair growth. It is a lifelong condition that requires treatment to help regulate the thyroid. 

Medical Conditions

Other causes of unwanted facial hair are medical conditions such as: 

  • Cushing's syndrome

  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia 

  • Obesity

  • Tumours

Please seek medical attention if you're worried about your unwanted facial hair. 

How Can I Get Rid of Unwanted Facial Hair? 

There are many ways to get rid of unwanted facial hair, and shaving and plucking are usually the most common. However, shaving is not very popular as the hairs typically grow back thicker than before. 

Another option is to go to regular waxing treatments, as this is a good way to get rid of all the hairs at one time and gets them by the root, so they grow back slower than shaving. 

There are other ways to get rid of unwanted facial hair for a longer period of time, and these include electrolysis and laser hair removal. 

Electrolysis involves a thin metal probe that is inserted in the opening of the skin where the hair grows, where an electric current is sent through. You'll need to have a couple of treatments to get rid of the hair altogether. 

Laser hair removal destroys hair at the base and is performed by a dermatologist. 

Both methods are quite expensive, and they don't permanently remove facial hair. 

There is an easy to apply cream called Vaniqa which should be applied to the affected area twice a day eight hours apart. It contains the active ingredient Eflornithine which slows down hair growth. 

It is suitable for women over the age of 19 and will usually have a noticeable effect within 2 months. We recommend consulting your doctor if there are no changes are 4 months of using it.

The cream is NOT SUITABLE for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Are There Any Side Effects to Treatments? 

The most common side effect of hair removal is skin irritation and redness. Shaving can cause cuts and ingrown hairs, whereas plucking can be painful. 

If you choose to have electrolysis or laser hair removal, be mindful that these may cause burns and changes to skin colour. Or, if you choose the skin cream Vaniqa, this can cause acne or a burning feeling on the skin. 

If you’d like to purchase Vaniqa, we have treatments available. You can request a free consultation with one of our pharmacists. 

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